Hello, I am Andrew Feldstein of Feldstein Family Law Group, and today we will be exploring the topic of working collaboratively to resolve matrimonial matters without formally entering or using the collaborative family law (“CFL”) process.
The CFL process is an alternate dispute resolution that involves four-way meetings between lawyers and their respective clients. This process is unique because it emphasizes and promotes cooperation without the threat of litigation; it treats the separation process as a mutual negotiation rather than an adversarial fight.
Despite its several benefits however, the CFL process may not be suitable in all situations. In order to formally participate in the process, both parties need to retain lawyers that are trained in collaborative family law. Parties also need to sign a contract and agree that if they are unable to settle their matters through this process, they will each hire a new lawyer to represent them in court. This means that they can no longer use the services of their collaborative lawyer if their negotiations stall or breakdown. Additionally, legal aid is not available for CFL.
But fret not… because even parties who are unable to access or otherwise participate in the formal CFL process, can use its principles to work collaboratively and cooperatively.
If parties are able to set aside their frustrations and emotions, and are willing to communicate and work together – they may be able to take advantage of the benefits of CFL without using its formal structure.
In fact, it really is in both parties’ best interests to be respectful and act collaboratively towards a mutually acceptable settlement – with or without the formal CFL process, this can save parties a significant amount of time and money!
For additional information or for general assistance with your family law matters, please visit our website at www.separation.ca or call us at 905-415-1636 to schedule an initial consultation.
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