FAMILY MEDIATION SERVICES
Separation and divorce causes a great deal of stress and worry because of all of the uncertainty it brings. Most people worry, Where will I live? Can I afford to keep the house? When will I see my kids? How will I make ends meet? There’s a lot to think about, but in my experience, hiring lawyers to fight about it only makes the stress worse and quickly drains your bank account.
Family mediation gives you the chance to meet and decide for yourselves what you want your family’s future to look like. It’s hard work – and there will be compromises – but by the end of the session, your questions will be answered, and the path forward will be clear.
WHAT I DO
I am both a family mediator and a family lawyer, so I have a combined role. As a family mediator, I am able to work with you and your spouse to figure out a plan that works for your family. I help you communicate with each other to make sure you both feel heard, and I help you get through those tricky points of conflict.
Because I'm also a family lawyer, I provide you with legal information and guidance while you have your discussion. I make sure that you’re thinking about all the important legal issues, explain things from a legal perspective, and help you understand the impact of the choices you are making. When the mediation is over, I will draft the final separation agreement in neutral language for both of you, which can only be done by a lawyer.
I am a lawyer and family mediator practicing exclusively in the area of family law in Victoria, British Columbia. Through my practice as a family lawyer, I watched families go through separation and divorce and, in doing so, exhaust themselves emotionally and financially. The adversarial process can be very expensive and time consuming and it can destroy families because of increased animosity and stress. I did not like the role I had as a lawyer because I often felt that I was perpetuating that animosity and furthering a destructive process.
The reality is that parents must continue to talk about their children’s medical appointments, attend soccer games, and sit beside one another years down the road at their child’s graduation ceremony. Those without children may also be motivated to maintain an amicable relationship. Any separation process should be able to fairly deal with the legal issues, but in a way that supports and empowers people to transition constructively into the post-separation plan they make for themselves.
This is why after 10 years of practicing as a regular family lawyer, I quit my job at the downtown family law firm I was working for, and I started doing things a bit differently. By shifting the focus of the separation away from it being a fight about the past and onto it being about a plan to move forward, as a family mediator, I feel like I am helping people through their separation in a positive way.
I obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary in 2001 and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Victoria in 2005. I have practiced family law exclusively since I was called to the British Columbia bar in 2006. I am member of the Law Society of British Columbia and an accredited Family Law Mediator through the Law Society of British Columbia. After hundreds of hours of training to help mediate in separation and divorce situations, I became a member of the Civil and Family Rosters of Mediate BC. I have facilitated hundreds of mediations and helped many families in British Columbia move forward without a legal battle.
I have streamlined an approach to resolving family law matters, where the parties create their own plan for their family’s future with the benefit of having a lawyer guide the process and draft the resulting agreement. By combining these services and doing it together, it takes less time, costs far less money, and is tailored to your family's needs. The whole process is designed to take about 4 weeks and cost a fraction of hiring two separate lawyers.
The mediation itself is casual. It is an opportunity to have a real conversation with the intention to plan how you and your family will move forward. As a family lawyer, I can provide legal information to help you make decisions. I keep the conversation visual, child focused, and future oriented, so that you use your time well.
Of course, emotions run high in family matters. I facilitate the communication between you and your spouse without destroying the relationship in the process. The reality is that most separating couples do not have the luxury of severing ties with their former spouse. After the separation and divorce is complete, parents still need to communicate about their kids and make decisions together. I hope the mediation will be a solid and positive foundation for moving your family forward beyond the separation.
You each meet with me individually to assess your circumstances, figure out what needs to be resolved, and discuss what we need for the joint session to be a success.
GATHERING DOCUMENTS AND INFORMATION
You need to have a good handle on your situation and your options before you come into make a plan. So, you'll want to gather documents to share and other information and advice.
MEET TOGETHER IN THE MEDIATION
It's really more of a planning session for your family. I will facilitate the discussion and help you make sure you're thinking about everything and considering the law.
I will draft a legal Separation Agreement for you. I make sure to use common legal language so that it's familiar to all professionals that read it, and I also write it neutrally to reflect the joint planning you did.
LEGAL ADVICE AND SIGNING
You'll get a copy of your Separation Agreement and all the supporting documents and calculations used in mediation. I always recommend getting legal advice before you sign it.
Rebecca Alleyne Family Law Mediation
201 - 1842 Oak Bay Avenue
Victoria, BC V8R 5W5
PARKING: There is a Robbins Parking lot on our block of Oak Bay Avenue with a rate of $1/hour. Alternatively, there is street parking on Oak Bay Avenue and the surrounding side streets. Keep in mind, our pre-mediation meetings are around one hour, but mediations are generally too long for street parking ... and they do check!