Leigh is a trained Mediator, Arbitrator, and Parenting Coordinator. She offers the following dispute resolution services as alternatives, or complements, to traditional litigation.
Family Mediation, or Divorce Mediation, is a voluntary negotiation process, where an impartial mediator assists the parties in reaching agreements. The Mediator does not impose a resolution, but instead creates a process that allows parties to jointly resolve their concerns in a way that is safe for everyone (legally, emotionally, and physically safe).
Mediation is well suited to deal with a broad range of family issues, some of which are:
Parties may attend mediation with or without their own lawyers. It is best for the parties to obtain legal advice throughout the process, even if the lawyers do not plan to attend the meditation sessions. The mediator does not act as a lawyer, and will not provide legal advice to the parties.
If the parties sign a Mediation-Arbitration agreement before the process begins, Mediation may be combined with Arbitration, for a "Med-Arb" process.
Family Arbitration, or Divorce Arbitration, is a private adjudication process in which an Arbitrator, after hearing and considering evidence, makes decisions that the parties are bound to follow. Family Arbitration is often quicker, more flexible, and less expensive, than going to Court. Parties are able to choose their decision maker, and the process is confidential. However, Family Arbitration is not for everyone. We require that parties obtain independent legal advice before proceeding with Arbitration or Med-Arb.
Parenting Coordination is a process that assists parents with contentious day to day issues relating to their children. Parenting Coordination is often used by parents who have a moderate to high conflict relationship, and who have trouble reaching agreement on issues that need resolution but may not warrant litigation. Parties enter into an agreement with the Parenting Coordinator for a period of time (usually 24 months), during which the Parenting Coordinator is retained to assist, coach, mediate, and potentially arbitrate, disputes relating to Parenting Agreements or Orders which are already in place. Parenting Coordination is not the first stop for developing a plan for the children, rather it is to assist parents in resolving subsequent or ongoing disputes in a way that minimizes conflict between them and reduces the impact on the children. Parenting Coordination is a significant commitment, and we require that parties obtain independent legal advice before proceeding.