Oshawa Collaborative Family Lawyers

When people separate, outstanding matters between them, including division of property, spousal support, child support, and related issues can become very contentious and stressful very quickly. However, there are ways to avoid the negativity and stress. One way is working together with your soon-to-be former spouse to figure out what you both want and what you are willing to do to reach a peaceful resolution. Not every divorce has to be messy, stressful, or spiteful. If you and your spouse are willing and able to talk and cooperate, then Collaborative Family Law may be an option for you. At Borden Family Law, we have been assisting clients with their family law matters for 17 years. As a member of the Collaborative Practice Durham Region, we have worked with different lawyers to resolve our clients’ matters without setting foot in a courtroom, and firmly believe in working collaboratively with other people.

What is Collaborative Family Law?

Collaborative Family Law is an alternative dispute resolution (i.e. ADR) method. ADR is a way for parties to come together with their lawyers and resolve their matters outside of court. Sometimes, this involves other Collaborative professionals in addition to your family lawyer. These other professionals may include a financial advisor or social worker. In such cases, you and your partner work with these collaborative professionals, who are neutral parties and are shared between the two of you. They will work to help you come to an agreement on your matter. This process helps set up a space to reduce conflict. Collaborative Family Law is completely voluntary. No one can force you to participate, and no one can make you agree on the settlement in the end. All parties, including the lawyers, sign what is called a “Participation Agreement” when the process starts, agreeing to act in good faith throughout the negotiations. Collaborative family lawyers also sign an agreement that ensures you will not go to court. Essentially, they are committed to helping you and your partner reach a settlement.

Why choose a Collaborative Family Lawyer?

Divorces can get expensive. Going through the court system is not cheap, and neither are lawyers’ fees once you enter the court system. Collaborative Family Law can help reduce the costs of separating. Choosing the lawyer to represent you in your divorce or separation is just as important. If you want a collaborative approach, you have to find a lawyer who is willing to do that. At Borden Family Law, we enjoy working with other lawyers. When you use our firm for collaborative family law, you are not just getting a firm with a wealth of experience, but also a firm that listens to the needs of their client. If you want to be work through your issues with your spouse and their lawyer, we will facilitate that process, represent you throughout, help you come to an agreeable arrangement, and lower the costs of your divorce or separation.

Pros and Cons of Collaborative Family Law

The pros of Collaborative Family Law are:
  • Your voice gets heard;
  • Lower costs;
  • Amicable arrangement between spouses;
  • Less hostility and more respect;
  • Keeps things private because it is not going through court.
Of course, as with anything, there are some cons to Collaborative Family Law. These include:
  • Even after everything is said and done, you may still end up going to court if you and your partner cannot agree on a settlement;
  • The settlement or agreement at the end of the process is not binding.
Even though the purpose of collaborative family law is to avoid going to court, in some instances the negotiations may break down and couples may decide to pursue litigation.

What if the Collaborative Process Does Not Work?

Since collaborative family law is a voluntary arrangement, no one can force you to continue with the process if you are not happy with the progress made. If you do end up going to court because you and your partner cannot agree on a settlement collaboratively, you will both have to retain new lawyers. The lawyer that represented you in the collaborative process cannot then represent you in court. The participation agreement signed at the beginning of any collaborative family law process includes a provision that states that if one party decides to go to court, both lawyers must resign. This ensures that all parties work hard to reach an agreement that is mutually beneficial to both spouses. It essentially creates an incentive for the parties and for the lawyers: come to an agreement or the lawyers must resign from the case and the matter reverts to square one.

Knowledgeable and Strategic Oshawa Collaborative Family Lawyers Assisting Clients without Going to Court

At Borden Family Law, we have been helping clients with their family law matters for more than 17 years. We understand that the breakdown of a relationship is difficult, no matter what type of relationship it is. We have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you and your spouse come to arrangements that are agreeable for both of you, without having to step foot into a courtroom. Call us at 905-576-6090, or contact us online. Ask about our flat fees and Collaborative Lawyer services.