Henderson Heinrichs is committed to exploring all options to assist our clients reach successful resolution of their family law issues. To that end, we are pleased to advise that we have certified Family Law Mediators at our firm who are trained to facilitate out of court settlement.
Mediation can be highly successful when both parties are committed to working in this framework. Mediation has been used successfully to resolve all areas of family disputes including custody and guardianship issues, primary residence, parenting plans, asset and property division, spousal support, separation agreements and cohabitation agreements.
Rain Henderson and Michelle Kooy are certified Family Law Mediators and all of our lawyers have significant experience advising and representing clients in alternative dispute formats including mediation and collaborative divorce processes.
What is mediation?
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process for resolving family law issues, such as custody, access and child support. The mediator is a knowledgeable and neutral third party jointly selected and retained by both parties. Because of the importance of maintaining mediator neutrality and our professional obligations to our clients, Henderson Heinrichs’ existing litigation clients who would like to try mediation will be referred to other well-regarded mediators. Our mediators are available to new clients who are looking for a Family Law Mediator to assist them. Prior to engaging in the mediation process both parties are required to sign a mediation agreement whereby they commit to working out the issues without going to Court. This does not mean that if it becomes evident during the process that mediation is not suitable for resolving your issues that you have no options. It does mean that you will not go to court while you are trying to resolve your issues via mediation.
What happens if you select one of our lawyers as the mediator for your family law issue?
Mediation with a certified Family Law Mediator at Henderson Heinrichs has numerous benefits and allows parties to have a neutral, impartial professional assist them in reaching successful outcomes. Our mediators establish ground rules for respectful communication and create a safe and confidential environment where the parties begin to work on identifying the issues and creating customized solutions appropriate for their specific circumstances. The mediator will assist, where necessary, in clarifying facts and issues. Our mediators will help the parties explore ideas and options for settlement, while also sometimes serving as a reality check and/or sounding board.
Mediation at Henderson Heinrichs takes place in a private, informal setting where the parties actively participate in negotiations with a goal of reaching an agreement. Mediation requires hard work from both parties and a commitment to work on reaching a solution, even when things get difficult. Separation and divorce are emotional processes. Rather than be destructive, mediation helps parties work through the underlying emotional issues, and helps them build and create a solution the works best for them and enables them to move forward positively.
Litigation should be a last resort in family files as it can be costly both emotionally and financially. Mediation is usually less expensive than traditional litigation, faster and overall a much more constructive process. Mediation allows the parties to retain control over the process and outcome and allows them to create a solution that works best for their family and their own circumstances.
Henderson Heinrichs’ mediators will help the parties keep the lines of communication open or assist the parties in re-establishing positive and healthy communication which is the key to helping the parties move forward and is particularly invaluable and essential when there are children involved. The mediator will help the parties build in effective communication strategies when necessary.
The mediator may also suggest other resources and tools that will assist the parties and will make best efforts to help the parties in reaching a resolution outside of Court.
If you would like more information on how mediation with Henderson Heinrichs might be beneficial for you, please feel free to contact Rain Henderson at [email protected], or Michelle Kooy at [email protected], or set up an appointment by calling our offices at 604-669-3500.