Areas of Practice

MEDIATION
 

MEDIATION-ARBITRATION
 

ARBITRATION
 

PARENTING COORDINATION
 

TRAINING, EDUCATION & HIGH CONFLICT COACHING

 

TRAINING

I will be offering a series of professional development and continuing education workshops to lawyers, family dispute resolution professionals and mental health professionals. The workshops will focus on practice issues.

EDUCATION

Access to justice requires access to information. Parents need reliable information and knowledge about legal rights and obligations and the implications of choosing different options, whether relating to the process of resolving disputes or the terms of agreement.

When parents have access to reliable information, they are able to make informed decisions for their family. Informed decisions lead to better outcomes. People who actively participate in creating resolutions are more likely to respect their Agreement, arrangement or court order.

I will be delivering a series of workshop for parents to provide them with the information that they need to make informed decisions about the issues they need to address as a result of separation and divorce. The workshops are not intended to replace legal advice or access to family dispute resolution processes like mediation, arbitration, collaborative family law or parenting coordination. The workshops are designed to provide parents with information that they may use to create options for their own families.

HIGH CONFLICT COACHING

High conflict between separated parents is damaging to the entire family. It creates enormous ongoing stress and anxiety and impacts everyone’s day-to-day functioning.

We know that children are severely impacted by conflict between their parents. It interferes with important brain development, impacts their physical and emotional health, may impair learning and can result in serious lifelong challenges.

Over the course of my 32 year career in family law, I have worked as a lawyer on the front lines in the family court system, representing parents in high conflict custody and child protection proceedings. Over the most recent 12 years, I have also had the benefit of working with parents as a mediator, arbitrator and parenting coordinator. In all of these dispute resolution processes, I work with both parents (at times individually and at times together.)

Two of the most important things that I have learned over the course of my career are that nobody really likes conflict, even when they appear to feed on it and everyone has the capacity to learn skills that will help them better understand and manage conflict.

Those parents who already work with me know how passionate I am about the cost of separation. Separating families already face the challenge of maintaining two homes on the income(s) previously required to maintain one. To watch parents spend thousands and thousands of dollars fighting is nothing short of shocking. The longer I practice, the more passionate I become about this issue. After having worked with thousands of parents and witnessing an incredible escalation in cost over the past decade, to the point where the average Canadian family cannot afford legal fees, I am absolutely determined to teach parents a healthier and more cost-effective way to resolve conflict so that they keep their money in their families, where it belongs.

In my mediation work, I have the opportunity to watch the dynamic between high conflict parents unfold in my presence. In those moments, I am able to coach parents through the conflict by teaching them how to view it less personally and more neutrally. I am also able to teach parents specific skills to help them navigate their own conflict. Without a doubt, everyone has the ability to change their own reaction to the behaviour of others. It takes time and practice. It is achievable. When both parents are invested in learning the skills necessary to shift the dynamic, they achieve success. I know that because I witness success every day.

Accordingly, in addition to my work as a mediator, arbitrator, parenting coordinator and trainer, I will now be offering coaching services. Coaching will be provided through a series of workshops for parents designed to educate and empower them.

Well informed parents make better decisions for themselves and their children. They process their grief about the separation differently and recover more quickly. They spend less money and negotiate better Agreements. Better Agreements are more likely to be respected and followed. Families are healthier and better off financially.

For more information about upcoming workshops, please see my events calendar.