Welcome to Teryl Scott Lawyers Inc., a Halifax family law practice.
Our family lawyers and divorce lawyers are here to provide easy and affordable legal separations.
Traditional divorces can be filled with conflict. Legal teams battle for tactical advantage. Legal fees accumulate and life savings dwindle. Children struggle to understand. Emotional damage can be extensive.
We do it differently.
Divorcing Well™ Family Law Mediation
Our family law mediators focus on minimizing harm to family relationships and maximizing fair outcomes. Divorcing Well™ mediations are completed in five weeks. Making it the most cost-effective and legally sophisticated way of resolving separation and divorce conflicts, without breaking the bank.
We work for separating couples who prefer to focus on their future. Who want to minimize emotional damage to themselves, their children and their families.
Our family lawyers developed Divorcing Well,™ as an easier and more affordable divorce solution for Nova Scotians.
We have been trusted as a Halifax family law firm for 25 years. Our core values assist families in their pursuit of fair and reasonable outcomes in cost-effective ways.
* The outcome of Divorcing Well™ mediation is a separation agreement. This separation agreement is the foundation for an uncontested divorce.
Each party works with their independent divorce lawyer to sign the agreement and receive a Certificate of Independent Legal Advice.
With these documents, the parties avoid spending time battling in court over a contested divorce. When the parties have been separated for a year, they then can have the Divorcing Well™ legal mediator then draft the divorce documents and share this cost too.
Family Lawyer Services
- Divorcing Well™ mediations
- Legal coaching for those who want to represent themselves, strategic support and guidance for negotiations or court
- Uncontested Divorces
- Separation Agreements
- Cohabitation Agreements (Cohab)
- Prenuptial Agreements (Prenup)
- Child Custody and Parenting Plans
Get Your Free Consultation
Call, text (902-233-6660) or email senior legal counsel, Lisa Teryl, to start your process. We’re here to listen to your legal issues and resolve them fairly, efficiently and cost-effectively.
Divorce Mediation Timeline
Divorcing Well™ mediations are completed in just five weeks. The parties provide the requested financial information within the first three weeks and attend each week’s meeting separately.
In the fourth and fifth week, the draft separation agreement is ready to review. Final negotiations are completed with their personal family lawyers, the parties and mediator.
When the parties have been separated for a year, they then can have the Divorcing Well™ legal mediator draft the divorce documents and share this cost too.
What happens if the separation agreement cannot get it mediated in five weeks?
After five weeks, the parties have a clear understanding of what the outstanding issues are and what the likely legal outcomes would be if they go to court. If one of the terms of the separation agreement cannot be agreed upon, then the parties have to bring that issue in front of a judge to resolve it.
Traditional Divorce Lawyers…
Each party hires their own divorce lawyer, who writes costly positional letters outlining their client’s demands. These adversarial proceedings significantly increase the risk of contested divorces.
In Nova Scotia, it costs approximately $20,000 for court preparation and court time for every day a party spends in court. In other words, a two-day trial costs about $40,000 per person in legal fees. The adversarial approach creates winners, and losers and a lot of legal fees.
Divorcing Well™ embraces a “win-win” philosophy. Increasing the possibility of having an uncontested divorce which costs a lot less.
Divorcing Well™ mediations avoid the pitfalls associated with divorce lawyers battling. It gives the parties the benefit of receiving impartial legal information that is based on divorce law and precedent.
Parties share the cost of the Divorcing Well™ mediation which encourages the parties to resolve matters in a timely fashion–five weeks. No retainer fees. It is “pay-as-you-go”, making it easier to manage the legal budget.
Independent Advice from Family Lawyers
An important part of Divorcing Well™ mediation is the parties consult their own independent family lawyers. They receive independent legal advice about the various proposed settlement terms that would lead to an uncontested divorce.
Since these settlement terms were developed with the legal mediator, the time required with an independent family lawyer is significantly reduced.
Each party’s lawyer offers independent legal advice to their client. This advice is another layer of assurance that the separation agreement, drafted by the Divorcing Well™ legal mediator, is fair and reasonable.
To summarize, the parties are encouraged to consult their own family lawyers before signing the separation agreement. To obtain a Certificate of Independent Legal Advice from their lawyers.
The Courts says that separation agreements signed without Certificates of Independent Legal Advice are easier to overturn later. Banks also require a Certificate of Independent Legal Advice to refinance the matrimonial home.
Family Law Mediation Q&A
What Customers Say about our Family Lawyers
Lisa is extremely knowledgably, and a brilliant legal mind, a true strategist. Thanks G Skinner
Lisa is just wonderful! Very kind and compassionate, patient yet efficient and supportive. I highly recommend her!
