SEPARATION AND DIVORCE
After making the difficult decision to separate, many couples are not sure how to proceed. Where do we start? How do we become "officially" separated? Do we have to go to a lawyer? What are we each entitled to? If we basically agree, can we do it ourselves? How do we divide finances? How do we set up a parenting plan? Do we have to spend a fortune?
I can help you understand and move through the process, so you can decide the best way - emotionally and financially - to move forward. A 'Where to Begin' session is $250.
Mediation is designed to help couples identify and find solutions to post-separation issues, which can include dividing assets and debts, figuring out a parenting plan going forward, and working out child and spousal support. A mediator does not tell you what to do, but they do help by suggesting resources, altering the dynamics, offering suggestions, and assisting with communication. Generally it is much easier to have difficult discussions and make better decisions with the help of a chartered mediator and work towards creating an MOU / 'Memorandum of Understanding' that you can use as a legal document of your agreements, to create a separation agreement yourself or with the Mediator, or take to your separate lawyers. With Mediation, the focus moves from fighting each other to working together finding a fair solution.
A more formal separation agreement is often required for bank financing or filing in court. I prepare separation agreements, with or without mediation. If desired, for a fee I can use the same software that the courts and use (DivorceMate). Another option is that I have partnered with 'The Collaborative Legal corp and Mediation centre' to offer a model we call '1 day divorce program'. An evaluative mediation approach is used, with the mediator assisting participants to identify their post-separation issues, actively suggesting options and finding solutions. In collaboration with a lawyer, a formal agreement is drawn up and is ready for you to take away at the end of the day. Learn more here.