What is Collaborative Family Law?
Collaborative family law is a process where everyone agrees to work together (to collaborate) to create acceptable solutions that work well for both parties, and without going to court. In the collaborative approach:
- Both parties agree to stay out of court
- The emphasis is on creating solutions that address the values and goals of both parties and their children
- The sole objective is to reach an efficient, fair, comprehensive settlement of all issues.
Creates positive solutions
Divorce doesn't have to be adversarial.
No court appearance required
Resolves disputes without court
Respects all participants
And creates a positive outcome
Frequently Asked Questions
Most of the lawyers in this group are also highly skilled and trained mediators. However, mediation still holds the threat of court action over the participants, and all of the expense, while the collaborative process involves commitment to create a solution without going to court.
In the early 1990s in the United States, there was a growing dissatisfaction with the obvious shortcomings of adversarial litigation (court action) as a way of helping families resolve their disputes. A senior family lawyer practicing in Minneapolis was inspired to formulate a new paradigm called collaborative law.
Collaborative family law has now reached Canada, and a group of individual lawyers in the Okanagan is committed to this new concept.
You may start the Collaborative Process by contacting any of the professionals who will explain how the Process works and assist you in building your team of two Collaborative lawyers, one or two Divorce coaches, and a child specialist and financial specialist as required.
A divorce coach is a mental health professional (such as a psychologist, clinical counsellor, social worker or psychiatrist) who has completed collaborative training. A divorce coach has expertise in family systems, couples in conflict, child psychology and the impact of legal processes in separation. A divorce coach assists the parties and other collaborative team members (especially the parties’ lawyers).
Click a professional category below or enter a keyword in the search box.
We are a group of independent lawyers and helping professionals who, although not in partnership, work together in cases that are suitable for the collaborative process and without going to court.
I am a family law mediator and a collaborative family lawyer. My focus is on helping people resolve family law issues outside of the courtroom. Before becoming a lawyer, I worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator and Monitor and before that, I was a psychiatric nurse.
I believe that a commitment to honesty and respect, even in the toughest times, makes it possible for people to move towards resolution. Collaborative practice is a way to find and use the resources best suited to your needs so that you can craft the solution that works best for you and your family.
Ask me how the collaborative process can work for you.
Introductory Interdisciplinary Training
Join Bev Churchill and Cathie Heinrichs for a two and a half day introductory interdisciplinary training in the collaborative divorce process. The training is designed for financial specialists, coaches and lawyers who work with families in transition: June 8 – 10, 2016.