What are my options?

When couples decide to separate it is often a very emotional and confusing time. Many individuals are disappointed, hurt and at times feel lost. Below are three options to consider when separation is inevitable.

• Adversarial Negotiation and Court - the individuals retain collaborative lawyers to negotiate for them. If negotiations break down, the lawyers typically take the dispute to court and have a judge resolve the issues. This process can take months or years depending on the complexity of the dispute. There may be several judges involved in this process and many decisions are founded on case law and not on individual circumstances. This option can be emotionally and psychologically draining. This option is most costly for all involved.

• Collaborative Family Law - The separating individuals each retain collaborative lawyers as their legal advisers to negotiate the separation. The lawyers are retained solely to help the parties create their best possible settlement.  If either individual wishes to go to court, both clients must retain new lawyers and begin the process again.

• Mediation – the individuals retain an impartial third party to facilitate effective communication and negotiations between them.  The mediator facilitates the creation of a mutually beneficial agreement which is called the Memorandum of Understanding.  This document is then forwarded to lawyers for independent legal advice and will be then be formalized as a legal separation agreement.

Choose a positive and healthy outcome.