Many people look for a better alternative to divorce court but are not familiar with the term ‘collaborative family law’. This relatively new process works best with couples who want to separate but can still talk reasonably and rationally to resolve their issues. Collaborative family law keeps the couple in charge of the procedure and keeps it out of divorce court. To begin the process, you each need to hire a collaborative family lawyer who is trained in Ontario.
Both parties sign a participation agreement and agree to honestly disclose all necessary information, including income, debts, pensions, etc. Parties meet with their collaborative family lawyers to identify issues, understand legal requirements, generate options and discover solutions. If children are involved, then their needs will be at the forefront of the separation agreement, including custody, support, visitation, future expenses and more. Experts may be added as part of a team to provide advice on family or financial matters (like an accountant or child psychologist).
The collaborative family law practice keeps the separating spouses in control and keeps it out of divorce court. By working together with cooperation and mutual respect, a separation agreement can be drafted that helps preserve the long term interests of the family.
Collaborative family law emphasizes the needs of children and allows for a smoother transition, easing the emotional strains of a break up. Collaborative family law encourages mutual respect and strives to achieve the best possible outcome for all family members. It is necessary to hire a trained collaborative family lawyer to provide legal advice and coaching in an organized framework. This method is generally more cost effective and quicker than going through a divorce court battle.
Diane Daly, head of Daly Law in Oakville, is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP); the Ontario Collaborative Law Federation (OCLF); the Hamilton-Halton Collaborative Practice Group; and the Halton-Peel Collaborative Practice Group. She has been a family lawyer for over 20 years and a Collaborative Family Lawyer since 2004. If you are looking for a better alternative to divorce in Ontario, you can reach Diane and her team at (905) 844-5883.