You can resolve your differences with your spouse in many ways and this can be done even before going to the court. This is because early resolution processes are available. Early settlement of your case can avoid the trauma of a Court hearing. The biggest advantage of having your conflicts being resolved is that you are in control of the outcome. Unlike in court, the outcome is decided by the judge and you may not like the outcome.

Now let us share briefly about the 2 possible processes.

Collaborative Family Practice (CFP)

The persons involved in this process are you, your spouse and both sides’ CFP trained lawyer. The CFP lawyers are specialized in CFP methodology. Hence they are trained to identify your interests, goals or concerns. The CFP setting encourages effective communication and at the same time reduces unnecessary conflicts.

The process in a nutshell is:

  • Develop the goals, interests and concerns of yours and your family.
  • Identifying the issues for you.
  • Gather information.
  • Identifying the all possible options.
  • Evaluate the options.
  • Making your choice for a workable agreement.

The CFP lawyers and your family works in a team through meetings. The meetings are sometimes with both spouses present and sometimes without. If need be, other professionals that are CFP trained can be hired into the team. Such a professional is a neutral party to the team and for example, a counsellor to address emotional issues or financial expert to provide analysis of financial information.

Private mediation

This process involves your lawyer and your spouse’s lawyer appointing a mediator for both of you. The mediator is usually a lawyer who has some experience in family practice. Some are even former or current judges! Unlike in CFP, there is no teamwork required of both sides’ lawyers. Your lawyer advances your case and the mediator helps to resolve your differences with your spouse.

The process typically will be:

  • Appointment of a mediator and mediation date.
  • Mutual exchange information and proposals before mediation and submit information to the mediator.
  • On the mediation day, both sides and their lawyers attend the mediation.
  • Mediation starts with a joint session where everyone is briefed by the mediator.
  • Often there will be private sessions with the mediator for you.
  • The mediator alternates between joint and private sessions to identify each party’s needs, interests and concerns and to explore options.
  • Making your choice for a workable agreement.

The mediator takes the role of a neutral party and does not decide the case for you, unlike a judge. The mediation setting is less intimidating than a court.

Constructing your family’s future

You can change your mindset. Your spouse and you have constructed a family. When both of you are heading for a divorce, both of you should again construct your family’s future. You should take a proactive step now.