• Mediator

As a mediator, I am a neutral person.

My role is to facilitate your discussions and help you decide how your dispute should be resolved. A mediator has no power or authority to impose a solution.

Go to the “How to Hire” page to learn how to hire Anna Perry for mediation.


BC Parent Coordinator


Mediation-arbitration is a two-part alternate dispute resolution process that allows the parties to appoint one person to play two roles to help them resolve disputes on a final basis: (1) mediator and (2) arbitrator. If one person is concerned that the mediator would be biased as an arbitrator, then an arbitrator who is fresh to the dispute can be appointed.


Arbitration is a dispute resolution process through which a private arbitrator decides how specific legal disputes will be resolved. The arbitrator may be a lawyer, a mental health professional, or someone with other professional qualifications.

My Role as a Mediator

As a mediator, I am a neutral person. My role is to facilitate your discussions and help you decide how your dispute should be resolved. I have no power or authority to impose a solution.

With more than 15 years of experience working in the field of family law, I am able to provide you with a great deal of information about the legal and practical issues which common-law partners and married partners typically address in their separation agreements. I cannot, however, provide you with a legal opinion or legal advice about your rights or obligations. Instead, I will refer you to appropriate professionals for the advice that you need in order to feel confident that the settlement terms you have agreed to are appropriate for you and your family.

I take pride in having strong interpersonal skills, empathy, confidence, and a sense of humour. These skills, combined with a solid understanding of the law relating to the issues which are typically addressed in the negotiation of a separation agreement allow me to work effectively with clients. I recognize how important it is for clients to feel confident that the terms of their negotiated settlement comply with current law. If clients choose to negotiate an agreement with provisions that are outside the scope of mainstream thinking, it is equally important for them to feel that the same level of confidence that the terms, perhaps unique to the family or to the situation, will be upheld in the long term.

BC Parent Coordinator
BC Parent Coordinator

“Every success story is a tale of adaptation,
revision and change.”

Richard Branson

Mediation Process

various stages of grief associated with a separation

  • The relationship dynamic between parties who are separating is unique, and it shifts as people move through the various stages of grief associated with a separation.
  • Sometimes parties who have separated very recently have less capacity to participate in a negotiation because they are in the exceedingly early stages of grief and are unable to concentrate, process information, and make informed choices. Illness, addiction, stress, and anxiety may also impact the ability to participate in mediation.
  • Parties who choose to use the mediation process as a first step are often more invested in building a resolution together from the very outset of their negotiations than those who have already been involved in conflicted negotiations or court proceedings.
  • Parties who enter mediation only after being involved in hotly contested court proceedings tend to be more entrenched in firm positions about how issues should be resolved and, as a result, they may need more time to negotiate resolutions that reflect both parties’ interests and bridge the differences in their thinking.
  • The mediation process may be quite smooth if the parties have only a few relatively straight-forward issues to address.
  • If the parties need to address issues that are legally or factually complex, they may need to retain experts along the way to provide them with assistance. If parties have many highly disputed issues to resolve, their negotiation may be longer and more intense.

Ultimately, the level of conflict between parties will dictate how the mediation process is structured, how many mediation sessions are required for the parties to resolve issues, and who participates in the mediation sessions.

Despite the differences in how the mediation process for a particular family may ultimately unfold, the following are the basic steps in my mediation process, and they are the same for all parties.

