Mediation specialists using a methodology that works

Choosing Fairway Solutions for your separation or divorce means selecting a process that allows you to negotiate a fair resolution that considers finances and parenting in a non-litigious process. It does not mean you are giving up your ability to receive legal advice, nor are you sacrificing your rights.

While divorce mediation is quickly becoming the preferred alternative, you may think it's only for friendly couples with less complicated cases, but the opposite is also true. The Fairway Method using INR (Independently Negotiated Resolution™) can handle various scenarios from simple to complex, agreeable to contentious. There are many innovative and effective ways to achieve a fair outcome.

For couples who feel a power imbalance regarding children or finances, divorce mediation may feel unworkable or even inappropriate. In turn, you may have to pursue the more traditional route of hiring a lawyer to protect your rights and position. The good news is there are ways to have the best of both worlds and still achieve an outcome better than going to court or hiring lawyers to fight for you. At Fairway Divorce Solutions, we take the time to understand your situation before we recommend a path forward.

Fairway's promise to you: We have an over 95% success rate in bringing couples to a final separation agreement so if we are not confident we can achieve that for you, we will tell you.

Divorce mediation

two people shaking hands

Divorce mediation means working with experienced and accredited professionals to find a mutually agreed-upon outcome. Fairway’s divorce mediators will facilitate the process so the parties can discuss and analyze the issues. In some cases, the parties can be together; in others, they can be separate to avoid undue influence or pressure. The problems that are resolved include; division of assets, spousal support, child support and how you will co-parent.

The mediator's job is to remain neutral and help both sides come to a fair resolution. The goal is to benefit both sides to better understand their own needs and have perspective about the other party's position. In this way, they can find the common ground required for a resolution. In cases where there is no common ground, which can happen, then the mediator's skill is paramount to an outcome that legally protects both parties' rights.

Depending on where you are at in the mediation process, the parties can bring in their respective lawyers to help them during the mediation. There is usually a lot of flexibility to ensure that each party reaches the best outcome based on their situation and legal rights. Regardless, the goal is to work through the family mediation process to avoid costly fighting and litigation (going to court).

The benefit of mediation over litigation (hiring lawyers to fight on your behalf) allows the parties to maintain control over how the agreement is made. It is designed to provide a safe space and a level playing field for the negotiations.

Choosing to use family mediation for divorce

Divorce is rarely easy, which means having the right help in your corner from start to finish is wise. Fairway Divorce Solutions is a leader in Canada thanks to the movement towards Alternative Dispute Resolution. Fairway resolves divorce-related disputes through the process of mediation using our proprietary process known as Independently Negotiated Resolutiion™ (INR). Learning more about family mediation will shed light on the difficulties of divorce and how mediation is a better solution in almost all cases. We offer a no charge consult so you can ask all the questions you want.

When couples hire lawyers to resolve issues, it typically becomes a long, drawn-out, and costly process. Things are often reasonably amicable until the lawyers start putting unreasonable positions forward. This can lead to divorce litigation and going to trial. Ultimately, that results in significant costs and unnecessary stress on all the family members—litigation's financial and emotional stress negatively impacts careers and relationships for years.

Suggesting family mediation – what does it mean for me?

Family mediation can be suggested in numerous ways by yourself, your spouse, or the courts. If you are going through a divorce and considering what route to take, there are multiple benefits to the mediation route.

  1. Mediation is faster. Traditional litigation is time-consuming. It is about declaring a "winner" and a "loser," with both sides working to get what they want. Whether hammering out co-parenting schedules, dividing property, or something else entirely, mediation aims to foster timely resolution of these issues.
  2. Mediation is less expensive. Not only is it faster to go with mediation, but it is also a lot less expensive. Bringing in lawyers can get costly quickly, both financially and emotionally. For instance, lawyers carry a hefty hourly fee, whereas mediation comes with a flat fee. Mediation is about finding a resolution so both sides can move forward without being heavily damaged financially or emotionally.
  3. Mediation will be recommended. Before you start litigation, the courts themselves will require mediation first. That is because it has a proven track record of success and can result in far more preferable results than traditional litigation.
  4. Mediation protects essential relationships. Divorce is difficult, but it does not need to result in destroyed relationships. A smooth divorce process can set everyone up for success.

Divorce mediation provides control

One of the significant benefits of family mediation is providing each party with power and control during the entire process, including how to deal with conflict. Instead of letting divorce lawyers control the situation and potentially make things worse, both parties have control over the mediation process.

