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  • What happens to my pension? Cottage? Business?
  • How am I going to get through this?
  • When will I stop feeling sad? Ashamed?
  • How will we split everything?
  • How will we tell the children?
  • What will everyone think?
  • What about the kids?
  • Does it have to be a big court battle?
  • Do we have to sell the house?
  • How am I going to pay the bills?
Marie . Michaels Professional Corporation
Credentials & Experience

Collaborative Training Levels I & II

Collaborative Team Leadership

Osgood Hall Law School LL.B.

The Collaborative Advtange

Marie G. Michaels

When I first meet with a potential new client, the question inevitably arises, "should I take my spouse to Court or try collaborative?"  Over the course of time my answer has become a constant, "the collaborative approach is in your best interests!"  That approach gives you and your spouse access to non-lawyer professionals to help with financial settlement, and non-lawyer parenting professionals to help with parenting issues, all working together with both of your lawyers at a lesser expense, a greater respect for the concept of a mutually agreeable settlement, and a longer-sustaining settlement than litigation could every provide.


The most important lesson I have learned in all these years is that litigation is almost always the wrong choice for a separated couple.  I have won a lot of cases, and helped settle many more, but all at both a higher emotional and financial cost to both sides than anyone should have had to pay.

Cost isn't the only negative factor for a client to consider.  A client who decides to litigate, is a client who decided to give responsibility for their child's upbringing to a third party - a Judge.  Who knows your children best?  You and your spouse, so why do people allow a Judge to decide where they should live, how much time they should spend with their other parent, who gets to decide if they can or cannot have tutoring to improve their grades?  Many clients litigate because they have not been educated about the better way to resolve their separation issues.

The collaborative approach is that better way.  It allows parents to join as a team working together for their separated family, rather than fighting against one another to "win" at all costs.  The collaborative team process provides better results because YOU decided on the final settlement terms, together with your spouse.  Even if you two don't get along today, the collaborative team will help to guide you to a mutually beneficial agreement that meets your needs, the needs of your spouse and, most importantly, the needs of your children.  Better yet, the cost is (more often than not) less expensive, the timetable more reasonable, and the result longer-lasting.

 Talk to me about how I know that the collaborative family law team process can help you and your spouse achieve a respectful, reasonable, and responsible settlement working as a team, rather than armed combatants.

We all know that custody and access are always resolved "in the best interests of the children", but what if were a way to resolve all family law issues in the best interests of the children and their parents too?  There is - the Collaborative Family Law Team Approach !

— Marie G. Michaels

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