Here’s the sad reality of our times. Depending on where you read it, the divorce rates are between 45-55%.

The increase in divorce rates however, has caused an influx of readily available solutions. There are many options available to help you make your divorce as unique as your family.

Know your options
First and foremost, get informed. Read what you can on the internet, there is a great deal of information available. Use your local library as a resource. Visit the Family Law Information Centre available at many of the court houses or schedule a consultation with a lawyer.

Will it be a friendly divorce where you can work through the issues at the kitchen table? Perhaps a do-it-yourself kit available online will do the trick or you’d like to file the papers yourself. The advantage of course is the cost. However, it can be time consuming, confusing and frustrating.

Can you sort some or all of the issues out by yourselves? Maybe mediation is the best fit for your family. The advantages are that you pay only one professional, you have complete control over the decisions, you set the pace and it is less stressful than court. Mediation allows you to have the legal process as a fall back. This is not a suitable option if there are significant power imbalances or domestic violence.

Maybe you feel that you are not able to negotiate with your ex-partner and require a lawyer to handle everything but you don’t want to go to court. Collaborative lawyers can help you both work through your issues under an agreement that you will not go to court. This can be less stressful and less costly than the traditional divorce process. If you do not however resolve your issues and you wish to proceed to court you must retain new lawyers.

Of course there is always the traditional divorce process. Does the story below sound familiar?

Parents that spent tens of thousands of dollars on lawyers that didn’t get along, ended up in court several times only to get adjourned, lost any remnants of kindness that they had for their ex and become so stressed that they lost a great deal of weight without ever having to go the gym! Did you listen carefully as they told you about how difficult it was for the kids? Mom and dad fighting all of the time, not knowing whose house they were going to sleep at, who they could say what to or who was going to take them to hockey and swimming lessons.

Make it unique
The reality is that there is no one-size fits all divorce. What works for your family may not work for another.

Create a divorce transition plan that works for your family. There is no right or wrong way to go about that, plans can be as unique as your family.

Making positive choices during your divorce is the biggest success factor for how well your children handle and remember the transition.

Julie Gill
Separation Coach