The benefit of mediation is that you maintain control, which in turn will reduce the drama. It means regrouping and drawing the process out further when things escalate to ensure the best decisions are made. Either way, mediation reduces the dollars spent on legal fees and is usually years shorter in duration.

Couples can work together to keep the situation as amicable as possible. With family mediation, some checks and balances keep things in line. The process is about encouraging cooperation, particularly in situations that involve children. People feel they have control and can establish their desired future.

The truth about family mediation

divorce mediation

Let's get this straight from the start: family mediation is about choosing how much professional intervention you want. Lawyers may be present, but the goal is not to get into an entrenched court battle.

Depending on your location, the law requires mediation before moving to divorce litigation. This is a direct message from the judicial system that the old way of divorcing is outdated and does not bring the best results for families. They are enforcing by law the use of mediation because they believe it is in the best interest of divorcing Canadians. You no longer need to be paying an attorney to be part of the negotiations as a whole. Getting legal advice is smart, but having the lawyers negotiate on your behalf is problematic and usually results in less for each party and more in legal fees.

Legal fees and emotional costs can get out of hand when the divorce becomes litigation. Family mediation is meant to provide a better resolution than litigation., allowing both parties to move forward with their lives. Mediation works when using a top-notch mediation firm.

Family mediation is simply the best choice

There are a few simple answers if you aren't quite sure whether you should go with traditional litigation versus mediation. Family mediation is exponentially cheaper and has better outcomes than taking matters to court. Not only is it financially more cost-effective, but emotionally so as well.

There is also the matter of family mediation being better for the kids. Kids need both parents to develop healthy self-confidence. Only in rare instances is having both parents active in parenting not advised. Given how mediation is designed, it is conducive to creating a co-parenting plan that works for all family members, especially the children.

Finally, family mediation is faster. Traditional litigation can take years to complete the process. By going through family mediation, both parties can begin moving on with their lives instead of becoming mired in a seemingly endless battle. Both sides deserve to move on with their lives, not continue the never-ending war.

Family mediation myths 

It is no surprise that family mediation is becoming the preferred divorce method across Canada. The mediation process usually ends with drafting the Separation Agreement and filing for divorce. Both parties can achieve a good outcome while cutting legal fees, avoiding ugly court battles, and moving forward as financially and emotionally intact as possible.

There are still more than a few misunderstandings regarding family mediation. There also needs to be more clarity about engaging a mediator versus retaining a family litigation lawyer. You will find below in the FAQ section some of the most common questions and issues preventing couples from choosing mediation over hiring lawyers.

Canadian courts; mandating divorce mediation because family law is broken, destroys families and assets.

Client testimonials

Success comes in many forms. For us, it is hearing back from our clients and reading how we have changed their lives for the better. These stories are the reason we do what we do.

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I recently helped a friend navigate a divorce that was settled by Fairway Divorce Solutions and I have never been more impressed with a service. The staff are professional, compassionate, patient and understanding. Divorce is never easy. However, Fairway uses mediation to transform a process typically filled with animosity and conflict into a process of mutual respect and understanding, ensuring that separations are completed with the lowest cost (financially and emotionally) to the family. The owner has the patience of a saint, and it is obvious that her primary concern is always the well being of the people she is helping, not her own bottom line. In an industry where lawyers make a living stoking the fire (an amicable divorce is not a profitable divorce for a lawyer), Fairway offers a path to resolution that allows a marriage to end while leaving the family harmony and finances intact.

- Waterloo Client - April 2022

The Unique Fairway Method

Divorce is difficult. We make is easier from start to finish. The Clear Road to a New Life®

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Locations

Helping Canadians with divorce mediation since 2006, with more than 25 Divorce Resolution Mediators in more than 11 locations.

Head Office

Head Office

British Columbia

Kelowna Langley

Saskatchewan

Saskatoon

Manitoba

Winnipeg

Frequently asked questions

At Fairway, we understand that facing a divorce is daunting, bringing mixed emotions and many questions. We are committed to ensuring that you have the knowledge and tools to move through the process in a way that protects your assets and your children.

