...more than you love your children? That’s a question that collaborative family law lawyers frequently ask their clients.
So: what does it mean to love your children most? It means consistently acting in their best interests, and not necessarily assuming those best interests are the same as your own best interests. It means putting aside your own hurts and rages and fears. It means working together to restructure your family so that your children will have optimal contact with both of you.
Is it easy? Not every day.
Is it doable? Almost always.
A collaboratively trained team can help you through the separation process outside of the court system. Each of you will have a collaboratively trained lawyer. You can jointly retain a collaboratively trained parenting coach who has the skills to help you determine what your children’s best interests really are. And if there are particular financial concerns, you can also jointly retain a collaboratively trained financial specialist. You can read more about collaborative practice in Simcoe County here.
Nobody enters into a relationship planning to split. But if there is going to be a separation, it matters how you go about it. Who benefits from a collaborative process? Your children, certainly. That’s because they will want you to be there – both of you – when they graduate from grade eight. And from high school. And get married. The momentous milestone events. But even more than that, they also want you to be there through all the ordinary days in between. They don’t want to have to choose between you.
And that’s the enduring legacy of a collaborative process. You will learn the techniques to help you negotiate your way through the immediate crisis of separation, how to get a plan in place, and then how to adjust to the changing developmental needs of your children going forward.
The collaborative process is generally far less adversarial, far less costly and much faster than a court process. Most clients want that. But the biggest advantage of all is that the two of you work with your lawyers to take control of the process. You know your own circumstances best. Collaboratively, you will make the decisions that will work best for each of you. And, most important of all, the decisions that will work best for your children.
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