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Nathenppt1 (2)

  1. 1. Dedicated to Family Law. Results Driven. MADISON CENTRE 4950 Yonge Street, Suite 2408 Toronto, ON M2N 6K1 MISSISSAUGA EXECUTIVE CENTRE 2 Robert Speck Parkway, Suite 240 Mississauga, ON L4Z 1H8Please contact us by phone at (416) 222-6980 or email at
  2. 2. How can I make the divorce process move faster? (Part 1 of 3) The amount of time the divorce process takes depends mainly on how complicated your case is. Simple divorce cases can take a few months or even less, but a divorce with complex financial, property, or custody issues usually takes far longer. Usually, your divorce will be final shortly after you and your spouse reach an agreement – or after a judge makes the decisions for you.
  3. 3. How can I make the divorce process move faster? (Part 2 of 3) One way to makes things go more quickly is to cooperatewith your spouse, in order to avoid the wasteful conflicts thatlead to lengthy court battles. If you and your spouse (and yourrespective lawyers) can create an agreement that works forboth of you, you will save a significant amount of time andmoney. However, keep in mind that this might require bothyou and your spouse to make compromises on some issues.Ask yourself whether it’s really worth the time and money totake your spouse to court over certain issues between you. Ifyou’re determined to “win” against your spouse in everyaspect of your divorce, then get ready for a long, costly,drawn-out fight in court. But the more you’re willing to workconstructively with your spouse, the faster and easier yourdivorce will be.
  4. 4. How can I make the divorce process move faster? (Part 3 of 3) Whether you’re litigating or settling, you can also help yourdivorce along by preparation and by cooperating with yourlawyer. You can avoid unnecessary delays by providingdocuments and information that your lawyer needs right awayand responding immediately to his or her requests. Also makesure that your lawyer prepares you well: get the legal adviceyou need right at the outset, to prevent you from acting inways that might result in legal delays or costs. If you havetime, it’s also a good idea to educate yourself on divorce lawin your state. The better informed both you and your lawyerare, the better prepared you both will be – and the smootheryour divorce case will go.
  5. 5. How can I lower the overall costs of my divorce? (Part 1 of 3) The overall costs of your divorce depend mostly on howcomplicated and/or adversarial your particular case is. A simpledivorce with mutual agreement and few or no property/custodyissues will usually be quick and inexpensive. However, if yourdivorce is more complex and takes a long time to resolve, you arecertain to pay more in legal fees. Even if this is the case,however, there are ways to lower your costs. If your spouse is willing to discuss the issues peacefully in a non-combative setting, you may wish to try mediation. This popularalternative to court battles allows the spouses to work out anagreement themselves under the supervision and guidance of aprofessional mediator (often a lawyer or counsellor). Typically,each party employs a lawyer to give legal advice in the process.Although it’s not recommended for every case, mediation usuallysaves both time and money in resolving divorce cases.
  6. 6. How can I lower the overall costs of my divorce? (Part 2 of 3) Similarly, resolving your divorce in an out-of-court settlement (ifpossible) will be far less expensive and time-consuming thanslugging it out in court for weeks or even months. In a courtbattle, the fees keep piling up until the end is finally reached, butan agreement will avoid such excess time and financialexpenses.Whether you’re mediating, settling, or litigating your divorce, onesmart way to save money in the long run is to use yourprofessionals’ time more efficiently.Lawyers, accountants, counsellors, and other divorce-relatedprofessionals typically charge fees by the hour. So you don’t wantto waste their time and your money on irrelevant or wastefulissues. For example, remember not to use your lawyer as atherapist; he or she may sincerely sympathize with youremotional distress, but that’s not what you’re paying the lawyerfor.
  7. 7. How can I lower the overall costs of my divorce? (Part 3 of 3) You can also save your lawyer a lot of time by providing all relevant information for him or her right away. This way, you don’t have to pay the lawyer extra for unnecessary research or waiting. The more prepared your lawyer is, the better (and more economically) he or she can serve you. Divorce can be very expensive, and it’s understandable that you would want to lower the overall costs. However, don’t sacrifice your chances of getting an acceptable outcome for the sake of saving money. Don’t pick a lawyer solely on the basis of lower fees; make sure that he or she will do a good job as well. Getting the best possible long-term results may be worth spending a little extra.
  8. 8. How is “collaborative law” different from mediation or traditional settlements? (Part 1 of 3) Collaborative law is a dispute-resolution alternative in which both parties’ lawyers agree to work together toward a settlement without litigation. Invented by Minnesota matrimonial lawyer Stuart Webb, collaborative law also involves a written agreement stating that both lawyers must withdraw from the case if either party chooses to initiate adversarial court proceedings.
