This week we interview Ontario lawyer Aleksandra Czyzowska. In 2008, Aleksandra graduated from the University of Ottawa with highest distinction, receiving a Bachelor of Social Sciences with a specialization in Criminology and a minor in Psychology. In 2011, she completed her law degree at the University of Ottawa and began her articles with the federal Department of Justice.
Russell Alexander: “How often do people ask you for advice or guidance about separation and divorce and in which jurisdictions do you practice in?”
Aleksandra Czyzowska: “Our firm practices exclusively in the area of family law. As a result, I am introduced to a number of people seeking guidance about separation and divorce on a weekly basis. In some cases, the person has just begun to contemplate the possibility of separation, and is being proactive by seeking information about their rights and obligations. In other cases, the person has already committed to the separation, or has been served with court documents to which he or she must reply.
I represent clients in various jurisdictions, including Durham Region, York Region, and the City of Kawartha Lakes.”
Russell Alexander: “What are the biggest concerns people raise with you about separation and divorce?”
Aleksandra Czyzowska: “People are often primarily concerned with ensuring that their separation/divorce has the least negative impact on their children, particularly when their children are young. They key to ensuring this happens is to shield children from the conflict, by ensuring that both parties remain respectful to one another through the separation process, particularly in front of the children.
Secondly, people are most concerned about the expense of hiring a lawyer. While there are some ways to reach a resolution without using a lawyer, a lawyer can be helpful to ensure that the person’s transition is smooth, and that their rights are protected.”
Russell Alexander: ” What advice do you have for people looking for lawyer?”
Aleksandra Czyzowska: “Ask people you know for a referral. However, some people might want to seek legal advice prior to disclosing their potential separation to friends and family. In this case, the internet is a good starting point (ie: Google). Once you find a lawyer you might be interested in, book a consultation. At your consultation, ask the lawyer questions, and determine whether he or she would be a good fit for you. If you are not comfortable with that lawyer, do not hesitate to get a second opinion.”
Russell Alexander: “What are the top 3 tips you have for people going through a divorce?”
Aleksandra Czyzowska: “Remain civil with one another.
Where there are children, put your children’s interests before your feelings for your ex-spouse.
Focus on your needs, but remain considerate to the needs of your spouse.”
Russell Alexander: “What do you envision for the future of family law?”
Aleksandra Czyzowska: “As separation and divorce become more and more common for Canadian families, there is a shift in the traditional belief that divorce and separation are by definition acrimonious processes, and that one party will ultimately end up with the short end of the stick. Going into the future, I am hopeful that with the increasing number of divorcing parties, people will move away from this way of thinking, and focus on how to end their relationships while keeping all parties’ best interests in mind.”