Question:

My husband and I have recently separated and I am very anxious about our children, our finances and what the future holds for us.
Do I have to go to court and what can I do to ensure that the separation does not scar me and the children both emotionally and financially?

Answer:

There are a number of ways of separating without going to court. One method is the Collaborative Family Law (CFL) approach. CFL lawyers are specially trained to approach separation and divorce from a compassionate and co-operative angle rather than the traditional adversarial position.

The process on average takes six months as opposed to dragging participants through the courts, which can take years and can drain one financially and emotionally. It does however demand compromise as well as openness and honesty in order to achieve, and reach, what is often a creative settlement outside of the more narrow constraints of the law.

The process consists of a series of “four-way meetings” in which the participants work together to define the issues and understand each other’s perspective, all in an effort to achieve resolution in a civilized and respectful way.

Collaborative law is inter disciplinary, which means that professional support systems are put in place to assist the family, by working closely with collaboratively trained divorce coaches, mental health professionals, therapists, financial advisers or business valuators.

Costs will vary depending upon the difficulty of the matter, but one thing is certain: no funds are spent on waging war. The CFL process assures the parties of getting the assistance they need to succeed, while avoiding costs associated with non-productive fighting. The money spent on the collaborative process is a wise investment for a better future for the parties and for their children.

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