Getting Started

Getting Started

One of the first decisions you will need to make in your separation or divorce journey is which process you will choose to sort out the details of your divorce. Separating and divorcing couples in Canada have a choice when it comes to which process to use to help them resolve legal, financial and parental issues during divorce. These processes can include:

  • Collaborative Divorce: a non-adversarial method of conflict resolution where divorcing parties agree in advance not to pursue litigation and work together with trained professionals to resolve disputes
  • Mediation: a trained mediator facilitates discussion between parties to come to a resolution
  • Lawyer-driven negotiation: Divorcing parties communicate and negotiate settlement agreements through their respective lawyers
  • Litigation: An adversarial process where divorcing parties or their lawyers go to court to make arguments in front of a judge. The judge then considers the evidence and makes a binding decision

Separating and divorcing couples also have a choice when it comes to which professionals they use to help them deal with and make sound decisions about separate—but often related—issues within the divorce. This group may include:

  • A lawyer: to protect your rights and help guide you through the legal process
  • A counsellor: to support you emotionally and help reduce stress
  • A Chartered Financial Divorce Specialist (CFDS): to advise you about the short-and long-term impact of divorce on your financial future

Which process you use and which professionals you choose to surround yourself with depends on many factors. If you are unsure about which resolution process is best for you, please ask Joyce for more information.

I would like to work with a CFDS. Where do I start?

A CFDS can be a valuable asset during any settlement process: collaborative divorce, mediation, lawyer-driven negotiation or litigation. No matter which kind of resolution process you choose, Joyce will always offer compassionate, professional and objective advice about your current financial situation and explain the potential consequences of a settlement agreement on your future financial health.

The best time to contact a CFDS like Joyce is at the beginning of your divorce journey. You alone, or you and your spouse together are welcome to contact Joyce and meet with her personally to discuss your situation, your goals and your concerns.

Although earlier is often better, some individuals and couples may not be able to consult a CFDS right away—in which case you, your spouse, your mediator or lawyer can request a CFDS like Joyce at any point in the separation or divorce process. The role of a CFDS varies slightly depending when they are brought in.

What to expect at your first meeting
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Joyce Owen