Fairway is committed to changing the way divorce happens and avoiding the destruction to assets and relationships that occur in the traditional system. Here are just a few costly pitfalls you can avoid by choosing Fairway’s divorce mediation process:

  • Paying a large retainer
  • Filing court documents
  • Serving your spouse
  • Receiving a statement of defence
  • Correspondence between lawyers
  • Interim applications
  • Serving affidavits
  • Countering affidavits
  • Examination for discoveries
  • Divorce undertakings
  • Chambers applications
  • Trials
  • Judgement
  • Filing divorce documents
  • Possible appeal

One of the biggest misconceptions – up there with having to be amicable for mediation to work –  is that the mediator is the one who makes all of the decisions or pushes decisions in a specific direction, in a family mediation. The entire concept of mediation is that the parties mediate an outcome without the pressure of the lawyers or of each other. The goal is to get a close to a win-win as possible which completely contradicts the goal of lawyer – whereas the goal of a divorce attorney will always be to win and make the other party lose

The mediator is there to make sure that each side better understands not only the needs of one another, but of themselves. They are there to facilitate the conversation and come to the best solution possible. It is ultimately up to the couple to agree to the outcomes that will work best for moving forward.

There is also a myth that most of the decisions and issues have to be solved before mediation can begin.  This is simply not the case and in fact would make mediation pointless. The entire point of family mediation is to solve problems and  reach agreements on everything from parenting arrangement to asset division.

Working with Fairway Divorce Solutions means helping in the negotiations, generating solutions, and finding positive outcomes. Mediation is about working through the conflicts and bringing both parties to a resolution that may not have been possible through traditional litigation.

Perhaps the biggest myth surrounding family mediation is that it is only for “simple” divorces. Divorces that have a lot of assets or even complicated business matters,  should be handled by litigators, right? Wrong.

There are specialists within the mediation field who are trained to work with complicated financial assets. For most people, the financial aspects of divorce are at the top of the list of concerns and often result in the most conflict.

Just because the situation may entail more than a few financial assets, it does not mean that family mediation isn’t right for you. Talk to our team experts to find out what they can do for your financial situation.

It is safe to say that most married couples do not have the same personality. One person may be more dominant, outspoken, analytical, temperamental, controlling etc. In the event of separation or divorce, there is often a concern that one party may out “power” the other therefore resulting in an unfair outcome.

There is an assumption that without an aggressive litigation lawyer, those who don’t necessarily have “strong” voices won’t be heard during the negotiations.

But the truth of the situation is that mediators ensure that both positions are heard and considered in designing the outcome. One spouse will not be allowed to dominate the conversation and mitigate the other.  

The reason why family mediation works in this instance is because both parties must meet with the mediator. From there, both must be accountable to the process.

The process of mediation is favored and preferred throughout the court system. At the end of the mediation process, when all decisions have been made, a legal Separation Agreement is drafted and signed in front of a lawyer. This lawyer will provide Independent Legal Advice so that the person signing completely understands the terms and is comfortable that their rights have been protected. Once signed by both parties in front of two different lawyers, the contract is binding and enforceable.

Not in the least. A mediator is not a therapist and the goal is not to talk through problems. The goal is to find solutions and to generate discussions between two differing parties. In some cases, these parties will meet the mediator separately to encourage independent decision making. Sure, it can be helpful to talk about the reasons or emotions behind these decisions.

At the end of the day, the effort is made to tackle the problems and to find the solutions to those problems. All of which lead to a signed Separation Agreement that is enforceable in the courts.

Think about it this way. Going through traditional means of litigation can take years. It all depends on the level of contention and how much money each part has available to fight. There is also the availability of the courts as delays can take months or even years before going to trial.

But mediation is about finding a solution sooner. The process, even in a more contentious situation, can take months instead. It is without a doubt a much shorter process to go through mediation than traditional litigation.

It is important to note that lawyers can still be involved in the process even when mediation is favored. An attorney would be there to provide independent legal advice.

The intention of independent legal advice isn’t to involve lawyers in the negotiation process. It is to ensure that each party understands the terms of the separation agreement, and are signing it freely and without pressure from the other party.

Having independent legal advice can also make sure that you understand your responsibilities, obligations, and rights. Mediation also gives each side the choice as to how involved lawyers will be during the process.

The reason that people go through mediation is because there are disputes that need resolving. So, having good communication with your ex is definitely not a prerequisite for the mediation process. In fact, most couples getting a divorce, do not have good communication. 

There are also a variety of mediation types to fit your specific needs. Understanding the different forms of mediation can be valuable before starting. The entire process is meant to assist bringing both sides together so that they can come to an agreement.