I meet with all clients separately as the first step in my mediation process because I passionately believe that individual intake meetings are essential to a successful mediation for the following reasons:

  • Many clients feel anxious about starting the mediation process and putting their trust and confidence in a complete stranger at such a vulnerable time in their lives. They may feel uninformed about the legal and practical issues that flow from separation and about the mediation process itself.
  • As a practical matter, attending a brief intake meeting before the mediation process begins permits clients to find my office, locate parking, meet me, and see the space where the mediation sessions will take place. Clients who attend the office for the first time on the day of the mediation session may get lost, be unable to find parking, and may arrive late, feeling scattered, vulnerable, anxious, and unable to concentrate on the initial discussions.
  • Having the opportunity to meet with each client individually allows me to gather a significant amount of information about:
  • The client’s age, mental and physical health, education, employment history
  • Other members of the family or extended family
  • Relationship dates
  • The timing and circumstances of the breakdown of their relationship (who initiated the separation, how recent the separation is, whether the parties are still living in the same home)
  • A description of the roles assumed by each party throughout the relationship
  • The client’s support system and the potential need for a referral to counselling or therapy or other support services
  • The nature of the parties’ relationship (common-law or marriage)
  • Each party’s educational background
  • Each party’s work history
  • The income which is currently available to each family member
  • The children (ages, daycare arrangements, school, and grades, health, special needs, whether or not they know about the separation and how they are coping, whether or not they live at home, whether children may have expressed a preference for a particular parenting schedule)
  • The family’s financial circumstances (income sources, assets, and debts, degree of the client’s knowledge about the family’s financial circumstances, concerns about hidden income sources, hidden assets, substantial debt)
  • The dynamics of the relationship
  • The sources and level of conflict between parties
  • The client’s vulnerability caused by grief, the loss of the spousal relationship, the loss of parenting time, lack of information about the family’s financial situation or about financial instability in the future, feelings of displacement
  • Whether the client has consulted with or is being represented by a lawyer;
  • Whether court proceedings have been started and, if so, whether there is a temporary arrangement or order in place which governs specific issues
  • Whether outside agencies are involved with the family
  • Issues which the client wishes to address in mediation (parenting arrangements, child support, spousal support, financial disclosure, valuation, property issues)
  • The client’s expectations about how specific issues will be resolved
  • The financial disclosure that will be required to meet legal obligations
  • The client’s concern about feeling pushed to negotiate prematurely or without sufficient information to make short-term or long-term decisions
  • Whether or not the client is a suitable candidate for mediation (separation too recent, illness, emotional stability, confusion, inability to focus, issues of abuse, power imbalances, and vulnerability)
  • Who should be at the mediation table

Intake meetings are confidential. They provide each client with the opportunity to provide me with background information from their individual perspectives without fear of criticism, judgment, or conflict. 

During the intake meeting, I will explain the different types of agreements which may be appropriate, the various ways in which the mediation process may unfold, who may be involved in the process and what will be required in order for the parties to successfully negotiate an appropriate resolution of the issues they wish to address.
Clients are free to ask questions about me, the mediation process itself, how I might handle specific situations that may occur during the mediation process, and raise specific concerns about the other person, their ability to participate in a meaningful way, or potential outcomes. They are also free to share their views about how they would like specific issues to be resolved. Most people feel much calmer and more confident in their ability to participate in mediation in a meaningful way after their intake meetings.
Clients may be feeling pressure to attend mediation and worry that it is premature to start the process. Others may feel overwhelmed because the separation is so recent, or there has been family violence, harassment, or coercion in the past that leaves them vulnerable. Some clients have not had access to information about family finances and worry that they may be prejudiced in the process because of their lack of knowledge. In the presence of a trusted mediator, clients may be calmer, more organized, and have a better ability to provide me with the information that I need.

After I have completed the intake process and identified the issues that will need to be discussed during the mediation process, I will provide you with a list of the information and documentation that I need if there is a gap in the information I have received already.

We will decide how and when the information and documentation will be delivered to me so that I have time to review it before we meet. Generally, I receive documents in electronic format or in hard copies that I can more easily read and flip through during mediation sessions.

Immediately after you have completed your intake process, I will provide you with available mediation dates so that you may schedule the number of mediation sessions we estimate you will need to complete your discussions.

BC Parent Coordinator

“In the moment you can make a choice for the better and it is these small choices and successes that build up in time to cultivate big change.”

Jillian Michaels