General Family Issues

Families are dynamic ever evolving systems that are impacted by the individual family members and the environment around them. This gives rise to change and trauma that can result in conflict within the family unit.  Each family is unique, as are the conflicts that may arise.

We are here to provide assistance in resolving these conflicts using a trauma informed problem-solving approach.  If your particular issue is not listed in our services or areas of practice, please reach out to us to see if we can be of assistance.  Examples of unnamed conflicts that may arise are parent-teen conflict, contact with extended family members [ie: grandparents, aunts, uncles,…] etc.

Decision Making & Parenting

Parents separating are governed by the Canada Divorce Act [as updated in 2021] if they are married or the Alberta Family Law Act [current to 2021] if they were not married.  Decision-making and parenting schedules are incredibly important as they affect the parents, children, and ultimately each parents’ financial situation.  It is important to understand the needs of the children, the parents concerns and the dynamics of the interaction between the parents and their children.

Our practitioners have decades of experience in helping families to navigate changes and move forward in a positive and supportive way, while respecting the best interests of the children.

Child & Spousal Support

Understanding the financial aspects of families separating is very important.

Child support is governed by the Federal Child Support Guidelines [FCSG], and they are the law in Canada.  Child support is generally related to the parenting schedule and how much time children spend in each parent’s care.  There are some exceptions to this, related to each parent’s income and ability to support themselves and their children.  Also, if the parents do not live in the same province that complicates matters further.

Spousal support is often but not always influenced by the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines [SSAG]

 As SSAG is not the law in Canada they are not always followed by Courts or Arbitrators.  It depends on the situation and facts of each case.  This is one of the most difficult areas for legal counsel to advise their clients on, and accordingly it is also difficult to mediate or arbitrate on this issue without extensive experience in this area.  Even working solely as a mediator, it is always important to understand the area you are working in, because any agreement that is unconscionable will not be supported by the courts if one party decides to challenge or enforce the agreement through the courts.

While our ADR practitioners do not offer legal advice there is an educational component to our ADR practice, base upon the decades of legal and ADR experience they have.  We want agreements reached between our participants to be enforceable if that becomes necessary.

Matrimonial & Common-Law Property Issues

In Alberta the Alberta Family Property Act [June 2021] is now the governing legislation.  It takes over from the old Alberta Matrimonial Property Act, for any couple separating after January 1, 2020.  Dividing a family’s property is most often a complex task that involves an understanding of personal and business assets, some of which are taxable and some of which are not.  Treating all assets the same can result in financial errors involving tens of thousands of dollars.  Taxable assets are not as easily accessible as non-taxable ones and the cost of accessing taxable assets can be significant.  In choosing an ADR professional to mediate or arbitrate family property matters it is essential to choose someone that understands these areas.

In some cases, that involve specialized assets or are extremely complicated it is also important to know one’s limitations and when to involve an expert to better assist the parties.  This could be an accountant, a business evaluator or some other expert that will help the parties to understand the issues surrounding that asset so that a fully informed decision can be made.

Our ADR professionals have extensive experience in assisting parties in dealing with their financial matters and knowing when to reach out to experts for assistance.

Adult Guardianship & Trusteeship

Conflict should not be allowed to tear families apart.  It can be difficult to deal with the competing opinions and interests when a loved one has or needs to have a guardian or trustee appointed.  Whether you need someone to mediate with families or facilities or to coach you through that process, our practitioners approach each challenge in a compassionate manner and can assist you and the dependent adult in moving forward in a confident and healthy way.

Wills / Estates / Trusts

When disputes arise in wills and estate matters it adds considerable stress to an already difficult time.  Mediation provides an opportunity for parties to meet in a confidential setting with a neutral mediator to resolve the areas of disagreement without the delay, stress and cost of the litigation process.  The parties involved will usually have an ongoing relationship and the mediation process can help to repair and strengthen those relationships by assisting parties to resolve their issues.

Elder Mediation

Elder Mediators are professionally trained in Elder Mediation theories and practices and adhere to the Code of Ethics for Elder Mediators.  The Elder Mediation process utilizes a person centered strength based approach that may involve many different parties including: the older person, caregivers, family members, friends, and professionals. Prior to the mediation being scheduled an initial discussion takes place with each participant separately.  This provides an opportunity for the Elder Mediator to explain the mediation process and to have a conversation to help to prepare the participants to come together for mediation.  Although the focus is on the older person, the approach is person centered and it is inclusive and respectful of all participants.  Elder Mediation has a preventative aspect where the mediation is able to assist the parties to have discussions about a number of different issues before a conflict arises and to assist the participants to reach a resolution.  This process can also be beneficial to help the family and other participants to repair and strengthen their relationships.

This list is not exhaustive but some of issues mediated in Elder Mediation may include the following:

-retirement, driving, housing and living arrangements, health care planning, medical decisions, nursing home decisions, safety and environment, abuse and neglect, care for the caregiver as well as caregiver burden, relationship concerns (this includes inter generational relationships as well as new marriages and step-family situations), religious issues, holiday schedules, financial concerns, estate issues (wills, power of attorneys, personal health directives), family business, guardianship and end of life issues.

The fees for Elder Mediation are determined on a case by case basis. 

Personal Injury

Our goal is to help individuals and businesses to resolve their differences in a  safe and supportive environment . . . 

Civil / Business / Commercial

Our goal is to help individuals and businesses to resolve their differences in a  safe and supportive environment . . .