Relationship breakdown is hard on everyone… Family Mediation is a way out

The disillusionment and distress of separation is one of the most difficult things a person has to deal with in their lifetime. If you’ve separated from your spouse, I’m sure you have questions about what your life will look like and how to move forward.

Married couple sitting in their living room, feeling frustrated and like they don’t know what to do. Mediation is a way out.
Mother and daughter joined at the hands with arms outstretched, spinning around in play. Mother is imagining what life could be like after a family mediation process.

During separation it can be hard to see what the future looks like.

When clients first call, they are often anxious for the mediation to be over with. They may feel caught between the conflict in their life and the anticipated hurt of family separation, and they don’t know how to start talking about it.

Family mediation could be the breakthrough, but is it right for you?

The Aligned Choices approach to family mediation supports the healing process. I will give you a voice so that what you really care about will be addressed. 

For separating parents, our sessions will be child focused to ensure their well being. All clients who are seeking spousal support and property settlements will be able to discuss their needs, what they contributed to the relationship, the hardships they endured, and the fairness of proposed resolutions.

Mother and son sitting on a grassy mountainside on a sunny day, lots of trees and a blue sky in the distance.

Keep your
costs down

Save thousands by staying out of court. My services fees are available as bundled options. All retainer fees are split equally between parties.

Get your
time back

Court based services have substantial wait times. And after the wait, a judge makes a ruling that is completely out of your hands.

Have your views heard

The deeper meaning behind what you care about is not relevant in court. Giving space for your feelings is an important part of my family mediations.

 Picture of Richard Brydson Accredited Family Mediator and Divorce Coach

Break through impasse – find the best solution for your family

I have a proven track record of seeing through impasse and in helping people turn moments of uncertainty into self-confidence. I want my clients to know that what they care about will be given space in the mediation, and that our conversations will help them (re)define their future.

All avenues of discussion are always voluntary, and participants are encouraged to trust my suggestions so that the energy currently used for the conflict can over time be directed towards their goals.

Two family mediation sessions are often all you and your partner need to find lasting resolutions 

During a brief call, we will speak about your current situation and your goals to determine how my approach to family mediation will help you reach an agreement outside of court. 

Rather than wait for a judge to review the facts of your case and reach a final decision for you, family mediation empowers couples to reach a mutually beneficial agreement on their own terms.

Mother and son sitting on a grassy mountainside on a sunny day, lots of trees and a blue sky in the distance.

This is what divorce mediation will look like at Aligned Choices

Step One
– Individual Sessions 

First, I will meet with you privately. I will ask questions, as well as answer any you have. Telling me what you’re seeking and why will allow me to better focus on finding workable solutions ahead of the joint sessions.

Man contemplates his feelings and thinks over what is most important for him and his children ahead of his first mediation service meeting.
During their separation mediation session, the two spouses collaborate on finding workable solutions for their family and see what it feels like to be co-parents for the first time.

Step Two
– Joint Sessions 

We will then all meet in the first joint mediation session. I will lead the discussions and balance the needs for freedom of expression and for providing a safe space. I will bring up each topic, respond to each party’s concerns in a manner that encourages curiosity, and guide the conversation toward lasting resolutions.

Step Three
– Agreement Drafting

We will continue with the joint meetings until all subjects in need of attention are covered. Afterwards, I will write up a list of all the points of agreement and give you both a copy or send it to your family lawyer.

Family mediator Richard Brydson gets to work writing up the agreements made by the new co-parent during Mediation.
Two co-parents get to play with their children after they have done the work they needed for their families future. Two children are playing while each riding on their parents' back.

Step Four
Agreement Signing

I recommend that you speak to a family lawyer and receive advice as we go through these steps together. If you did not consult one before the negotiations, you still have a chance  to do so before you sign a legally binding separation agreement.

Step Five
Move Forward

At this stage you will have the framework for your co-parenting responsibilities, including how you have agreed to communicate with one another, what needs to be discussed, and when. The agreement will need to be revised as your children grow up. Follow up calls and sessions within the first year are normal, and returning to family mediation is always a good option when renegotiating parenting time or decision making priorities before your children become teens or start their post-secondary education.

 Having finished with the divorce mediation, a father plays with his son and a favorite toy

Aligned Choices has a proven track record of seeing through impasse and helping people turn moments of uncertainty into self-confidence.

I strive to inspire confidence in my clients that what they care about will be received by me with understanding and acceptance, and that our conversations will help them achieve their goals.


