Experience             Integrity             Results

Family Law Mediation

Sometimes, separating spouses want to talk to each other about how to deal with parenting, financial or both issues, but choose to speak to each other through lawyers, because direct communication is just too difficult. While every separating spouse needs independent legal advice from a lawyer about their rights and obligations arising from separation, it may not be necessary for a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf throughout the whole discussion process. That’s where mediation comes in.

As a mediator, Ms. Herriot-Howes would not provide legal advice to you or to your former spouse. Her role in this process is to be a neutral and impartial communication facilitator. Ms. Herriot-Howes is trained and experienced in assisting separating spouses to overcome communication barriers that stand in the way of solutions as they meet to discuss resolution. She encourages the former spouses’ lawyers to become part of the team right from the beginning of the process. That way, both you and your former spouse are able to make informed suggestions and choices as you travel the path of mediation with ultimate agreement as the destination. The mediation process is a voluntary process. No decision will be made on your behalf or on behalf of your former spouse. If there is no agreement, there is simply no agreement. You may terminate the mediation at any time if you feel that it is no longer suitable for you.

If an agreement in principle is reached, Ms. Herriot-Howes prepares a summary called a “Memorandum of Understanding” which is not legally binding. Each person must then take a copy of the document to his or her lawyer to receive independent legal advice. It is then up to the lawyers to draft the final document and ensure that it is legally binding.