Lisa goes above and beyond. Nice to find someone with strong ethics and who is using her profession to try and make the world a better place. She looks to settle conflict-not to continue it. The minute you meet her you will trust her and she will take care of you. She is upfront and reasonable with her rates. Don’t look any further.
Lisa is incredible. Kind, caring and compassionate. As well as knowledgeable. I couldn't have made it through to the end of my divorce without her support! I would highly recommend her!!!
Lisa does excellent, thoughtful work and with a gentle manner that makes it easier to navigate the system - highly recommend! Cathy Leslie
Passionate, friendly and caring lawyer. You could not have a better advocate.
Family Law Lawyer Q&A
What do I need to divorce?
Most people need a family lawyer, written separation agreement confirming your agreement on property (and debt) division, child custody, parenting times, child support and spousal support (called alimony in America).
What is divorce mediation and Divorcing Well?
Divorcing Well™ is Teryl Scott Lawyers Inc.’s uniquely efficient contested divorce mediation process. The five-week timeline makes it the most cost-effective, and legally sophisticated may of resolving legal conflicts as you separate and divorce.
What is the most affordable way to divorce?
An affordable divorce occurs when the parties agree on all the terms of the divorce. These terms are in the separation agreement. Divorcing Well™ mediators help the parties come to an agreement on the terms of the separation agreement / divorce in a short five-week process. This short process helps to keep divorce costs very low.
After the parties have signed the separation agreement, the divorce is just a matter of paperwork being filed with the court. There is no requirement to attend court and thus avoiding expensive legal fees associated with a contested divorce.
Is a mediated divorce appropriate if there is a lot of conflict between the parties?
Yes, Divorcing Well™ mediation does not bring the parties together in the same room. In fact, the greater the conflict between the parties, the more helpful it is to have a mediator.
Mediators are trained to de-escalate people’s emotions and regulate communication to allow an efficient resolution. Divorcing Well™ mediations do not bring the parties together throughout the five-week process except sometimes in week five, the final week, to sign the separation agreement.
Divorcing Well™ and other Family Law Fees
Divorcing Well™ Mediation Fees
Divorcing Well™ legal mediators provide a free 15 minute initial phone consultation for each party.
Divorcing Well™ meditations–which establish the terms of your divorce– cost a flat fee of $4500 plus HST per party if it is a standard mediation. The mediation is billed in two stages and payable at the beginning of each stage. For complex mediations (e.g., where business assets or self-employment is involved) the flat fee is $6700 plus HST per party.)
Stage One: $1800 each plus HST (for complex: $3000)
This fee is due at the time the Divorcing Well™ five-week mediation is scheduled.
Each party is expected to:
- provide all of the banking, financial and income tax information within the timeframes requested by the legal drafter
- separately to attend four (1.5 to 2 hrs) sessions with the legal mediator over four consecutive weeks
Stage Two: $2700 each plus HST (for complex: $3700)
This flat fee is due at the beginning of week three.
The legal mediator and legal drafter:
- begin to prepare the draft separation agreement, an equalization table, two income statements and a joint property statement
- with all the parties and their legal counsel, they host a final mediation in week five (separate rooms but at the same time)
Uncontested Divorce: $950 each plus HST and disbursements
The federal Divorce Act requires the parties must be separated for a year before a judge will grant the divorce. When the Divorcing Well™ mediation process results in a signed separation agreement, each parties’ divorce only costs $950 each rather than tens of thousands of dollars. This is so, because the Divorcing Well™ mediated separation agreement established the terms of their separation and divorce. Then the parties are ready to file for an uncontested divorce– without the costly drama.
Solicitor-Client Legal Fees
For those who do not require mediation, our family lawyers also provide legal support services (legal coaching) for people who want to represent themselves. These legal support services are ideal for those who have to attend court but do not want (or cannot afford) the full cost of a lawyer representing them.
The family lawyers at Teryl Scott Lawyers Inc. provide assistance helping a party, for example, to draft their affidavit (typically the most important court document) or to help them draft an offer to settle to the other party.
- No retainer ever, just pay-as-you-go
- Senior family lawyers are engaged at $300 per hour
- Legal drafters cost $150 per hour
Our boutique family law firm is committed to better access to legal services, therefore a sliding scale for legal fees is available for families with lower incomes. Contact us for further information.
Many employers have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and qualify for a 25% discount on Teryl Scott Lawyers Inc. legal fees.
The firm also honours our active and former military personnel with a 25% discount.
Discounts cannot be combined with any other discounts or sliding scale fees. (HST and disbursements are additional costs.)
You can also read our infographic on divorce statistics in Canada.