Splitting The Family Cottage – A New Approach


Jen Norman’s parents planned to do what thousands of Canadian parents have done for generations – they wanted to pass down the family cottage to their two daughters hoping they would share it.

Jen loved the cottage and imagined herself spending all of her vacation days and retirement at her family’s Almaguin Highlands waterfront property. But, so did her sister. And that was a problem.

The sisters quickly realized that the three-bedroom cottage they would inherit wasn’t going to be enough for them, and their growing families, to share. They needed to make a plan. But neither of them knew how to start the conversation. And so “dealing with the cottage” became the elephant in the room for years. It loomed over every Christmas, birthday, anniversary, and get-together.

“Starting this business was born out of my own problem and solution,” says Jen Norman, founder and principal mediator of The Cottage Mediator. “I used my skills as a mediator and lawyer to eventually give my sister and me the outcome that worked for us – our own cottages – and I did that without killing our relationship in the process. So I started this business to do the same thing for other families in the same situation.”

The Cottage Mediator

The Cottage Mediator is a first-of-its-kind mediation practice dedicated to helping families get to the heart of any cottage dispute, find compromises to help share their property or create amicable exit strategies. The Cottage Mediator works with families at any stage of a property transfer to make sure the cottage doesn’t become a battleground –  whether that’s parents looking to plan a smooth transition or adult children making decisions about a property, either before or after they’ve taken full ownership.

And it’s not always about conflict. Most families just need help getting the conversation about legacy planning started. That’s why The Cottage Mediator helps parents and children start a productive discussion to make sure they have a clear plan for the future.

“At the Cottage Mediator, we work very hard to help families walk away from mediation together and with a plan they’ll stick to,” says Jen. “And more times than not, families do stick to the plan because it’s one they created.”

If you and your family need to start a conversation about the family cottage but don’t know how, you can book your complimentary discovery call with Jen Norman of The Cottage Mediator.

She’d love to help your family create a path that preserves relationships today.



*This Article Is Sponsored By: The Cottage Mediator.


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