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Are you separating? Getting a divorce? Why collaborate?

There are many reasons. Choosing collaboration rather than litigation (going to court) to resolve disputes and solve problems can empower you in the following ways:

1. More Control

When you choose collaboration, you and your separating partner are choosing to take control of your future. You decide the timeline. You decide what issues are most important to you. You decide what solutions work best for you and your family. You—not lawyers or judges—decide the way forward.

2. Less Conflict

The collaborative process is built on a foundation of cooperation. In order to begin collaboration, separating partners must sign a participation agreement. By signing the agreement, you both agree to exchange information freely and honestly and to seek a solution that addresses the priorities of the entire family. You also agree not to go to court.

Because you, your separating partner and your collaborative team are committed to finding solutions that matter most to you and your family, that commitment means less conflict throughout the process and beyond.

3. A Team Approach

Collaborative Practice Ottawa uses a team approach that surrounds you with more and different kinds of expertise than what might typically be available to you during an adversarial legal process.

Whether you need help creating a customized co-parenting agreement, negotiating child and/or spousal support, valuating a business or other assets, or dividing property, the members of your collaborative team have received specialized collaborative divorce training above and beyond their legal, financial or family counsel credentials. They also have a track record of working together as a team to help other families just like yours.

4. More Customization

When it comes to deciding the details of a family’s separation agreement, courts must follow a very strict set of rules. Judges just don’t have the flexibility to craft highly customized solutions.

When you choose collaboration, you aren’t bound by strict legal rules. You and your partner are free to create a separation agreement that suits your particular needs. Your collaborative team will offer their knowledge and expertise to help you come up with creative options and help you evaluate them based on your priorities.

Together, you and your team can craft a custom solution that helps everyone move forward.

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5. Faster Resolution

When you choose collaboration, you are choosing a process that is designed to help you and your partner actively come to an agreement and closure. Since everyone is focused on finding solutions rather than attacking, defending and blaming, all energy is focused on resolving issues.

And, since everyone who participates in collaboration commits to full disclosure and open communication, many issues tend to be addressed and decided on more quickly.

Finally, since collaboration involves a series of meetings in a closed, neutral setting, you do not have to wait for a court date several weeks or months from now.

6. More Privacy

Collaboration offers more privacy than going to court. Collaborative meetings are held in a private setting. All participants are bound by a confidentiality agreement. The details of the process, negotiations and final agreement remain private. Compare this to separations decided by the courts, where these types of records are available to the public.

7. Save Time, Money and Stress

By avoiding a traditional divorce through the courts, you are avoiding expensive litigation, high court costs, wait times for court dates, and the stress associated with an adversarial process. There’s less “wrong vs. right” and more “let’s communicate, decide, resolve, and move on.”

Litigation is a back-and-forth, partner vs. partner process. Collaboration allows both of you to advance in step toward a mutually beneficial outcome—as efficiently, respectfully and peacefully as possible.

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