You are a person first – by Anna Priemaza

Collaborative Divorce Alberta | June 7, 2017

photo of a person standing among a crowd, highlighted to represent an individual person

You are a person first.

The legal system is not designed for you, the individual. It’s designed for society as a whole.

The court system is set up to be one size fits all, with processes and options that are predictable and standard, and with results that are fair and just on average. If you take your family law matter to court, you will be referred to in court documents and in court as “the applicant” or “the respondent” or “the wife” or “the husband” or “the mother” or “the father.” The majority of family law matters are decided based on written evidence only, which means that decisions will be made about you and your family by someone who has never met you or your ex-partner or your children.

Sometimes this one size fits all process is the only or even best option, but if you and your ex-partner prefer something more individualized, the collaborative process may be for you.

The collaborative process is not about cookie cutter solutions. Instead, it recognizes that you are a person, complete with your own desires, fears, goals, needs, and schedules. Collaborative family law creates room for you and your ex-partner to figure out solutions that work for your specific family and that address the individualized needs of your children.

As collaborative family lawyers, we know and can advise you what your rights and obligations are as “a spouse” or “a guardian” or “a common-law partner.” But we also know that you’re a person first–one who’s going through what is likely a stressful, heartbreaking, aggravating, emotional time–and through the collaborative process, we can help you reach a resolution that works specifically for you and your family.

Filed under: Collaborative Process

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