To begin, collaborative family law (also referred to as CFL) is a unique process that involves four-way negotiations between parties and their respective lawyers. Participants enter into this process voluntarily, they freely exchange information, and jointly agree not to go to court. CFL allows parties to autonomously craft their settlement and outcome.
Despite its many benefits, however, this process is not suitable for everyone. When assessing whether CFL is a workable option for you, you ought to consider and ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I able to put aside my feelings and frustrations, and act objectively?
- Are my children’s needs an important consideration, and am I willing to prioritize their needs and well-being?
- Can I respect my former spouse even if and when we disagree?
- Are both mine and my former spouse’s needs equal in value; or am I preoccupied with what I want and unwilling to compromise?
- Will I be able to actively and objectively listen to my former spouse?
- Can I work creatively, cooperatively and collaboratively?
- Am I capable of working towards a mutually agreeable settlement?
- Am I capable of planning for the future?
- Do I want to maintain a positive relation with my former spouse post-separation?
The guiding principles of CFL are collaboration and mutual respect. Your answers to these questions will help you determine whether the CFL process and its principles are best suited for you and your needs.
For additional information on the collaborative process, or for general assistance with your family law matter, please visit our website or call us to schedule an initial consultation at (905) 581-7222.
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