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Posts from the ‘Collaborative Family Law’ Category

Collaborative Law Practice – Coming to More Ontario Law Firms Near You

Collaborative Law Practice – Coming to More Ontario Law Firms Near You

As the name of my firm says, here at Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers we practice what is known as “Collaborative Family Law”, which is a voluntary, contract-based Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process for those seeking to negotiate a resolution of their Family Law dispute, rather than having one imposed on them by a court or an arbitrator. In many ways, it’s similar to mediation, except that it usually does not involve the participation of a neutral third party to help the couple reach a resolution.

Although use of the Collaborative Law process is perhaps not as widespread in Ontario as in other North American jurisdictions, the release on October 27, 2016 of the Ontario Collaborative Law Federation’s “Draft Accreditation Standards” paves the way for an even broader presence in the province. These Accreditation Standards aim to bring consistency, professionalism and heightened standards of competence to practitioners of Collaborative Law (like my firm).

The Ontario Collaborative Law Federation currently represents 18 groups of specially-trained professionals across the province, and imposes rigorous standards for membership. (For example, in the case of Collaborative Legal Professionals, it requires the completion of at least 40 hours of collaborative training, including interest-based negotiation skills training and Collaborative Family Law skills training).

Moreover, all Collaborative lawyers are already licensed and regulated members of the legal profession, and in their role as advocates for their clients, are already duty-bound to adhere to certain professional standards imposed by the Law Society of Upper Canada.

But once approved, the Draft Accreditation Standards will provide an additional layer of obligation and competence for all professionals who participate in the Collaborative Law process.

Accreditation is voluntary, but those who will choose to obtain this designation will have to adhere to the Accreditation Standards’ mandatory requirements (once they are approved); however, those who opt not to apply for accreditation are not prohibited from engaging in Collaborative Law provided they adhere to the same requirements.

In other words, once they are in final form, the Accreditation Standards will effectively govern both those who choose to seek accreditation, and those who do not.

This will be a welcome addition to the Collaborative Law field, and by extension a good development for Family Law litigants in Ontario. In the U.S., since the year 2010 there is already a Uniform Collaborative Law Rules and Act, which among other things standardizes the most important features of Collaborative Law participation agreements between the parties, and requires Collaborative lawyers to take certain steps and make certain inquiries of their clients.

In Canada, the use of Collaborative Law has perhaps been somewhat piecemeal in nature, but it’s growing. The Alberta Family Law Act (in section 5), the British Columbia Family Law Act (in section 8), and Saskatchewan Family Property Act (in section 44.1), each require lawyers who act on behalf of a spouse to inform him or her of the Collaborative Law service that might help resolve their matters. The legislative counterpart in Ontario (i.e. the Family Law Act) does not contain such a requirement, but it’s likely on the horizon soon.

At Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. For more information, visit us at RussellAlexander.com

Wednesday’s Video Clip: Ontario Divorce Law – Is Collaborative Practice Right for You?


Wednesday’s Video Clip: Ontario Divorce Law – Is Collaborative Practice Right for You?

Collaborative Practice is a way for you to resolve disputes respectfully – without going to court – while working with trained professionals who are important to all areas of your life.

In this video we introduce the concepts of collaborative practice and many of the benefits this process offers couples going through a separation and divorce in Ontario.

At Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. For more information, visit us at RussellAlexander.com

Ontario Divorce Law: Is Collaborative Practice Right for You? video

 

Wednesday’s Video Clip: Is Collaborative Practice Right for You?
Collaborative Practice is a way for you to resolve disputes respectfully — without going to court — while working with trained professionals who are important to all areas of your life.

In this video we introduce concepts of collaborative practice and many of the benefits this process offers couples going through a separation and divorce in Ontario.

At Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. For more information, visit us at RussellAlexander.com.

Ontario Divorce without Courts: Introduction to Collaborative Practice – video

 

Wednesday’s Video Clip: Ontario Divorce without Courts, Introduction to Collaborative Practice

Collaborative Divorce, also known as “Divorce without Courts” or Collaborative Practice, is a new way for lawyers to help resolve your marital dispute respectfully, and without Courts. In Ontario, Lawyers can help negotiate divorce settlements, while maintaining open communication and creating a shared solution between spouses.

In this video, Abi Adeusi reviews the merits of collaborative practice in divorce.

At Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. For more information, visit us at RussellAlexander.com.

Ontario Divorce without Courts: Introduction to Collaborative Practice – video

Wednesday’s Video Clip: Ontario Divorce without Courts: Introduction to Collaborative Practice

Collaborative Divorce, also known as “Divorce without Courts” or Collaborative Practice, is a new way for lawyers to help resolve your marital dispute respectfully, and without Courts. In Ontario, Lawyers can help negotiate divorce settlements, while maintaining open communication and creating a shared solution between spouses.

