Mediation and Arbitration
Mediation is a process that involves hiring a neutral third-party mediator to facilitate and assist negotiations. It is possible to mediate all financial and parenting issues in a family law matter. Mediation is a flexible process, through which parties are able to creatively form solutions uniquely suited to their issues.
In arbitration, a neutral third-party hears from both parties involved in a dispute, then makes a legally binding decision to resolve the issue.
Both mediation and arbitration are confidential and discrete processes, which offer parties more control over the process, and offer a more timely resolution than traditional litigation. Our firm provides representation for lawyer-assisted mediation and arbitration, and Andrea Duncan is a certified Mediator who can be that neutral third-party mediator in your mediation process. We also provide independent legal advice to parties who have attended mediation without counsel, to ensure they fully understand the legal rights and responsibilities before signing an agreement.
Mediate BC – What is Mediation
Government of Canada – Fact Sheet on Family Dispute Resolution
Government of B.C. – Mediation and Arbitration
Advocacy | Litigation
When family law issues cannot be settled by agreement, our team of experienced litigators provides representation in court to seek resolution of disputes related to property division, parenting arrangements, child and spousal maintenance, and all other matters arising from the breakdown of your relationship. At each step of the process, we will help you understand and navigate your rights and obligations, court process and rules, procedures and investigations.
COLLABORATIVE FAMILY LAW
We represent clients within the collaborative family law process. The collaborative law process is an alternative to traditional litigation that requires both parties and their lawyers to make a binding commitment to work together, rather than as adversaries, with the assistance a team of experts selected based on your needs to create lasting solutions. The goal is to settle your case fairly, amicably, and cost-effectively, without going to court.
Jill McMillan and Samantha de Wit are trained collaborative lawyers who can assist clients through the collaborative process.
Collaborative Law Resources
Collaborative Family Separation Professionals (Victoria, B.C.)
If you are planning to cohabit or marry, we are skilled and experienced at drafting cohabitation and marriage agreements. These contracts specify how family property and debt will be dealt with in the event of a future separation, and are designed to protect and preserve assets, enabling partners to maintain separate property even after they live together or marry.
If your relationship is ending, we work with you to negotiate and draft a contract that reflects the agreements you and your former spouse have made addressing the division of family property and family debt, parenting arrangements, child and spousal support, and all other matters arising from the breakdown of your relationship.
After all parenting and financial issues arising from the breakdown of a marriage are resolved, we assist you to obtain an order for divorce. Ask about our flat-fee desk order divorce packages.
When your family is growing by adoption, we guide you and represent you through the process.
When a family is growing through the use of reproductive technologies, we provide representation and advice to intended parents, surrogates, or donors.
A family transition often necessitates revised estate planning and real estate transactions. Jill McMillan is pleased to assist with these services for our existing family law clients, or to refer our clients to other professionals to assist with these services.