Two co-parents who have moved through the impasses in their relationship are sharing a dance in the living room with their daughter.
Richard is a calm and empathetic mediator. He is truly able to see many perspectives and bring multiple sides closer in an efficient and respectful way. Highly recommended!


Richard is a good listener. He’s also thoughtful, insightful, level-headed, warm, fair, and compassionate – all qualities useful in tending to people in times of difficulty. The bonus is his sense of humor. Richard can see the lighter side of most situations, even tough ones, and that’s a gift.


Richard Brydson’s mediation skills are second to none. His understanding and empathy were immensely reassuring. I highly recommend him.


Transparent levels of Support – Enough to meet your needs

Plan A total below indicates the minimum each party pays. Plan B is offered at a flat rate. During your free consultation I will confirm which plan suits your needs.

Plan A

If matters are relatively straightforward and you only need one joint mediation session, this hourly rate plan will work best.


1-to-1: $200

Individual session

+7 hrs: $1400

Mediation services

Total: $1600

Price per person.

Plan B

If you have children or there are many other important support or property issues to work through, this flat rate plan is the better option.


1-to-1: $200

Individual session

12+ hrs: $2400

Mediation services

Total: $2600

Price per person.

Purchase 90 minute intake session

Book a free 15 minute consultation

People going through separation often feel overwhelmed at times and have many questions. Here are some answers to get you started…

Will mediation work for me?

Mediation can work for many people, you need not be separating on amicable terms to feel the full benefits of a family mediation process. Many couples are only struggling on a few issues, my role will be to notice where your strengths are and build on them.

Even if you are experiencing chronic conflict and have considerable challenges maintaining a collaborative mindset, my experience helping  couples like yours deal with strong positions and emotions involves direct and caring communication. Be heard and discover that you have the energy and resources to resolve things without the family courts.

Why choose family mediation?

It is less expensive and more importantly a non-adversarial process. Family mediation keeps you focused on positive end results, particularly, where your children are concerned.

As a mediator, I will help you plan and understand your new roles as co-parents and with the support of a collaborative divorce team working to provide comprehensive services you will be able to make the right parenting, and financial decisions for the long term. 

I’m committed to helping you and your spouse find peace of mind and security for your family.

What is Collaborative Divorce?

I have found that the best approach to help the families move forward with a Collaborative Divorce Process. The mediator, lawyers, financial neutral, and/or social worker will work as a team, each focusing on our area of specialty to help you reach a final comprehensive agreement.

We want you to feel done after the process is complete. Our goal is to ensure that the agreements you reach are lasting and you have a clear understanding about how you will move forward after the separation agreement is signed.

When is mediation not recommended?

If there has been a history of domestic violence or a power imbalance between you, you could still qualify for a modified mediation process. I screen partners separately before we get started to confirm that mediation is appropriate and to ensure your safety during the process .

If you have concerns about your spouse, please speak with me about your experiences, and we can decide together how best to help you move forward.

My former spouse does not agree to mediation.

Mediation is a completely voluntary process. If your spouse refuses to enter the process after you and I have attempted to gain their buy-in, I will discuss your options with you based on the specifics of your case. 

If they don’t want to negotiate or even talk about formalizing the separation you are not automatically headed for a court battle. There are several steps before that and some people reconsider their resistances when they discover your resolve to move forward, and that fighting will only cost them more money and time away from the kids.

Do I need a lawyer if I choose mediation?

Although not required, it is important for you to have independent legal advice throughout the process. Your lawyer will ensure that you are clear on your rights and obligations before you make your final choices.

What is a parenting plan?

A parenting plan is a set of agreements that two parents develop together. It incorporates details about how much time each of you will spend with the kids, how you’ll split certain  holidays, extra-curricular expenses, or discuss travel arrangements, etc.

I can help you develop a comprehensive parenting plan, by providing the information to assist you with decision making, and suggesting ways to communicate about  parenting issues.

It is always my goal to help you reach an amicable, balanced arrangement that will work for you and your children.

Can the things we discuss in mediation be used in court?

The mediations I offer are “closed” and confidential. This means that what you say (with certain limited exceptions) cannot be used by you, your spouse or a mediator in court. 

During your intake  session, I will introduce the mediation agreement that will exist between you and your spouse during our discussions. This agreement will be signed and firmly in place before we negotiate so that the rules and expectations are clear.