Your fresh start
starts today.

Needs-focused family mediation dedicated to repurposing your relationship and saving you money.​

Divorce mediation
really works.

A fresh start for your family.
A fresh start for your finances.
A fresh start for you.

Your fresh start
starts today.

Needs-focused family mediation dedicated to repurposing your relationship and saving you money.​

Divorce mediation
really works.

A fresh start for your family.
A fresh start for your finances.
A fresh start for you.

Divorce Mediation in Calgary | Fresh Start Mediation

A fresh approach to mediation:

The Orange Story

Our process gives you fresh perspective that ensures a successful divorce or separation. We take a deep-dive into your situation and make difficult decisions easier. 

Choose a better path to your fresh start

Little Girl Holding an Orange - A fresh approach to mediation
Little Girl Holding an Orange

What will it cost?

Mediation can save time, money & stress compared to traditional divorce.

Get an estimate fast with our pricing calculator.

Take the first step:

Let’s talk about you.

We offer no obligation, free 1hr consultations to people like you. Let’s talk about your situation. Really. 

We work tirelessly to find the path to your [re]start.

Fresh Start Mediation was created because we knew there was a better way to overcome conflict with less pain, lower costs and more fulfilling outcomes

Through our mediation process, you will find a renewed sense of self as we help you create the bright future you imagine for your family. 

Most of our work can be done over video calls, and our team of partners and associates is likely in a community near you for those important face-to-face meetings. 

Regional Locations

Save time and money through mediation.

A mediator brings clarity, reduces anxiety and helps you build a future with intent. Our established, non-adversarial mediation process offers a better alternative than expensive, time-consuming, emotionally draining and unpredictable litigation. 

Mediation leads to reliable, long-lasting agreements through a safe and confidential process. Our expert mediators ensure you feel heard, understood and respected. We help you break the cycle of past conflict, ensuring both parties reach an agreement that provides security and closure.

Relationships are an evolution, and our mediators help in creating a different level of communication between parties to ensure a smooth transition from conflict to agreement. Throughout our process, we implement helpful tools to navigate your changing relationship dynamics. Our easy-to-follow guidelines and in-house financial analysts help sort through financial matters. 

As we work towards a completed agreement, we include a short-term plan to help keep things in-line while we work on the finer details. Interim understandings help reduce confusion and lead to timely and stable long-term agreements. 

We respect your needs, desired outcomes and, most importantly, your budget. Saving you time and money are our goals. Reducing heartache and your fresh start are our results. 

We support the communities we serve.

What Is Divorce Mediation?

Play Video about What is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation is a popular alternative to litigation for couples seeking to end their marriage. It can provide an opportunity for both parties to work through their differences in a respectful, private, and cost-effective manner.

It offers couples the ability to remain in control of the outcome of their divorce. It is an informal process that takes place outside of the court system, allowing both spouses to negotiate and resolve any issues they may have without involving a judge or jury.

The mediator’s role is to facilitate communication between the couple and help them reach an agreement on all outstanding matters.

The primary goal is to achieve an amicable resolution that is fair, equitable, and mutually beneficial for both parties involved. Mediators strive to create an atmosphere where both spouses can openly express their concerns and needs while recognizing those of their partner. This approach can help create a sense of understanding between the two parties that will be important for them as they move forward with their lives after divorce.

Is this Mediation Legally Binding?

No, the divorce mediation process is not legally binding in Canada.  Although documents agreed to and signed may be legally binding.

It is important to understand that even if a divorce agreement is not legally binding, it can still be used as evidence in court proceedings and can provide guidance for both parties should they choose to take legal action on issues related to their dissolution of marriage. Furthermore, many couples find that going through a mediated process often results in resolutions that are more amicable and mutually beneficial than those reached through traditional litigation processes.

How much does Divorce Mediation Cost?

The cost varies depending on the complexity of the case but typically ranges up to $8,000 per spouse for an all-inclusive package.  A typical divorce can cost $30,000 in lawyer fees per spouse.  You can check our divorce mediation pricing calculator here.

