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Should I attempt mediation before I file for divorce in Calgary?

As a divorce lawyer in Calgary, I am frequently asked by clients if they should attempt mediation before they file divorce papers at the Court in Calgary.

In most instances, the answer to such a question would be: Yes.

There are a large number of organisations that provide mediation services in Calgary. Some of them are free, some of them require a fee and, when contacting a mediator you should enquire about their fee structure.

Some mediators in Calgary are divorce lawyers and some are not. Before retaining a mediator, it is advisable to enquire as to what training and qualifications the mediator has, so that you can decide whether they have the expertise to successfully bring the parties to a resolution of all of the issues.

An appropriately qualified mediator should enable the parties to resolve issues such as custody and child support, spousal support and the division of matrimonial property.

As mediation is voluntary and, as the mediator cannot impose a settlement upon the parties, for mediation to be successful the parties must consent to the mediation process.

I would suggest that the only times that mediation should not be attempted before filing divorce papers with the Court in Calgary is when one party is not prepared to attend mediation, or there is an emergency that would prevent mediation from being successful.

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