4. Work with your lawyer

What is collaborative family law?
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4. Work with your lawyer

Your collaborative family law lawyer works with you to set up a process for negotiation that makes sense for your family. You may discuss things in person or over the telephone, and exchange documents and information in person, or by email or fax.

Usually the lawyers exchange documents, or have initial phone discussions before all of you meet – you, your partner, and your lawyers. You may have several meetings together.

Your lawyer may also discuss your draft separation agreement with you. This way you have time to think about the agreement and talk with your lawyer privately about it. There may be several draft agreements before you and your partner make an agreement.

Other professionals

Your collaborative family lawyer may refer you to other professionals who may help resolve your issues. For example, a financial planner may help you understand what taxes you will pay if certain types of property are transferred to you from your spouse.

And a child specialist, such as a social worker, may help you reach an access schedule that meets your child's wishes, their extracurricular activities, and you and your partner's schedules.

You and your partner have to pay for this.

Financial information

If you need to resolve property or support issues, it is very important that you share complete and honest information about you income, assets, and debts. This is called financial disclosure.

You can share this information in many ways. For example, you could use a computer spreadsheet that lists your financial information.

You can also fill out one of the financial statement court forms. Many people use these forms even if they don't go to court. The forms can be useful because they show you what a court looks at when deciding support and property issues. They also help you see what type of information you and your partner need to give each other.

Your collaborative family law lawyer, your partner's collaborative family law lawyer, and sometimes a financial specialist can help you figure out what information needs to be shared to reach an agreement.

You May Also Need

Ontario Collaborative Law Federation
Reviewed: July 31, 2017

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