Up Close and Personal with Local Businesses
Featuring Colette Fortin, owner/mediator of Fairway Divorce Solutions Waterloo-Wellington.
I would like for you to get to know each of the amazing local businesses that are currently involved with the Healthy Waterloo Region. Whether they provide an important service or whether they aim to inspire, uplift and motivate, they have a common goal - your wellbeing. Wouldn’t you like to know why they chose their current career paths? These talented and compassionate people are more than just a business. They have a story. Here's an "up close and personal" look at Colette Fortin of Fairway Divorce Solutions Waterloo-Wellington.
Fairway Divorce Solutions Waterloo-Wellington, Colette Fortin, Mediator
People often ask how I ended up offering this unique service, why I chose such a difficult profession. With divorce rates at 40% or more, it was time we looked for a better way to divorce. It doesn’t have to leave people financially devastated. And it certainly doesn’t have to mean the destruction of family relationships. I knew our region would be ready to embrace social change in this difficult and personal area of so many people’s lives. That’s why I opened up Fairway Divorce Solutions here in the Waterloo Region in 2010.
For 20 years I taught elementary school in the Region, and witnessed first hand the devastating effects that high conflict divorces were having on my students. It is not the divorce per se that has a long-term impact on children, but how parents manage through the early days and beyond, that does. When I heard about the Fairway Divorce approach and read the founder’s book “Clean Break’, I felt compelled to do something about it. I loved teaching, but as a person who had experienced divorce myself and was now in a blended family with 7 children, I could make a difference in the lives of others. By helping parents have a better, more peaceful divorce, I knew in my heart this would have a long-term impact on future generations of children and families, one family at a time.
Helping create a relatively new service category called ‘divorce mediation’ and a new brand here in Waterloo Region was a big entrepreneurial undertaking. But it felt so right to be embarking on a journey to educate people that they now have choice in how to move through separation, that court and traditional litigation wasn’t their only option. Now, more than 6 years later – after extensive training in divorce finance, mediation and conflict resolution and of course the law, we’ve helped over 250 families in the region experience a better way to divorce.
I’m still a teacher at heart. Couples come to us at one of the most vulnerable times in their lives, and I never take that lightly. Part of my role is to educate as well as to mediate. I enjoy bringing my personal experience as well as educational knowledge in child development to help parents best support their children. My clients appreciate the practical coaching tips and resources I provide them with on how to talk their children through this challenging time. I also bring care and compassion to each situation. I’m a good listener, so for those who don’t have children, the coaching, empathy and conflict resolution skills I bring to the situation, helps them move forward and resolve their differences in a less stressful way.
Separation and divorce happens to good people. Gone are the days where this has to mean a total depletion of assets and destruction of relationships. While this is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life, it doesn’t have to define the rest of their life. Couples are scared about the future and emotionally hurt and overwhelmed. Having seen so many people come through this process to arrive in a better spot, I know I can provide them hope and a path forward.
Colette Fortin and Sarah Whyte
Please let us know how we may help you. Visit us at Fairway Divorce Solutions Waterloo-Wellington.