When you or your spouse have made the decision to separate, you may wish to consider the use of mediation as an alternative to court proceedings. This option allows you and your spouse to work together with me as your mediator to resolve the various issues that must be addressed, that may include custody, a parenting schedule, property division, child support and perhaps spousal support. I firmly believe this is the best choice for couples that are interested, willing and committed to working together to create a suitable agreement for their family needs.
Choosing mediation as a dispute resolution process avoids the stress, time and cost of court proceedings. In my role as a neutral third party, working for you both, I will help you both communicate your concerns and negotiate solutions. As your mediator, I facilitate you and your spouse to make your own decisions. As part of the mediation process I will assist in creating a plan that properly addresses the issues that are relevant to your situation.
For mediation to be successful you and your spouse must understand from the outset the significance of certain general pre-conditions;
- You both have accepted to separate and there is no reasonable hopes of a reconciliation;
- There will be full and transparent financial disclosure; and
- You both agree to allow the other to freely communicate their wishes, needs and expectations during the mediation process.
When you agree to mediate you agree to let me help you create a safer place to have difficult conversations. To begin with, I will meet with you one-on-one to:
- talk about how the mediation process works;
- to make sure you are comfortable with me being your mediator;
- assess whether mediation is the appropriate choice for you and your spouse and;
- to figure out what needs to be resolved and to make a plan to deal with your concerns.
Mediation takes many forms. Usually it’s with you and your spouse in the same room, however, you or your spouse may need to be in separate rooms from time to time, or you may need to have your own lawyers present working hard to avoid going to court. In my role as your mediator, it’s my responsibility to design the process that will most likely allow you and your spouse to continue working on a solution.
“As I get so close to the end of this separation/divorce process I can’t help but think back on the last 18 months. It’s amazing how much has happened in that time, how much I’ve changed and adapted. Throughout this time there were 4 people who I will forever remember as having a huge impact on how I was able to manage, survive and thrive throughout the process; My parents, my best friend and mediator Bruce Stedman.”
“During the mediation process there were times I found it very difficult to be in the same room with my ex-spouse and I know I couldn’t have managed it without Bruce’s presence. Even when things escalated Bruce emanated a calmness that made me feel safe and helped me continue in the process. I am so grateful my lawyer recommended Bruce.”
“Mediation with Bruce was transformational process for me. It has allowed me to feel stronger and more assertive in my communication with my ex-spouse regarding the co-parenting of our daughter which will literally help me for the rest of my life.”