Updated: Mar 13, 2020
To know which direction to take when you begin on the journey of separating from your spouse can be difficult.
Many people talk to their friends or family members who have been through similar experiences. Others might ask Google for a recommendation.
Friends and family members can be great resources, however, every separation and divorce is unique, and one person's experience may be greatly different from another's. Friends and family members are also "on your side", so they may influence you to seek out an unnecessarily adversarial process so you can "win". And as the character Gavin said in War of Roses, "There is no winning! Only degrees of losing!".
Google can also be a great resource, however, the information you find on Google may be confusing and may not apply to you given your geographical location.
In general, the following are options for separating and divorcing in Saskatchewan:
1. Do it Yourself - PLEA has a DIY separation agreement generator and you can get all the documents for applying for a divorce from their website as well.
2. Hire a Mediator - a Mediator can help you negotiate the terms of your separation agreement and some may even draft the agreement for you. Some Mediators may also help you with the paperwork needed to apply for a divorce. To find a Mediator who specializes in Family Mediation, look here.
3. Hire an Arbitrator - an Arbitrator will make decisions for you. Arbitration is like "mini-court". To find a Arbitrator who specializes in Family Arbitration, look here.
4. Hire a Collaborative Lawyer - a Collaborative Lawyer negotiations your separation agreement for you, provides you with legal advice, can attend to your divorce proceeding for you and makes the commitment to settle all matters pertaining to your separation and divorce without using litigation. To find a Collaborative Lawyer who specializes in Family Matters, look here.
5. Hire a Lawyer - a Lawyer will negotiation your separation agreement for you, provide you with legal advice, can attend to your divorce proceeding for you and though they may settle all matters pertaining to your separation and divorce without the use of litigation, they may use litigious techniques or go through the steps of litigation to finalize your divorce.
Option 1 is a great option if you are a DIY kind of person. Like many DIY projects, you may end up having to hire someone to help you finish it up. Some people like to start with DIY and hire someone at the end, and others like to hire someone from the beginning. Consider if you are ready for the challenge before proceeding with Option 1.
Option 2 is a great option if you want to keep a lot of the control in your hands and still receive professional guidance. With this option you can also hire a Collaborative Lawyer to help you with the legal bits.
Option 3 is a great option if you want someone else to make the decisions, but you still want to stay out of the litigation process.
Option 4 is a great option if you want a high level of guidance. With this option you can also hire a Mediator to help facilitate meetings and negotiations. You could also hire an Arbitrator or an Mediator/Arbitrator to make decisions if you reach an impasse in your negotiations.
Option 5 can be an effective option for some individuals. This options is likely going to be the most expensive and time-consuming and the most likely to damage already fragile relationships.
If upon reading this post you still have questions, we are here to help! Feel free to contact us to discuss what option will be the best for you in your unique situation.