Mediation, Negotiation & Divorce What is it you need?

A unique approach to conflict resolution

Mediation, property division, litigation support and negotiation. Helping you through life's transitions with dignity, integrity and compassion. Mediation and negotiation respects your own power to decide what your life may look like. My services will also help those who have chosen the litigation process, by providing clarity and due diligence.

Helping you in matters of divorce, co-habitation or prenuptial agreements and estate settlements.

Open during COVID-19

Property division – support – parenting schedules.

COVID19 agreements:

for families with shared parenting arrangements and spouses living in the same house while going through separation.

Planning

Going through a significant life changing event such as divorce, marriage or being involved in an estate settlement, may require more due dilligence than simply signing the papers.

Did you cover everything?
Did you ask the right questions?
Be as informed as you can be and let us help you with that .

Strategy

Hang up the gloves. Last time I checked, fighting wasted time, money and energy; never mind the stress factor.

Be prepared to listen, complete homework, be open and honest, be respectful.

Results

The ideal end result is that everybody walks away with a win-win. That is not always the case. Sometimes, unresolved issues run so deep, they require the care of another professional.

Overall, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and I strive to continue to help my clients in every way I can.


Mediation may be the right option for you:

  • If your spouse agrees to work together in mediation.
  • If you want to decide on the terms of your separation quickly so you can get on with your life.
  • If you want to save on unnecessary legal fees and court costs.
  • If you want a cooperative and/or amicable relationship with your spouse moving forward.
  • If you like the idea of a private and confidential process, without prejudice.
  • If you want to minimize the amount of stress for you and your family.
  • If you can sit in the same room and talk civilly about the terms of your separation.
  • If you can be transparent and provide all your financial documents to the mediator and each other.
  • If you want to stay out of the adversarial and overwhelming court process.
  • If you want your separation to have minimum impact on your children.

What if:

  • If there has been a history of domestic violence in your relationship.
  • If you are not able to advocate for yourself.
  • If you believe your spouse is hiding assets.
  • You have little or no financial knowledge.
THEN: Individual meetings (caucus) is often the answer.

The Process:

  • The individual intake meetings are crucial to Micheline’s understanding of the best approach for your individual file.
  • In the majority of the files, Micheline will have at least one individual financial meeting with each party. This approach is very useful when at least one of the parties needs help in understanding the financial options or feels disempowered when in the presence of the other party. Micheline can then put on her negotiator hat and help the parties come to a resolution more efficiently.
  • Parenting meetings are conducted jointly, unless it is not safe to do so.

Available Services:

  • Divorce Mediation/negotiation
  • Separation agreement mediation/negotiation
  • Organize and process disclosure
  • Property Division
  • Quarterback other professionals, such as actuaries etc.
  • Litigation support
  • Cohabitation/prenup agreement discussions
  • Child support calculations
  • Spousal support calculations
  • Financial planning
  • Co-parenting arrangements
  • Family mediation

What is new in Family Law?

Cohabitation Agreement:

A cohabitation agreement (sometimes also a prenup) is a legally binding agreement that addresses areas where there could be a dispute in a relationship breakdown. This agreement is binding and it is recommended that an experienced family lawyer provide you with independent legal advice prior to signing. This agreement is a forward thinking contract and not all family lawyers are comfortable advising on such contracts. Couples set out terms in advance to protect themselves, with the intention of avoiding the high costs of fighting and litigation. This agreement is specifically for couples who have chosen to live together. Micheline will bring financial clarity to the table and invite the couple to openly discuss their values and points of view on what is important to them.

New as of January 1, 2020

Bill 28 - Family Statutes Amendment Act As stated on the Bills and Legislations on Alberta.ca there will be multiple changes related to property division laws and improvements to child support for adult children with disabilities. Bill 28 received Royal Assent on December 11, 2018 which will have very important changes to property division for unmarried partners. The current Matrimonial Property Act will be replaced by Family Property Act in 2020 and it contains a number of important aspects.

Property Division

As stated on Alberta.ca the following changes will come in effect on January 1, 2020:
  1. It applies to both unmarried couples as well as married couples. Therefore, there is no distinction when it comes to the division of the family property.
  2. The Family Property Act allows the partners to draft their own agreement as to how to divide the property themselves. In other words, the legislation allows the parties to decide their own way of dividing the family property as opposed to be governed by the rules in the Act.
  3. The rules of property division applies to the property acquired after the relationship. Sometimes, the couple entered into the common law relationship and then get married. In that situation, the rule of property division also applies to the period whereby they lived as common law, prior to marrying each other.
  4. You may need to have a separate property division agreement when you are common law vs. when you are married. Agreement made during cohabitation would not apply once you get married unless the contract clearly stipulates the clear intention of the parties. If doubt, it is better to have a separate agreement in order to demonstrate the clear intention of the parties.
  5. The existing property agreement is still enforceable provided that it is signed prior to the Act coming into force.

More Family Law Changes

So that Micheline stays on top of the latest changes, she will attend a course in November 2019 by the Legal Education Society where those changes are explained.

Contact Micheline

  • Cochrane location:
    307 1St E, Cochrane AB
  • Calgary location:
    Mission building on 4 Street SW, Suite 803

PHONE & EMAIL

  • 403.200.4845
  • micheline@maesconsulting.ca