It depends on several factors, such as the mediator’s time spent assisting the couple with their negotiations, the number of legal documents that need to be completed and filed with the court, and other miscellaneous costs. 

  • For example, suppose one spouse is seeking spousal support or child support payments from the other spouse during the divorce proceedings. In that case, additional fees may be associated with obtaining this information from both parties. Additionally, more complex cases may require more time from experienced professionals such as attorneys or financial advisors.

The cost benefit analysis should be weighed carefully before deciding which route to take when dealing with a divorce situation. While it may not seem like a bargain at first glance, those who choose mediation often find that they save money in lawyer’s fees while achieving better results than they would have achieved through litigation. 

Furthermore, couples who engage in mediation generally reach agreements faster than those who pursue litigation and are able to maintain better communication throughout the entire process – something that can be beneficial for both parties involved.

What types of Issues can be Addressed?

Firstly, most mediations involve discussing financial matters related to the divorce. This includes division of assets, alimony payments, child support, and other financial topics. Parties need to understand their rights and obligations regarding these matters so they can reach an agreement that works for both sides. Additionally, when it comes to parenting plans or custody agreements, the mediator can help each party understand their responsibilities and work towards an arrangement that works best for all involved.

Secondly, emotional issues can also be discussed. Both parties may need help navigating through complex emotions such as anger or sadness during this difficult time in their lives. The mediator can provide tools and resources to help couples manage these emotions while still allowing them to make decisions about their future healthily and constructively. Furthermore, communication skills can also be honed during this process so that each side can listen more effectively and resolve disputes without resorting to personal attacks or arguments.

Finally, it is also a great way for couples to learn how to co-parent effectively once the separation is finalized. A mediator can provide tips on how divorced parents should interact with each other, especially when it comes to making major decisions about the children’s welfare or upbringing.

It provides an opportunity for both sides of a marriage breakdown to come together in a safe space and resolve any outstanding issues before proceeding with legal proceedings. With the help of a trained professional facilitator, couples can address various topics, such as finances, emotions, and parenting arrangements, without putting either party at risk of further harm or distress.

What are the Benefits of Divorce Mediation Services?

The primary benefit of divorce mediation comes from its focus on cooperation. The mediator works with both parties to find solutions that meet both spouses’ needs.

This allows couples to reach agreeable solutions in a timely manner without having to involve a judge or have their case heard in court. Additionally, since the mediator is impartial and has no vested interest in the outcome of the case, they are better able to provide an unbiased opinion on any disputed points during negotiations or discussions. 

Here are more benefits of this process:

BenefitWhat It Means
Cooperation FocusMediators help both sides work together to find win-win solutions, avoiding the need for a judge.
Time-EfficientYou get to agree on things faster compared to dragging it out in court.
Cost-EffectiveIt’s generally cheaper than fighting it out with lawyers in court.
Decision ControlYou both get to make the calls on important stuff like kids and who gets what instead of a judge.
PrivacyYour business stays private, away from the public courtroom.
Custom SolutionsAllows for personalized agreements that suit both of you better than one-size-fits-all legal rules.
Keeps Things AmicableIf you’re still kinda friendly, mediation can help keep it that way by working together on the outcome.

In short, mediation is like a team project in which you both control the outcome with some help from a neutral coach (the mediator). This makes things less stressful, less public, and often a bit easier on your wallet.

Is Divorce Mediation Right for me?

One way to determine if it is right for you is to consider how comfortable you feel with the idea of having an impartial third party working with both parties to reach a mutually agreeable outcome. This professional will be skilled in helping both sides express their needs and interests during the process. If this seems like a good fit for your circumstances, then it may be a good option for you.

Another factor to consider when deciding if it is suitable for you is whether you feel capable of negotiating with your former partner without any animosity or ill will. If so, it could be an effective means of resolving issues related to the division of assets and liabilities, child support, and/or custody arrangements. Additionally, it can help ensure that all decisions are made in the best interests of both parties involved and any children or other dependents affected by the divorce.

