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Family law offers alternative to divorcing in court

It is not commonly known that when a couple chooses to divorce, all the information that is brought before the court becomes a matter of public record. This means every statement made in the presence of a court stenographer, including details about business and private lives alike, can be made available to the public. Thankfully, there are family law alternatives for British Columbia residents to avoid publicizing the entirety of their separations for the world to see. 

More and more court systems are transferring paper records to a digital format, which makes it easier than ever for people, including family and friends of the couple, to seek records from a divorce hearing. This can be problematic for both spouses, particularly those involved in contentious divorces during which unflattering details about both parties could be revealed. This is why some family law experts espouse the virtues of the collaborative divorce. 

In collaborative divorce, both parties sign a contract prior to the beginning of the process in which they agree to keep matters out of the courtroom. At this point, both parties can secure their own representation. These attorneys work with the couple to iron out the details of their settlement before supplying that settlement information to the court, which is required to make the divorce legal. 

While collaborative divorce might not be for everyone, some family law experts believe it is a positive way for British Columbia residents to seek and attain divorces. Keeping records out of the court and allowing time for both parties to cool tempers and approach the issues rationally can have a positive effect on the divorce process. This, in turn, can allow both parties to move forward in their individual lives more quickly and with less opportunity for the world to have a front-row seat to the process. 

Source: Portland, OR Business Journal, "How to divorce without publicizing your private life", Joanna Posey, Oct. 18, 2016

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