A recent study has confirmed what B.C. mediators have been saying for the past decade. Mediation of divorce and separation issues is effective, affordable, and timely. The survey by Mediate BC canvassed family law lawyer/mediators across the province. It found that province-wide 81% of divorce and separation mediations resolved all issues and another 17% resolved some issues, for a total of 98% having some success at mediation. With those kinds of results it is surprising that all couples, in appropriate cases, don’t try to resolve their family issues through mediation prior to taking other steps. The average satisfaction rate with the mediation process was 93% across the province. In addition, the average satisfaction rate with the outcome of the mediation was 85%. The satisfaction rate of participants in an adversarial process is a fraction of that reported in mediation.

Another recent survey highlights how much money families can save by pursuing the mediation process. The total mediation fees across British Columbia were less than $2000 (these are fees for the mediation meetings, and do not include the cost of a separation agreement or a divorce). These costs are usually shared between the parties, so that the individual cost is significantly less. Meanwhile, a Canadian lawyer magazine survey shows that the average cost for a 2-day family law trial is $29,000. That is a startling difference (mediation being approximately 20% of the cost of a trial).

Having been a mediator in British Columbia for 30 years, the results of this survey are completely consistent with the experience of our clients over the years. Mediation of divorce and separation issues in British Columbia has been, and remains, a smart choice for couples to come to an agreement, put the dispute behind them, and move ahead with their lives in a collaborative manner.

For details about mediation and the other new processes available in British Columbia for resolving family disputes, please see our website at www.Resolution-Law.ca.

Doug Chalke

November 4, 2014

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