Collaborative Family Law
An out-of-court, respectful dispute resolution process that allows parties to resolve their issues with integrity and without damage to their co-parenting relationship going forward.
Collaborative lawyers have specialized training to help negotiate and facilitate settlements. The process is holistic in that it addresses not only the legal issues that result from a separation, but also the financial, emotional and parenting issues. This may include the involvement of a Financial Professional, who is a financial expert with specialized Collaborative training, and/or a Family Professional, who is often a social worker or other mental health professional trained in the Collaborative Process.
Clients have a voice in the process and are never left in the dark. They are free to express their needs, concerns and feelings directly throughout the process and without their lawyer speaking on their behalf. They are in charge of steering the process, including setting the pace and deciding whether to utilize any third party professionals.
Options for settlement are explored, discussed and analyzed in depth with all parties in the process with the end goal being a tailored and comprehensive separation agreement that address the parties’ unique needs and goals. This approach requires free flow of financial disclosure and information between the parties, collaborative lawyers and any third party professionals involved. This ensures that the parties have the information they need in order to make informed decisions about their case.
The Collaborative Family Law process is typically more efficient and cost-effective than the traditional court process. It is respectful and child-focused, and empowers parties to communicate effectively in order to co-parent going forward.
With the exception of some specific financial documents, the information discussed in the collaborative process is confidential and cannot be disclosed in any legal proceeding or otherwise.
For more information on the Collaborative Family Law approach, please visit Ontario Association of Collaborative Professionals (OACP).
“Thanks to Whitney's advice in preparing for the separation, it has assisted in making a smooth transition for my family. Whitney and her staff have always been polite, knowledgeable and prompt in keeping me informed on everything that is happening in my case.”