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

The disappointment of separation and divorce 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 from here on.

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?

Mediation supports the healing process and addresses what parties really care about and not just their positions; It gives you a voice, and most importantly keeps the focus on your children’s well-being.

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 to that meaning is an important part of my 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 feel confident that what they care about will be received by me with understanding and acceptance, and that our conversations will help them achieve their goals.

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 chosen path.

A series of mediation sessions that help you and your partner find lasting resolutions 

During a brief call, we can speak about your current situation and your goals to determine if mediation will help you and your spouse 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, 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 mediation will look like at Aligned Choices

Step One
– Individual Sessions 

First, I will meet with each of you separately. You will each describe what you care about and offer potential solutions to resolve shared issues. I will ask questions, as well as answer any you have, in order to be able to focus on finding workable solutions.

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 independent expression with  providing a safe space. I will bring up each topic in a way that will help you both find new avenues through known conversations. The choice of how to move forward will rest with you and your spouse.

Step Three
– Agreement Drafting

We may need more than one session to cover all the subjects that require attention. Once we have finished talking, I will write up a list of all the points of agreement and give you both a copy.

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 take these steps together. If you did not consult one until this stage, you will need to do so now in order for a legally binding separation agreement to be created.

Step Five
Move Forward

At this stage you will have the framework for your co-parenting responsibilities, how you have agreed to communicate with one another, what needs to be discussed and when. The agreement will likely need to be revised as your children grow up. Follow up calls and sessions within the first year are normal after many separation processes, and returning to mediation is always a good option.

 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.

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 to help their actions become more aligned with 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!

R.D

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.

R.H

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

M.M

Transparent levels of Support – Enough to meet your needs

Prices indicate what each party pays – one individual session and half of the joint retainer. After our first session I will let you both know which plan suits your needs. *All prices include applicable taxes. I don’t charge extra for calls or emails between us.

Family
Mediation
Plan A

If the matters are relatively straightforward, you and your spouse may only need a single joint session.

Included:

1-to-1: $250

Individual session

+2 hrs: $500

Mediation services

Total: $750

Price per person

Family
Mediation
Plan B

If there are many important issues to be worked out, we may need at least two sessions.

Included:

1-to-1: $250

Individual session

+4 hrs: $1000

Mediation services

Total: $1250

Price per person

Family
Mediation
Plan C

With high level of complexity it’s recommended that we take the time to plan for the long-term.

Included:

1-to-1: $250

Individual session

+8 hrs: $2000

Mediation services

Total: $2250

Price per person

Book 1hr mediation intake session

Book a free 15 minute consultation

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Free consultations are available....

– I value honest and direct communication which takes effort and can be hard to make the first attempt. Find the clarity on whether mediation can help you move forward during our first conversation.

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?

Each person describes a matter from their own point of view and offers a potential solution. The mediator helps the parties focus on the issues causing the problem so that workable and mutually satisfying resolutions are found.

If one party is a more experienced negotiator, mediation helps balance the power. When couples express hurt, fear or anger, mediators talk about the needs being expressed with those feelings. They reframe the issue to help the couple focus on a mutually acceptable solution. 

Mediation can work for many clients, and I take my responsibility to manage and guide you and your spouse to lasting resolutions. The way in which you and your partner interact with the process and the decisions you make together are your own.

Why choose mediation?

It is less expensive, more efficient, and less contentious than our court system. More importantly though, 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 will work in concert with other experts, such as child and financial specialists, appraisers, and valuators.

I will work hard to ensure that both of you get continual and relevant guidance. I’m committed to helping you and your spouse find peace of mind and security for your family.

When is mediation not recommended?

If there has been a history of domestic violence or a power imbalance between you, your case could still be mediated. I screen partners separately first, to make sure that both can work productively and safely during mediation.

If you have concerns about this, please consult with your lawyer or with me about whether or not your issues can be mediated.

My former spouse does not agree to mediation?

Mediation is completely voluntary. Because it is not mandated by law, if a party refuses to enter the process, you will have to resolve the issues between you via the courts. 

Having said this, after entering the court system, it is possible they will recognize the limitations and damage that it could produce. After this revelation, mediation is still an option!

Do I still need a lawyer if I choose mediation?

This is strongly recommended. It is important for you to have independent legal advice throughout the process, and especially, before you sign your separation agreement. Your lawyer should ensure that you are clear on your rights and obligations, and how the law will affect your choices.

What is a parenting plan?

A parenting plan is an agreement that the two of you develop together. It incorporates details about how much time each of you will spend with the kids, how you’ll split the holidays, travel arrangements, child support, extra-curricular expenses, and anything else you both feel is important to include.

I can help you develop a parenting plan, provide information to assist with decision making, and suggest ways to communicate around parenting.

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 our first 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, so that we are all clear about the rules and expectations.