Collaborative Family Law
Collaborative family law is a specialized approach to divorce and separation whereby you and your spouse or partner create an affordable agreement with the support of registered collaborative family lawyers. Registered collaborative financial and psychological specialists may also be engaged, depending on your circumstances.
The process is non-adversarial. It is, as a result, typically less expensive and takes less time than going to court. It puts the needs of children first, and may preserve parenting relationships despite difficulties in your relationship with each other. With the help of your collaborative family lawyers, you create financial plans and a separation agreement that cover each of your concerns.
The collaborative family law approach provides a solid foundation for each of you to leave your relationship with your dignity intact and to embrace a more hopeful future.
Alberta Courts recently reintroduced a Mandatory Dispute Resolution requirement, which means that no one can proceed to litigation (i.e., to court) without first having tried a dispute resolution process such as mediation. Our trained mediators are here to help, and we can get you an appointment often with 7-10 days.
The mediation process for separating and divorcing couples brings significant benefits. First, in the hands of a trained mediator, mediation can reduce the amount of stress, time and money associated with disentangling your lives. While court litigation processes typically cost each of you in the tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a year or more, the mediation process typically costs far less than $10,000 for both of you together and often takes less than six months, depending on your circumstances.
Mediation also helps you find creative solutions to the problems you confront. Rather than letting a judge decide how you should parent your children or split your assets and debts, a mediator helps you identify what is most important to each of you and looks for options that meet both your needs.
Mediation focuses on the well-being of the family as a whole, including children. A skilled mediator can help you develop plans and communication strategies to ensure your children are kept out of the dispute as much as possible and that you both have a consistent message for them as you separate and figure out parenting responsibilities.
Mediation may also be beneficial in circumstances of abuse. A skilled mediator will provide options to ensure the comfort and safety of both parties while also helping you address the practicalities of separating.
Many people believe that getting in front of a judge will ensure they get their day in court and the other person will get what he or she deserves. In truth, only five percent of cases in Alberta ever get to a trial. The majority of cases are settled partway through the process, either at a less formal hearing or with the help of lawyers. Separating and divorcing couples at this stage are often bitter and just “want to get it over with”. The mediation process, conversely, can help bring closure to the end of your relationship and lay the foundation for moving ahead more positively with your lives.