When considering whether divorce is right for you, here are some helpful points:

  1. Determine your comfort level with involving a third party in the process;
  2. Assess your ability to negotiate with your former spouse constructively;
  3. Consider whether resolving issues through mediation would benefit all parties involved and
  4. Decide if this method suits both your financial situation and timeframe requirements.

By being informed about the potential benefits of choosing this mediation and evaluating whether it fits with your circumstances, you can make an informed decision about what approach works best for you during this difficult time in life.

How long does Mediation Process take?

The answer to this question depends on the complexity of the divorce issues, as well as the commitment of both parties to resolve their differences. Generally, divorce mediation can be completed within one or two months, depending on availability and scheduling of sessions.

It is possible for couples who have agreed on all issues and are ready to sign an agreement to complete the process in less than one month. Conversely, if there are substantial disagreements between the spouses, it could take longer for all matters to be resolved and an agreement signed by both parties.

  • Typical Duration: Often wraps up in 1 to 2 months, depending on how complex things are and everyone’s schedule.
  • Quick Settlement: If you both agree on everything, you could be done in less than a month.
  • More Time Needed: If there’s a lot of back-and-forth, expect it to take longer.

Other Things to Consider

  • Costs: To make the agreement official, you’ll need to pay a mediator and possibly legal fees.
  • Is It Right for You? Make sure you think about:
    • Budget: Can you afford the costs involved?
    • Situation: Is mediation the best way to handle your specific circumstances?

Deciding on Mediation

Take some time to look at all your options before choosing. Picking what works best for your situation can save you time, money, and stress.

What is the Role of Mediator in this Process?

The mediator acts as a buffer to help spouses remain focused on reaching their desired outcomes, rather than letting emotions get in the way. This helps keep couples from becoming entrenched in arguments and allows them to move forward more quickly than they could if they were to go through the traditional court system.

In divorce mediation, the mediator is like a referee with a heart. Here’s how they help:

  • Keep the Peace: They make sure discussions stay on track, preventing heated emotions from derailing the process.
  • Offer Support: Mediators are there to guide both parties toward fair solutions, ensuring the outcomes work well for everyone involved.
  • Listen and Inform: They hear both sides, offer key info, and help each person understand how decisions could impact them now and in the future.
  • Handle the Technical Stuff: When it comes to splitting assets or figuring out parenting, the mediator can offer guidance or suggest experts who can help.
  • Avoid Court Drama: They help find common ground, so you don’t have to fight it out in court, saving time and money.

Why It’s a Good Route

It is a chance for couples to sort things out calmly, giving them more say in the final decisions. It’s designed to be less overwhelming, allowing for decisions that can lead to a smoother post-divorce relationship, especially if kids are involved.

The mediator also provides support and guidance, helping spouses to create solutions that are best for both parties and will last into the future. They listen to both sides of the story, provide important information, and help each spouse understand how their decisions will affect them both financially and emotionally.

In addition, a mediator can assist with the division of assets and parental responsibility plans when necessary. They can also provide referrals for financial advisors or other professionals if needed. Through this process, couples are able to find common ground without having to resort to litigation, which can be costly and time-consuming.

Is Divorce Mediation Confidential?

Confidentiality is one of the main advantages of divorce mediation, as it protects the parties involved from the public scrutiny that would occur during a trial.

In most jurisdictions, the conversations and agreements made during mediation are subject to confidentiality, meaning they cannot be disclosed in court or any other legal setting. Mediators must also abide by ethical guidelines that ensure that all exchanges remain confidential.

  • Private & Confidential: Whatever happens in mediation stays in mediation. Unlike a courtroom battle, this keeps things away from the public eye.
  • Rules of the Game: Mediators follow strict rules to keep your information and discussions private. So, you can talk freely without worrying that it will be revealed.
  • Your Secret’s Safe: Neither you, your partner, nor the mediator can blab about what was said unless you both agree to share it.

