Lawyer Assisted Divorce
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Traditional lawyer-assisted divorce negotiation is adversarial and takes place within the context of Court applications that may be brought at any time , so long as they are in compliance with the Alberta Rules of Court. This negotiation is characterized by each side taking a position and arguing for it, with the knowledge that the position they are taking will be argued against and whittled down until they will eventually come up with a compromise. It is a negotiation dance that often creates a lot of “bad blood” between the negotiating parties and therefore is not usually recommended if the negotiating spouses want to minimize the animosity between them; or if they are going to have to co-parent their children together after the divorce is complete.
Traditional lawyer assisted negotiation is characterized by lawyers taking information and instruction from their clients and sending written demands for disclosure and settlement proposals to the other spouse’s lawyer. It is not an efficient process in terms of the amount of time it takes, because often when proposals are made based on the information that is provided by one spouse, there is incomplete information and the lawyer does not have a full picture of important information the other spouse might have.
When the responding lawyer receives the proposal they have to contact their clients and schedule and review the letter and information and then respond with the client’s information and instruction. The responding lawyer then sends a letter and the process goes back and forth with between the lawyers.
This form of negotiation is not efficient, often costly and leaves a great deal of room for misunderstanding, miscommunication and delay.
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