Offices in Ottawa and Perth
(613) 722-1500

CONTACT US (613) 722-1500

A Better Way to Separate? Collaborative Practice Offers an Alternative for Couples Who Want to Avoid Court

A Better Way to Separate? Collaborative Practice Offers an Alternative for Couples Who Want to Avoid Court

By:

Posted June 10, 2015

One of the most common comments I hear from new clients who are separating from a spouse is that they don’t want it to “get ugly”. Whether someone is on good terms with their spouse and they want to maintain that or whether someone just doesn’t want to endure the emotional and financial turmoil of litigation, Collaborative Practice offers an alternative.

What is Collaborative Practice? It is a different approach to the resolution of family law matters that focuses on each party’s interests rather than entrenched legal positions. The Collaborative process looks for a family centered solution that meets everyone’s needs. Participants are required to sign a contract which says that if they cannot resolve the matter in the Collaborative process and they decide to take the matter to court, they cannot keep the lawyers who represented them in the Collaborative process; they will have to hire new lawyers and start from scratch. The Collaborative approach also offers the opportunity to bring in other professionals, who are also trained in Collaborative Practice, to provide advice and guidance on particular issues, such as parenting and finances.

The Collaborative process is not just for spouses who are amicable or conflict free. The Collaborative approach can be an excellent alternative for high conflict spouses who are looking for assistance in reducing the conflict and keeping their separation away from court and costly litigation.

When describing the Collaborative process, clients often wonder how it differs from mediation. One major difference is that clients often opt to attend mediation on their own, without their lawyer present. In the Collaborative process, your lawyer is by your side for every meeting, providing advice and support. In addition, each party signs a Participation Agreement, which outlines the guidelines for participation in the process and the commitment that each party is making to the process. The Collaborative process allows for greater participation from the parties and empowers them to make the decisions that will shape their family as they move forward in two separate households.

The issue of cost is a primary concern for clients. In comparison with the traditional route of going to court, the Collaborative process is much less costly. When compared with other methods of dispute resolution, Collaborative Practice is an efficient and effective process, often resulting in cost savings in the long term. When both individuals achieve a result they are happy and satisfied with, the need to return to lawyers to deal with issues in the future is minimized.

This blog post was written by Kate Wright, a member of the Family Law, Wills and Estates and Litigation teams.  She can be reached at 613-369-0383 or at kate.wright@mannlawyers.com.

More Resources

Blog |
Wills, Trusts and Estates

By: 

Posted May 17, 2022

I am often asked the question of whether the will-maker should disclose the contents of their will to their beneficiaries.  In some situations, the will-maker[...]
Blog |
Real Estate

By: 

Posted May 10, 2022

The More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022 (“Bill 109”) received Royal Assent on April 14th, 2022. Some sections of Bill 109 will come “into force”[...]
Blog |
Real Estate, Wills, Trusts and Estates

By: 

Posted May 3, 2022

As we all know, house prices are skyrocketing in the region, and this in turn has resulted in parents providing assistance to children who are[...]
Blog |
Employment, Labour, and Human Rights

By: 

Posted April 26, 2022

The mediator’s reaction to my client’s disclosure that she had secretly recorded her conversation with her boss was one of dismay.   He made it clear[...]
Blog |
Family Law

By: 

Posted April 25, 2022

Family law litigation can be a particularly complicated and expensive legal endeavor exacerbated by the emotional difficulties of a fractured relationship. These matters become even[...]
Blog |
Real Estate

By: 

Posted April 14, 2022

What is the Federal Budget? Every year the Department of Finance is tasked with balancing the revenue and expenses of the Government of Canada. As[...]

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Name*
Consent*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.