Ending a relationship is difficult for any family, regardless of the amount of time you’ve spent with your spouse. In many cases, there are children involved and issues regarding support and access need to be addressed. The legal part of the process may take various different paths depending on the unique circumstances of your situation. If you are attempting to reach a divorce settlement in Vancouver or surrounding areas, seeking the advice of a lawyer is a wise first step. At Donald B. Phelps Law Corporation we’ve worked in this area of law for over 25 years and we strive to reach a settlement that protects your interests – and your rights.
When it comes to divorce and reaching a settlement, there is not a single approach that will work for everyone. It’s important to note that you have options. While going to court is always a possibility, litigation may not be the best solution for you. There are other choices such as mediation, arbitration and settlement conferences.
If avoiding the stress and hostility commonly associated to litigation is important to you, mediation may be the right option. In this situation, a neutral family lawyer works with both parties and guides you to a final agreement. This conciliatory approach will save you money over going to court and will lay the groundwork for such things as child and spousal support, and property division. Keep in mind that both parties must consent to the outcome of the mediation process or you will need to continue with the court process.
Another way to avoid a courtroom battle is through arbitration. In this scenario, you and your spouse do not agree on all facets of the divorce. In order to obtain a possible solution, it will be argued before an experienced family lawyer. This is similar to going to court but can be done much faster than if you were to wait for a judge to hear your case. In most cases, it will be less expensive than going to court. However, you should keep in mind that the decision of the arbitrator is not always final and you have the right to go to court if you are not happy with the judgement.
In a settlement conference, you will have a private, informal meeting with a judge. You are not charged for the judge’s time which will save you money over mediation and arbitration. These conferences are limited to 1 day and must be entered into voluntarily. You must also agree to the settlement – it cannot be forced upon you.
If you are ready to discuss your options in reaching a divorce settlement in Vancouver, contact Donald B. Phelps Law Corporation. We will explore your options and recommend a path that makes sense for you and your family.