The Collaborative Family Law process is an alternative to the traditional Court style divorce process. Collaborative Family Law is grounded in interest-based negotiations which help develop options by understanding the needs, interests and goals of everybody involved. At it’s foundation, the idea of Collaborative Family Law is to settle matters and stay out of Court.
In collaborative family law, separating or divorcing spouses work together cooperatively and each part retains their own registered Collaborative Family Lawyer. The involvement of counsel ensures that each party has an advocate and that legal rights and obligations are considered. Counsels’ purpose is to assist the parties in arriving at a custom tailored settlement, while minimizing costs, emotional consequences and looking forward to a new future. Both parties commit to confidential, honest and respectful communication throughout the process. Full disclosure of all relevant information is necessary to work towards a resolution that both spouses can agree on and therefore staying out of Court.
In the right circumstance there are advantages in a collaborative approach. In many cases it can the less stressful, less costly and more efficient than mediation or litigation. There are cases where the parties find it helpful and very cost effective to use a team approach with specially trained Collaborative Family Specialists and Collaborative Financial Neutrals to focus specifically on some issues in an effort to expedite the process, make use of specialized expertise and minimize costs.
At Taylor Wray LLP, Jim Taylor is a registered Collaborative Family Law Professional and the contributing author of the Collaborative Family Law chapter of the 2020 Alberta Family Law Practice Manual.
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