  9. 9. How is “collaborative law” different from mediation or traditional settlements? (Part 2 of 3) to resolve divorce and other Like mediation, collaborative law aimstypes of disputes through cooperation between both sides – with amuch lower financial and time expense. However, one of the primarydifferences is that the parties themselves negotiate the terms of theirown divorce in mediation, under the supervision or guidance of aneutral mediator (often a lawyer or counsellor). Each mediating partymay hire his or her own lawyer for individual advice. But incollaborative law, each party hires a lawyer that specializes in thecollaborative-law alternative, and their lawyers do the negotiating –with their clients’ best interests in mind. Whereas mediation may notbe appropriate in cases where there’s a power imbalance betweenthe parties, or there’s any other personal disadvantage forone, collaborative law can eliminate this potential problem throughhaving the lawyers negotiate on behalf of their clients’ interests.(Often, a neutral professional such as a financial planner, custodyevaluator, or therapeutic “divorce coach” is brought in as well.)
  10. 10. How is “collaborative law” different from mediation or traditional settlements? (Part 3 of 3)Whereas all matrimonial lawyers can negotiate peaceful settlementsin divorce, collaborative law is different in that, again, litigation iscompletely ruled out as an option. Sometimes, an attempt at asettlement may result in litigation if one of the lawyers and/or partiesis unreasonable about their terms or feels that the other party is beingunreasonable. In collaborative law, however, both lawyers haveagreement as their primary goal, rather than satisfying theirrespective clients’ separate agendas. Collaborative law works as a four-way negotiation process to reach awin-win solution to divorce, involving the lawyers’ problem-solvingskills rather than their adversarial instincts. Once an agreement isreached between both parties and their collaborative lawyers, thelawyers officially prepare the agreement, the divorce is settled, andclients hopefully move on with their lives.
  11. 11. I would like my divorce to go smoothly, what advice can you give me?(Part 1 of 4) Divorce is traumatic. It is not realistic to expect that a divorce will be painless or that the road to divorce and separation settlement will not have bumps along the way. The following points may lead to a less stressful divorce, if not necessarily a smooth one: Avoid Court if possible: Court proceedings should be used as a last resort, where negotiation or mediation outside of court will likely not result in a reasonable settlement. If there is a possibility of reaching a negotiated settlement prior to court proceedings being commenced this possibility should be fully explored. Once the divorce is in court there are often lengthy delays and related expenses, and court proceedings tend to create more animosity between parties, not less.
  12. 12. I would like my divorce to go smoothly, what advice can you give me?(Part 2 of 4) Be realistic: There are two sides to every divorce story. Whetheryour divorce proceeds through negotiation, mediation or court it is notrealistic to expect that one party will be the “winner” and the otherside will be the “loser” in the divorce. Usually court judgments andnegotiated settlements take into account the interest of both sidesand the children, and court decisions and negotiated settlements areseldom one sided victories. Parties to a divorce should avoid goinginto the process with an “I am going to take him/her to the cleaners”mentality, as this will lead to added expense and ultimatedisappointment with the result. Remember the children: Children have the right to know both theirparents and spend as much time with each as may be in their bestinterests. Children are often more flexible and adaptable than parentsin divorce proceedings give them credit for. Attempt to be creativewith your former partner in coming up with a parenting regime that
  13. 13. I would like my divorce to go smoothly, what advice can you give me?(Part 3 of 4) Remember that your former partner has qualities you once admired that may likely benefit the children. Unless there is no other way, do not delegate decision making powers regarding your children to a third party judge or arbitrator who does not know your children. Disclose, Disclose and Disclose: In Ontario where I practice Family Law, full financial disclosure in a divorce proceeding is a must. This includes disclosure of any and all relevant income, business, or company information of a payor. Often this disclosure may include financial records going back three years or more. The theory is that a fair settlement or judgment is not possible without full and frank financial disclosure. The quicker that disclosure is provided on a voluntary basis, the less expensive the ultimate settlement or divorce judgment will be to obtain.
  14. 14. I would like my divorce to go smoothly, what advice can you give me?(Part 4 of 4) Get Good Counsel : Other than the simplest of divorces where there are no children, no property, and a very short term relationship, divorce and separation proceedings are complicated. There are a number of ways to resolve divorce and separation disputes, either through mediation, negotiation, collaborative law or court. Do your research and find a lawyer or mediator trained to deal with divorce and family separation that you are compatible with and who can assist you through the process. Divorce and separation is not a smooth process. The five points set out above will minimize the financial and emotional distress caused by the process, however will not likely eliminate them altogether.
  15. 15. THANK YOU Contact our Intake Clerk Maria Tsirikos at 416 222 6980 ext. 2900for further information or to set an appointment with a lawyer or e-mail us at For more FAQs on divorce, child support / custodyissues, collaborative family law, divorce mediation, financial and legalissues, please visit