How Expenses May Spiral Out Of Control During Divorce.

When your relationship in British Colombia is ending, it’s likely easy to focus on the emotional side of things. However, it’s also important to take a deep breath and focus more rationally on the financial side of the split. When you don’t do this, expenses can often spiral out of control and the breakup could be costlier than it needs to be. To keep those costs from becoming overwhelming, you never want to:

  • Go into the divorce without any sort of plan.
  • Fail to consider all of your options, including mediation.
  • Act out of anger, perhaps doing things you’ll regret or saying things you’ll wish you could take back.
  • Ignore the legal advice that you get because of your emotions.
  • Think that the goal of the legal process is to fix your relationship with your significant other; the real goal is to look out for your best interests during the split.
  • Throw away all of your important documents to symbolize your fresh start.
  • Try to ruin the relationship that your spouse — or your ex has with your kids.
  • Concentrate on yourself and value only your needs instead of your children’s.
  • Go before a judge when you and your spouse could have come to an agreement through mediation.
  • Refuse to make any compromises.

These are just a few examples of mistakes that can be made, but they show how important it is not to act out of anger or despair. Take this time to focus on yourself and seek the best possible legal outcome. Your emotions will fade over time, and you don’t want to make legal mistakes in the heat of the moment that can’t ever be changed.

Source: Canadian Bar Association, “Breaking Up,” accessed July 07, 2016

Mediation Can Help With Child Custody Agreements

Divorce is already a challenging process, but those problems can be exacerbated when children are involved. British Columbia residents are keenly aware of how difficult child custody agreements can be to hammer out in a courtroom setting. Thankfully, several litigation alternatives exist to help parents agree to custody terms, including mediation.

In child custody cases, both parents are entitled to raise issues as the custody agreement is in the process of being constructed. They are also entitled to challenge changes made to this agreement at a later time. Once a parent makes the decision to issue a challenge, the other parent is required to respond. This can happen in one of several arenas, each with their own benefits and drawbacks.

The principal options include litigation, meaning going to court, a collaborative divorce, direct negotiation with representation outside of the courtroom and mediation. Mediation actually involves meeting with a neutral third party chosen by the parties to negotiate and resolve issues between those parties. While both parties are still represented by their lawyers, mediation offers a means of resolving thorny divorce issues without resorting to litigation.

Ultimately, no couple undergoing divorce wants the decisions made during the process to negatively impact their children. In British Columbia, it can be very helpful for both parties to determine whether mediation, litigation or a collaborative divorce would be the best fit for their situation. In every case, both parties will have the benefit of a separate family law attorney to help make child custody decisions that reflect the best interests of the child or children involved in the divorce proceedings.

Source:, “Separated parent: Do I have to attend mediation with former spouse?“, Gary Direnfeld, July 4, 2016

Mediation Can Help Smooth the Final Road to Divorce

Divorce can be a turbulent experience for both parties involved, as well as any children a couple might share. This should come as no surprise to British Columbia residents who have experienced the challenges associated with divorce, particularly those of a contentious nature. However, many options are available to help smooth the road to a mutually-beneficial final agreement, including the services offered by divorce mediation.

In mediation, both parties retain their own counsel throughout the divorce proceedings, even if those proceedings are not brought before a court. This is important because divorce law can be extremely complicated, and the services of a trained attorney can help each spouse understand his or her rights and responsibilities under the province’s laws. However, when the time comes to hammer out the final details, so to speak, this is where the support of a mediator might be most welcome.

In mediation, the mediator acts as a neutral third party to help facilitate lines of communication between the spouses and their respective representatives. The intent of mediation is to help limit conflict and tension as the couple approaches the end of their road to divorce. This can be very helpful in cases in which children may have been involved in proceedings, as they tend to be most deeply affected by a contentious divorce.

Obviously, British Columbia residents will agree there is no one right way to conduct a divorce. However, in seeking information about mediation and other options to help ease the transition, a couple can work towards a more positive understanding and mutually beneficial solutions. This allows the entire family to move forward with their lives more quickly and efficiently.

Source:, “Mediation Lawyer Helps Couples During Divorce“, Judy Greenwald, July 22, 2016

British Columbia Judge Recommends New Oversight of Mediation

A court justice overseeing a particularly contentious divorce has made the difficult decision to step aside and allow a different judge to take over the case, according to local sources. The British Columbia judge has become frustrated with a divorce that, despite efforts at mediation, has continued to drag on thanks to “heavy-handed” tactics employed by both spouses. The judge believes it is in the best interest of the couple’s young daughter that another judge take over.

According to the report, the couple’s case has brought about the most contentious and adversarial elements of the divorce process. Both spouses have frequently asked the judge to mediate over very specific elements of their settlement, from determining the efficacy of co-sleeping to deciding where the child, age 4, should go to school. In addition to these issues, the couple has consistently acted hostile and confrontational to the point at which the judge referred to their conduct as “nonsense.”

Thankfully, this is not the usual for family law cases. However, some experts have pointed out that, particularly in cases where children are involved, this sort of irrational behaviour can become the norm. In this particular case, the judge believes he has become a “known quantity” and the couple could benefit from a fresh perspective.

It is an unfortunate fact that some divorces are bound to be contentious, and some even hostile. In cases like these, it can benefit British Columbia couples seeking divorce to find legal professionals who can assist in mediation throughout the process. While emotions are bound to run high, the support of a professional can mean the difference between an ugly battle and a relatively amicable settlement.