Collaborative Law

What is Collaborative Family Law?

Collaborative Family Law is a process that offers you and your family a way to resolve disputes respectfully — without going to court – while still having the support, protection, and guidance of your own lawyer.

Collaborative Family Law has been described as “divorce (or separation) with dignity”. It is a process wherein both lawyers not only care about maximizing gains for their own client, they each care about the family as a whole. The goal is to move away from an adversarial and positional “win – lose” situation, to a situation where success is maximized for the entire family.

Separation and divorce often involve challenging financial, emotional and child related issues. Collaborative Family Law makes it possible to have the assistance of neutral family and financial professionals working together with both lawyers to provide the best possible counsel to both parties. This can result in the process being more cost and time effective.

A family professional can help you and your partner improve communication and manage conflict and can help craft parenting plans. A financial professional can help gather and explain financial information, assist your lawyers in crafting settlement options and can assist the parties in budgeting and adjusting to new
financial realities.

Who is Collaborative Law for?

Many people believe that Collaborative law is only for couples that “get along” and agree on all issues, people that simply need assistance in “papering the agreement”. That is simply not true. Collaborative law can be an excellent process for many families to work through conflict and difficult issues without worsening these problems.

There are three key elements to Collaborative law:

The voluntary & free exchange of information

The pledge not to go to court

A commitment to mutual respect & co-operation

If you and your partner can commit to these three things, then Collaborative Family Law may be for you!

For further information, please visit the following websites:

Durham Region Collaborative Practice

Our Family Wizard

Ontario Association of Collaborative Professionals