Mediation Of Family Law Disputes In British Columbia
Resolving family law disputes is often a delicate and lengthy process, and spouses are sometimes unable to come to an agreement no matter how hard they try. Court action is the traditional way that these differences have been resolved, but the outcome of these proceedings is uncertain and the legal bills associated with them can be high. However, mediation is another solution available to couples in British Columbia involving a third party who has been trained to help resolve family law conflicts.
While a judge may impose a solution, the goal of a mediator is to help spouses air their concerns and resolve their differences through discussion. While mediators are often lawyers, they are not permitted to give legal advice. For mediation to be successful, it has to perceived as being fair. Mediators are therefore expected to remain neutral at all times. Mediation is also likely to be far less costly than litigation, and mediation services are available from Legal Aid BC for British Columbia residents who qualify.
While mediation is a way to resolve family law disputes amicably, a spouse cannot usually be compelled to attend. However, the rules are different when a family law case has been started in Supreme Court. In this situation, a spouse can be served with a Notice to Mediate compelling them to attend mediation sessions.
An experienced family law lawyer will likely understand how difficult it can be to avoid conflict when addressing the potentially thorny issues of property division, child custody and spousal support, and the lawyer may recommend mediation as a way to reach an amicable settlement. Divorce is often emotionally draining, and a neutral third party may provide valuable reassurance.