In this video we review the merits of collaborative practice in divorce.

At Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders.  To learn more about: “Ontario Divorce without Courts”, please visit our website at russellalexander.com

FDR: Family Dispute Resolution Week

FDR2

The theme of the week is “Let’s Talk it Out!”

Featuring events for the public and for professionals, this week features free public speakers, workshops, information centres and more.

I’m pleased to presenting today with Carolyn McAlpine on Mediation and Collaborative Law: A Better Way.  Our discussion will review:

  • —Key Elements to Collaborative Practice
  • —The Difference between Collaborative Practice and Mediation
  • —The Collaborative Team
  • —A Different Approach
  • —Reducing Hostility in Family Disputes and Separation
  • —The Nuts & Bolts of Collaborative Practice
  • — The Pace of Collaborative Practice
  • — A Focus on the Future
  • —A Focus on Interests, Not Positions
  • —Further Information about Collaborative Practice

Today’s agenda also includes:

LET’S TALK IT OUT – Northern District Library

START TIME TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2015

9:00am-9:45am

How to be great parents post-separation
Hear from two top family professionals on how to craft a parenting plan that works best for the children. Presentation by Stella Kavoukian and Laurie Stein

10:00am-10:45am

Family Violence and FDR
Information, support and resources for families experiencing violence. How to navigate separation and divorce safely— for you and your children.
Presentation by Barbra Schlifer Clinic

11:00am-11:45am

Mediation and Collaborative Law: A Better Way
Exploring the mediation and collaborative processes, emphasizing voluntariness, safety, pros vs cons when compared to the court process and how it creates long term solutions.
Presentation by Russell Alexander & Carollyn McAlpine

12:00pm-12:45pm

Public information fair: displays from agencies and organizations supporting families experiencing conflict @ Rotunda

1:00pm-1:45pm

Mental Health and FDR
Hear from a mental health professional about the resources available to separating families experiencing mental health challenges.
Presentation by Caroline Felstiner

2:00pm-2:45pm

Court Connected Mediation Services
What you need to know about Ontario’s free and subsidized family mediation services.
Presentation by mediate393

3:00pm-3:45pm

Smooth Sailing: Navigating Through a Family Law Dispute
Tips and suggestions from a seasoned family lawyer: useful resources including FLIC offices, Legal Aid Ontario, free online tools and other legal resources.
Presentation by Joel Skapinker

4:00-9:00pm

Public information fair: displays from agencies and organizations supporting families experiencing conflict @ Rotunda

We hope to see you there. To learn more about this week’s events including where to attend and how to register, click here.

Ontario Divorce Law: Is Collaborative Practice Right for You? – video

 

Wednesday’s Video Clip: Is Collaborative Practice Right for You?

Collaborative Practice is a way for you to resolve disputes respectfully — without going to court — while working with trained professionals who are important to all areas of your life.

In this video, we review the concepts of collaborative practice and many of the benefits this process offers couples going through a separation and divorce in Ontario.

 

Is Collaborative Practice Right for You? – video

 
 

Wednesday’s Video Clip: Ontario Divorce Law, Is Collaborative Practice Right for You?Collaborative Practice is a way for you to resolve disputes respectfully — without going to court — while working with trained professionals who are important to all areas of your life.

In this video we examine the concepts of collaborative practice and many of the benefits this process offers couples going through a separation and divorce in Ontario.

Is Collaborative Practice Right for You? – video

 
 

Wednesday’s Video Clip: Ontario Divorce Law, Is Collaborative Practice Right for You?

Collaborative Practice is a way for you to resolve disputes respectfully — without going to court — while working with trained professionals who are important to all areas of your life.

In this video, Abi Adeusi, introduces us to concepts of collaborative practice and many of the benefits this process offers couples going through a separation and divorce in Ontario.

Ontario Divorce without Courts: Introduction to Collaborative Practice – video

 

Wednesday’s Video Clip: Ontario Divorce without Courts: Introduction to Collaborative Practice

Collaborative Divorce, also known as “Divorce without Courts” or Collaborative Practice, is a new way for lawyers to help resolve your marital dispute respectfully, and without Courts. In Ontario, Lawyers can help negotiate divorce settlements, while maintaining open communication and creating a shared solution between spouses.

In this video, Abi Adeusi discusses the merits of collaborative practice in divorce.

To learn more about: “Ontario Divorce without Courts”, please visit our website at www.russellalexander.com or join us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RussellAlexanderFamilyLawyers