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Certified Divorce Specialist

What is a Certified Divorce Specialist (CDS)

CDS Aligned Businesses know that divorcing clients need special care.

A CDS  is  one who  has completed the Certified Divorce Specialists (CDS) Program – a comprehensive training for professionals in various industries who wish to provide better services to their divorcing clients.

The CDS curriculum consists of a specialized communication skills training with a focus on integrating those skills in a client-session environment. It also highlights specific legal, financial, mental health, and real estate information that are integral to the divorce process giving the professional a holistic understanding of their clients’ experience.

What does this mean for Divorcing Clients?

It means that the CDS Designee has gone above and beyond to make sure they are equipped with unique skills and divorce-specific information to manage a better experience for all parties involved.

Certified Divorce Specialists (CDS) know that their divorcing clients need special care.

Don Schapira

Founder & Lead Mediator


Meet Don

Andrea Richards

Family Mediator

Alberta South

Meet Andrea

Lisa Huberdeau

Lead Bilingual Family Mediator


Meet Lisa

Jana Keeley

Lead Family Mediator

British Columbia

Meet Jana

Angie Page

Family Mediator

Alberta South

Meet Angie

Ann Davidson

Family Mediator

Alberta Central

Meet Ann

Kirk Fowler

Family Mediator

Alberta North

Meet Kirk

Ram Schapira

Family Mediator


Meet Ram

Linsey Nixon

Family Mediator


Meet Linsey

Cindy Stibbard

Certified Divorce & Decision Coach


Meet Cindy

Jesse Richards

Financial Mediator


Meet Jesse

Certified Divorce Specialists (CDS) know that their divorcing clients need special care.

The Orange Story

At the core of our process is The Orange Story. On the surface, the story is a simple one about a brother and sister both wanting the last orange. On a deeper level, the story reveals how a discovery of each person’s core need creates new context and leads to a solution where everyone is satisfied.

The Orange Story demonstrates how our process guides both of you towards a fresh perspective that ensures successful results. As we take a deep-dive into your situation, and uncover your needs the difficult decisions become easier.

Our team is committed to your fresh start. We work with you to save you time, money and stress so you can focus on the more important things – what your fresh start looks like.

Where We Started

Our first Logo - 2014

Don Schapira, Q.Med., worked in negotiation and mediation for over 20 years before creating Fresh Start Mediation. After personally experiencing the difficulties of the traditional divorce process, he knew there was a better way to overcome conflict with less pain, lower costs and more fulfilling outcomes.

Bringing together mediators and financial analysts from across Canada, Don has assembled a team that is wholly committed to helping you create a bright future.

The company’s services have extended beyond the family room, to the classroom and the boardroom – helping people from all areas of life reach healthy agreements that move them forward with certainty and transparency.

Our first Logo - 2014

Take the first step:

Let’s talk about you.

We offer no obligation, free 1hr consultations to people like you. Let’s talk about your situation. Really.