The Process

The goal of the Collaborative Family Law process is to resolve all issues relating to separation in a non-adversarial manner, without going to court.

  • You, your spouse and your collaborative professionals sign a Participation Agreement that commits everyone to work in accordance with the Principles of Collaborative Family Law.
  • Both parties and their collaborative team work cooperatively to reach the best possible mutually acceptable resolution.
  • An agenda is prepared for each meeting and detailed “progress notes” are made and circulated.
  • Spouses conduct settlement discussions with the legal professionals by their sides to provide legal advice and to assist in the process. In this way, clients maintain control over decision making and are empowered to find creative solutions.
  • The legal professionals assist their clients to communicate and negotiate effectively in a respectful, dignified manner. The collaborative professionals are specifically trained to manage conflict and assist clients to engage in constructive problem solving.
  • Both parties cooperate fully in obtaining and sharing all financial and other important information.
  • If and when you need additional Collaborative professionals, such as mental health or financial specialists, you bring them into the Process.
  • The costs of family and financial specialists, can be shared. There are no court papers to be prepared and no court hearings, resulting in a process that is generally less costly and time consuming than litigation.
  • The process reduces conflict and maintains good faith which increases the likelihood that parents can cooperate in the parenting of their children and reach solutions which promote their children’s best interests.

Once a consensus is reached on all issues, a written separation agreement is drafted by the legal professionals. If you were married, the key terms in the agreement can be repeated in a final divorce judgment which is signed by a judge.

If a settlement is not reached, the team professionals must withdraw and none of the team professionals nor any member of their respective firms or organizations may represent or provide evidence on behalf of you or your spouse. All the members of the team endeavour to reach a comprehensive agreement to resolve all issues.

Find a Collaborative Family Law Professional in Waterloo Region by visiting our members Page.