Three Simple Steps To Prepare For The Collaborative Process

You make preparations for most major events in your life — graduation, a big move, marriage, the birth of a child. Divorce and separation are no different. While perhaps not as appealing or anticipated as other events in your life, separating from your spouse or partner requires extensive preparation, especially if you're considering a collaborative approach.

Below are some of the ways you can prepare yourself for this process.

1. Find A Qualified Lawyer

Preparing for the collaborative process is similar to any other family law process in that your first step should be to find qualified counsel. You will want someone familiar and trained in the collaborative process if you are considering it as an option for resolving your family dispute.

At Westside Family Law, we are committed to helping you find not just a solution, but the right one. Anna Perry has helped many Vancouver residents find compromise through the collaborative family process. She can answer your questions about the process and guide you through it, if it's the appropriate solution for your family.

2. Gather Your Paperwork

Behind every good family law outcome is a mountain of meticulously drafted paperwork. Locate and make copies of all of your important documents, like your marriage certificate, bank statements, income information, tax returns, credit card bills and other bills, children's holiday schedules and more. The more evidence you bring to your collaborative sessions, the more productive they will ultimately be.

3. Determine If You Need Outside Experts

Do you have significant investments or assets? Are you concerned about the effect of your separation on your children? Do you have tax questions? These important issues can be addressed by more than just your lawyer. You may need an accountant, a child specialist or tax adviser, for example.

The collaborative process takes a team approach, so think about which experts you might want or need to include. Talk to your lawyer about it. We have an extensive professional network from which you can draw, depending on your unique needs.

Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Preparing For

Unlike mediation or a traditional separation process, you and your spouse (and your lawyers) will sign a Collaborative Participation Agreement, which codifies your commitment to seek an out-of-Court settlement and to find new lawyers if you cannot reach an agreement. Ideally, you will want to have done the legwork of learning about the collaborative process, finding a good lawyer, gathering evidence and evaluating your needs before you sign this agreement.

Our lawyers at Westside Family Law can help you with all of the above. We will give you our full attention and respect as we work through the issues you face. Call us at 604-800-8853 or send us an email to discuss your options with us.