How to Have a Happy, Healthy, & Inexpensive Collaborative Divorce

Vancouver BC Ocean View - Marla Gilsig Family Lawyer 

Unless your name is Johnny Depp, divorce can have a significant impact on your life, both emotionally and financially.  In Canada, one in two unions fails, most unions fail before the 14-year mark. Most separating spouses say the divorce process was traumatic, that it harmed the children and dissipated their assets.  But I am a divorce lawyer in Vancouver who helps couples separate in a healthy and cost-effective manner.  

Frequently, the separating spouses focus on the financial aspects of divorce without addressing their emotional wounds and scars.  But studies show that when separating spouses deal with their feelings while going through divorce, each spouse becomes a better separation agreement negotiator and it provides each spouse and their family members with an easier post-divorce life.  The goal of my family lawyer Vancouver practice is to help families transition through divorce into a healthy and inexpensive way.

Often times it seems divorces are very expensive because both spouses need to hire litigation lawyers and their lawyers repeatedly spend all day at the courthouse obtaining a variety of family court orders that don’t begin to cover all the issues that are dealt with in a well-drafted separation agreement.  For example, how the parents will communicate about the children and a weekly parenting schedule.

What if you could have a Happy, Healthy, and Inexpensive Divorce? Well, you can, thanks to the Collaborative Divorce Process

Collaborative Divorce is a process bringing together Family Lawyers, Mental Health Professionals and Financial Advisors to help couples reach a divorce settlement without going to court.  This inter-disciplinary approach removes the adversarial element embedded in many divorce proceedings and replaces it with an approach consisting of mutual respect and team problem solving.  Many Divorce Lawyers in Vancouver have been trained in the collaborative divorce approach and encourage separating spouses to use the process over the litigation process.  

In the process, the separating spouses and their lawyers sign a written participation agreement to work together at resolving the issues without going to court.  The separating spouses and their collaborative divorce lawyers then creatively and cost-effectively negotiate and draft a separation agreement for their family.  The separation agreement is a post-divorce contract that deals with a multitude of issues including custody, guardianship, child support, spousal support, and the division of assets and debts.  The goal of the team is to create a separation agreement that is a win/win for the separating spouses and their children.

The benefits of the Collaborative Divorce for the separating spouses and their children include:

  • Creates a cooperative environment where the needs and interests are heard and met
  • Addresses and emphasizes the needs, well-being and best interests of the children
  • Allows the separating spouses control of the separation process and a measure of privacy from friends, co-workers, the public, and the media
  • Contains the legal costs
  • Helps the newly configured family transition into their new lives in a more healthy way

Thanks to the new British Columbia Family Law Act separating and divorcing spouses will be advised of the advisability of using various types of family dispute resolution to resolve their matter outside of the court and litigation system.  The collaborative process is one of the mandatory family dispute resolution procedures required before entering litigation under Sections 8, 9, 197 of the and its Regulations.  The Family Law Act will be fully in force on March 18, 2013 and is a long overdue major overhaul of family law in British Columbia. 

If you would like to book a consult with Marla Gilsig, Divorce Lawyer and Family Lawyer in Vancouver, contact her today at [email protected].

Vancouver BC - Marla Gilsig Vancouver Divorce Lawyer


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