Collaborative Divorce

“Collaborative divorce” is a new approach to separation and divorce. It’s suitable for partners who are on good terms and generally agree about the important issues, like asset division, debt division, spousal support, child custody, and child support. The advantage of collaborative approach is the possibility of a faster, friendlier, and less expensive divorce.

Under this approach, each partner would have their own lawyer, negotiating on their behalf. If the negotiations break down, each partner would need a new lawyer for the next phase, “litigation.” Even if collaborative divorce doesn’t resolve the whole case, it can resolve some of the issues or narrow the issues disagreed on. That, too, could make a big difference in the efficiency and cost of your case. Family law cases are often complex and drawn out, so any agreement or simplification would be highly advantageous for both partners.

Our collaborative divorce lawyers at Solimano Law are experienced and can help you with your case. Here is how.

The Process

The collaborative process is a “team approach” where the spouses and their respective lawyers work together to resolve all issues which include:

  • asset division
  • debt division
  • spousal support
  • child custody
  • child support

Through several four-way meetings the spouses can agree to the terms of a separation agreement that are mutually satisfactory.

The collaborative process promotes constructive dialogue and clear communication to achieve desired results post separation or divorce. In a small community where social circles often overlap (Vancouver), collaborative divorce can be a more comfortable and amicable solution for everyone involved.

Working together allows couples to avoid the frustration, grief, and anxiety associated with contested divorces which are time consuming, public, and a lot more expensive. However, the process will work only when all parties attending the four-way meetings have a clear agenda of the issues, have worked to discern their desires, and are willing to engage in good faith negotiations.

The guidance of a lawyer that is experienced and level-headed is necessary. Lawyers are agents of the client and having an agent who represents your desires in a tone and manner that is favourable to resolution is key. The lawyers are responsible for ensuring that the participants come up with a comprehensive, workable separation/divorce agreement addressing all issues.

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Purpose: To Find a Resolution

Collaborative law is about integrity, respect, and your family. It is the less adversarial way to finalize separation/divorce and offers a fresh perspective of moving forward. Our Collaborative Law practice focuses on assisting separating couples who want to work together in the final step of their relationship.

However, collaborative divorce is not for all separations. After reviewing your case and speaking with you, we can advise you whether collaborative approach would be suitable for you. Collaborative divorce is not for everyone and here are some reasons why:

  • Some clients fail to take collaborative approach seriously since it does not include the formality of courts. The environment is relaxed and does not involve the intimidation brought on by court procedures and litigation.
  • Typically, team approach creates a safe space for clients to share their interests and feelings. However, some clients may have a difficult time putting their emotions aside and thinking reasonably about the issues which need to addressed. Other clients may feel shy in voicing their concerns and speaking up in a group environment, and they may feel a lack of control over how things are proceeding.
  • The process can quickly become time-consuming and costly if there are a lot of participants involved, like experts. If you and your spouse cannot see eye to eye on complex financial issues, expert reports will also need to be obtained which are costly.

Collaborative divorce process is often believed to be an efficient approach, especially for couples with children. Participants commit to working together rather than fighting which encourages a positive and safe future environment and setting in which to raise children.

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Finding the Best Approach to Help Your Family Move On

Many legal experts identify Collaborative Law as the best thing to happen to family law since it helps in resolving aggression and disputes. It removes couples from the adversarial system of discussing past grievances and instead gets them to focus on the future. It provides a neutral platform for spouses to discuss their issues in a supportive environment while engaging professionals.

The process helps in insulating children against emotional damage and distress arising out of a high conflict divorce. You are more likely to keep open channels of communication with your spouse in the future through collaborative divorce rather than litigation.

At Solimano Law, we take cost-conscious and practical steps to settle your case to the best of your expectations in the shortest possible time. We start by understanding the aspects that are important to you. We may recommend bringing in a business valuator, financial planner or a neutral social worker to the settlement table if we believe it is in your best interests.

We do not believe that divorce and separation need to be destructive. Everyone deserves a new beginning that is found on a respectful and open dialogue platform. Contact our Vancouver collaborative divorce lawyer today to help you seek a mutually satisfactory divorce.

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