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Resolving family law disputes outside of court

Even for the most agreeable of couples, divorce can be difficult. While there need not always be animosity or feelings of betrayal, it is not uncommon for men and women to be upset with the situation and themselves. Many people somehow see divorce as a personal failing; that, if they had done better, they might still be happily married. These feelings are natural, but they only make divorce or any kind of separation harder.

Divorce may not be easy, but it can be made easier by working collaboratively outside of the courtroom. By working with lawyers who are more committed to resolving family law disputes than with lawyers whose goal it is to try to take as much as possible from a former spouse, divorcing couples can use collaborative law to end their marriages.

The collaborative approach may sometimes be the butt of jokes, as was Gwyneth Paltrow's recent announcement that she and her husband were "consciously uncoupling," but that does not need to turn people off of a more peaceful way to end a marriage. For one thing, Paltrow and soon-to-be ex-husband Chris Martin seem to be putting their two children first. They have even planned a family vacation for after their separation has finished.

On a less grand scale, families in Calgary can also take advantage of collaborative approaches to divorce. They and their lawyers must agree to keep the family matters out of court and, if court is unavoidable, each spouse must hire new lawyers. Because of this, no party in the process has any incentive to hold out and slowly push the divorce toward a courtroom battle. If done correctly, collaborative law can be a much easier way to end a relationship than traditional divorce.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Is 'conscious uncoupling' a better way to divorce?” Anya Sostek, March 29, 2014

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