In an attempt to simplify family law, Saskatchewan will soon be implementing new legislation directed towards divorce and separation.
Soon, it will be required to attempt to resolve family law issues outside of the court process first, using mediation, collaborative services, parent coordination, or arbitration.
Local chartered Mediator and member of ADR Saskatchewan Clive Tolley on the purpose of mediation.
"Once they decided that their marriage or relationship is not going to continue, or at least their living arrangement, then they seek out a mediator or another helping professional to assist with trying to come up with the terms of an interspousal agreement. Or some people call it a legal separation agreement. Which would dictate the terms of who's going to look after the children, how are visitations going to be done, how they are going to divide up the assets they've accumulated together, and what kinds of things will be filed with the court."
Tolley said this decision has been spoken of many times in the past, and it's main goal is to free up the court system.
"Whenever somebody from the ministry of justice has spoken to any of the conferences that I've been to they talk about the back log and the court system and addressing that requires new legislation where people agree to keep these disputes out of court and settling the issues between them. Then file the appropriate papers with the ministry of justice. So it's going to save court time and help people."
Mediation or another type of assistance, allows people to make their own decisions about how their own relationships are going to end and how the children will be cared for, said Tolley.
"Where as the court may make a decision that the parties aren't happy with perhaps. So the big advantage is that the parties get to make the decision about how it will be handled. When the parties have that control, it gives a better agreement in the end for everybody."
The province’s goal is to review legislation and find ways to reduce costs, delays, and encourage the earlier resolution of disputes, there by saving the court time, and being a more effective way of dealing with family law situations.