Developing Your Separation Agreement

Separation agreement

Considering All the Divorce OptionsOpens in a new tab.

Did you know that there are options to arriving at your Ontario separation agreement?Going into my divorce, I didn’t realize there were any options. Maybe I watched too much TV, but my perception was that everyone went to court and litigated–went to trial before a judge. I was completely wrong. I didn’t understand that litigation is not the preferred method of resolution. All family lawyers would agree that in most situations, it is the method of last resort; it usually signals a breakdown in negotiations outside the courtroom. The other options besides litigation are called alternative dispute resolutions, or ADRs.

The best-practices thinking is that ADR ought to mean

“appropriate dispute resolution,”

of which litigation is one choice.

Understanding each ADR process is vitally important. Although no one should walk into a family lawyer’sOpens in a new tab. office and immediately say, “I want dispute resolution X”–family lawyers evaluate which dispute resolution process to pursue based on the nature of the problems and issues–being aware of your choices can help you maintain control and contribute to making decisions with confidence.

Which option provides the best outcome?

All of these modalities can produce either a good outcome or a bad one. Mediation, arbitration, trial–nothing about them, alone, predicts either a good or bad outcome. All carry variables such as a good judge or a bad judge, a good family mediator or a bad family mediator, a good family lawyer or a bad family lawyer.

There are five ways to come up with your Ontario separation agreement without going to court.You should be well informed about these when considering the best way to arrive at your Ontario separation agreement.Why does this matter?It matters because it’s not always about going to court.

The truth is, there is no such thing as revenge in divorce, the only thing you will get are legal bills.

What are your choices and options?

  • Do-it-yourself
  • Negotiation
  • Mediation
  • Collaborative Family Law
  • Arbitration
  • Litigation

Which Option Is Right for You?

Even choosing which dispute resolution option to take can become a fight for a divorcing couple. Don’t invest yourself in particular outcomes. Your goal should be as reasonable a dissolution of your marriage as possible under the circumstances. You do not have–and you will not be able to get–complete control of the options or of how the other side acts within them.

A good family lawyer will emphasize that it is extremely unlikely that anyone is going to walk away having won completely. I’ve been told by many family lawyers that they make most of their money from clients who are stubborn. But many family lawyers also say that they would accept slightly lower fees for easier clients, even if they have to take on more clients to make up the difference.

Information about dispute resolutions and more is covered far more comprehensively inThe Smart Divorce: Proven Strategies and Valuable Advice from 100 Top Divorce Lawyers, Financial Advisers, Counselors and Other ExpertsOpens in a new tab.. Opens in a new tab.Available wherever books are sold,,, and many other webseller book sites.

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