Family law is a complex area of law. Your own personal circumstances, the dynamics of your relationship with your spouse/partner as well as the degree of the complexity of legal issues can all have an impact on which process option is best suited for you.
There are a number of process options that are effective in reaching a resolution of your family law issues. These include:
- Lawyer Negotiated Settlement: Both parties retain lawyers and through a process of disclosure and negotiation, a settlement is negotiated.
- Mediation: While I do not provide mediation services, I do attend mediations with clients as a means and a process for resolution.
- Separation Agreements: Negotiating and preparing written separation agreements, addressing the applicable issues involved.
- Court Process and Proceedings: I have represented clients in both Provincial Family Court and B.C. Supreme Court, with respect to custody, child and spousal support, divorce, and property division. The Court process should be considered a last resort but is often necessary where there are personal protection issues, property protection issues, urgent custody matters or where parties have just not been able to reach an agreement.
- Prenuptial and Cohabitation Agreements: For clients who are not facing separation or divorce, but who may be entering a second marriage, bringing significant assets into a marriage or for those individuals who do not intend to marry but live in a common-law relationship, I also provide cohabitation and prenuptial agreements.
Regardless of the process option chosen, Susan encourages her clients to act in good faith and work towards an amicable and fair resolution. High conflict and high animosity situations almost invariably result in higher legal costs to both parties.