Is this for you?
Can this process help me?
Absolutely, if you can answer yes to many of the questions below:
I want to avoid having the Court decide what’s right for me.
My children’s needs are my priority.
I want to focus on the future and a future I have directly affected.
I want to reduce the amount of conflict between the other party and me.
I want a quick and efficient resolution to our issues and our situation.
I need support from a lawyer to help me to understand my rights and obligations before I make long-term decisions for my family.
With the support of my Collaborative Divorce lawyer, I believe my voice will be louder and stronger.
I want my lawyer next to me to ensure my interests and needs are paramount.
Yes, I believe this process could work for me. How do we start?
Both parties must hire a collaborative lawyer
You both must meet with and retain lawyers who have specific Collaborative Divorce training and whose role is to keep the parties’ discussions focused and relevant to the topics and concerns identified. Collaborative Divorce lawyers have been trained in interest-based negotiations, which means that our job is to assist you both to arrive at a mutually satisfactory resolution based on what’s important to you and your family. The lawyers will provide legal advice throughout the process to ensure that you both understand what the impact of your decisions will be long term.
Next you both will need to sign an agreement before the Collaborative Divorce process can begin, the parties and their lawyers must review and sign a Participation Agreement form in our resource page which commits all parties to the process and confirms you have agreed to fore go a costly court process.
Next we meet with the other party and their lawyer for a series of 4 way meetings. First meeting: the parties and the lawyers will sign the Participation Agreement, identify each party’s interests (concerns, hopes, expectations, assumptions, priorities, beliefs, fears, values, needs), and create a list of issues and priorities for resolution. Often this meeting only allows for the most pressing issues to be discussed and at least a temporary resolution to urgent and emergent issues can be put into place until a longer-term resolution can be reached. A “to do” list is created for all parties at the end of each session so that everyone knows what they must do before or for the following meeting.
Subsequent meetings: we move full stop at all subsequent meetings. We address each issue identified for resolution in the order as agreed between the parties. Information is exchanged, together we brainstorm
for solutions, and we work until resolution is reached on each issue.
Prepare agreement/divorce papers
Once resolution on all topics has been collectively decided, the lawyers will prepare a legally-binding separation agreement. You will have the opportunity to review the agreement on your own time and with the counsel of your Collaborative Divorce lawyer before it is signed. It is important that you have time to ensure that all the terms that you agreed to are sustainable for you and your family. The lawyers have the capacity to finalize your divorce if applicable; you will not be required to attend in court.
How Long Will This All Take?
Most families average 2-5 sessions at 2 hours per session, which can translate into 2-6 months for full resolution. Ultimately what affects time lines are: the level of conflict between the parties, how many issues
require resolution, and the time required between each meeting.
Why is this perhaps a better process than a ‘regular’ divorce or separation?
Generally less expensive than a court process.
Usually more time efficient as you are not at the mercy of the court backlogs.
The process can often foster and improve communication between the parties.
Creates an environment where both parties are more likely to feel heard.
Gives you both a voice.
Make informed and voluntary choices about your future.
Focus on the needs and interests of the children.
Create an effective and sustainable co-parenting plan.
Creates an environment for future problem
solving that is non-conflict based.
To schedule a free consultation with Christopher G. Taskey click here.
For more information on the process, visit www.divorceseparation.ca.