Why Keeping It Quiet Helps:

  • Stress Less: Going through a split is tough enough without extra eyes and opinions. Keeping things under wraps means less stress.
  • You Decide Together: Without the world watching, you can make choices based on what you both think is fair, not because you’re worried about appearances.
  • Talk It Out: Knowing it’s a safe space encourages honest chat, making it easier to come to an agreement you both like.

Bottom Line: Mediation lets you hash things out in peace, knowing it won’t become tomorrow’s gossip. This privacy can really help you both work through things smoothly.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Divorce Mediation?

An important question for people considering mediation is whether they need a lawyer present.

The answer depends on the couple’s situation. Generally, it is helpful for both spouses to have independent legal advice during the process of creating a mediated settlement agreement. This ensures that each party understands the terms of the agreement and knows their rights under the law. It also helps them make sure that any agreement is fair and equitable. Having a lawyer review the agreement before it is signed helps protect both parties in case there are any issues later on down the line.

Whether or not you decide to hire individual lawyers for your mediation depends on your particular circumstances and goals of your mediation process. If you are comfortable negotiating directly with each other without legal representation, then this may be an option for you. 

However, suppose either spouse feels uncertain about certain aspects of the mediated settlement agreement or does not feel equipped to handle negotiations alone. In that case, it may be wise for both spouses to retain legal counsel throughout the mediation process. Ultimately, hiring independent lawyers can help ensure fairness and provide additional advice during this tumultuous time in your lives.

Is it Possible to Resolve all Issues in Divorce Mediation?

It can be an effective way to resolve all the issues that arise during a divorce. It is a process where both parties, as well as their lawyers if they choose to have them present, come together and work through their differences to reach an agreement on any outstanding matters.

Generally, the mediator will act as a neutral third party who helps facilitate negotiations between the two sides. So Yes, it can indeed tackle all issues that pop up during a divorce. Here’s how:

  • Team Effort: Both parties, and their lawyers if they’ve got them, work out their differences together to agree on stuff like who gets what and who looks after the kids.
  • Middleman Magic: The mediator doesn’t take sides. They’re there to help both parties resolve their differences and reach an agreement.
  • Stay in the Driver’s Seat: This option allows couples to call the shots in their divorce, avoiding the cost and time of court battles.
  • Talk It Out: Tough topics? No problem. Mediation can help sort out things like child custody and who gets the family car, all without setting foot in a courtroom.
  • Private Matters Stay Private: Since it’s all done away from the public eye, it can help keep things amicable post-divorce.

In short, mediation is a solid choice for those wanting to settle their divorce calmly, make their own decisions, and keep things as friendly as possible for the future.

What happens if Parties cannot reach an Agreement?

There are times when the parties cannot reach an agreement through mediation. What happens next depends on several factors.

One factor is the type of dispute being mediated. If the dispute concerns a financial issue, such as property division or alimony payments, the mediator usually suggests that binding arbitration might be the best way to resolve the matter. On the other hand, if child custody or visitation rights are in dispute, further counselling is usually recommended for both parents so they can come to an understanding of what is best for their children.

Sometimes, even with the best efforts, mediation doesn’t end in an agreement. Here’s what could happen next:

  • Type of Dispute Matters:

    • Money Issues: For disagreements about things like who gets what or alimony, binding arbitration (another kind of negotiation outside court) might be suggested.
    • Kids Involved: If it’s about who the children live with or visit, more talks or counseling could be the way to go, helping parents figure out the best for their children.
  • Willingness to Compromise:

    • Standing Firm: If one person won’t budge, it might be time for arbitration or even court to decide.
    • Open to Talk: But, if both are willing to find middle ground, there’s still hope to settle without going to court.
  • What’s Next? Even if arbitration is needed, it’s crucial to remember that how you move forward after mediation fails is up to both parties. Disagreements might happen, but the goal remains to find a fair solution for everyone.

In essence, the path after unsuccessful mediation varies, influenced by the dispute’s nature and the parties’ openness to compromise. The key is seeking a resolution that respects everyone’s interests, with or without a judge’s involvement.

Take the first step:

Let’s talk about you.

We offer no obligation, free 1hr consultations to people like you. Let’s talk about your situation. Really.