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If you're facing Separation and Divorce, you have many questions. We've spent years guiding people through this pivotal life change, so we have answers. The first is usually "Where do I start, and who do I hire."  Your options range from hiring lawyers to litigate to interest-based mediation. Between these spectrums, there are a variety of hybrid combinations. The Fairway Method™ would fall somewhere in the middle. We are considered an alternative dispute divorce resolution service, and our process is designed to work with amicable or conflicted couples with assets and perhaps children to protect. Given that we move couples from start to finish through most of the process separately, you avoid being concerned about either being fully informed or getting pressure to settle.

The key to a fair outcome is to ensure you are an empowered decision-maker all the way through. We also ensure that you receive independent legal advice before signing anything so that you can rest assured that your rights have been protected and your future is secure. You will save both money and time as Fairway will oversee your entire process from helping you make decisions to filing for divorce.

So, rather than two lawyers pitting you and your spouse against each other around issues related to kids and finances, resulting in costly and destructive affidavits,  there is another option. At Fairway, we do our best to protect all relationships moving forward, as that is in the best interest of your kids and your finances.

Fairway is for you if:

  • you have assets to protect (with or without children)
  • you have children; you want to ensure they are not victims of divorce but instead can thrive
  • you want an outcome where you feel your future is secure
  • you are prepared to leave the past in the past and focus on intelligent decisions
  • you are fair-minded
  • you and your spouse are amicable or conflicted (with no domestic violence)
  • you want to make well-informed financial decisions
  • support is to be paid or received, you want it to be fair
  • you want to be the best you can be in your divorce
  • you want to end your divorce with a road map for what is next

The next best step is to invest about an hour of your time, at no cost, to meet with one of our resolution experts. After a series of questions, we will be honest with you about your suitability and our confidence in bringing you both to resolution and finalizing your Separation Agreement. We have over a 95% success rate for couples working with us using The Fairway Method.

Getting you started: common concerns and questions

Legal concerns

We believe we need legal advice but do not want to hire lawyers to fight. 

Most couples in Canada fall under this category. Getting good legal advice when it comes to divorce is prudent. However, to protect your rights, you do not need to fight it out with lawyers. Many are choosing alternative dispute resolution/mediation to negotiate all the issues and get matrimonial legal advice where and when needed.

Here is a short list of options and areas to negotiate:

  • The Fairway Method™ Independently Negotiated Resolution INR™ 
  • Separation Agreement Drafting 
  • Divorce Mediation
  • Financial Divorce Experts
  • Spousal Support and Child Support
  • Co-Parenting  and Custody

We don’t think we need much of any legal advice because our case is straight forward and easy. 

Some cases are very straight-forward, and there is no reason to hire lawyers. By law, you do not need a lawyer to get divorced in Canada.

If you have dependent children, you must then demonstrate that you have their best interest in mind when you are applying for a divorce. Nevertheless, you can either go straight to divorce filing or get a straightforward separation agreement done either by doing it yourself or using a third-party service to help you. 

I want to protect my legal rights, but I don’t want to fight. 

Most people in Canada fall under this category. The laws are reasonably straight-forward so fighting it out with lawyers is not likely going to achieve a better outcome. However, educating yourself with the laws is beneficial to understanding your rights, negotiation and resolving your issues with confidence around money and children.

Divorce mediation and accounting firms can get you up to speed with all the legalities and usually at much lower cost than divorce lawyers.

I am with lawyers now, but it is getting messy and want to stop the fighting

There are two things you can do. The first is, you both agree to get off the train wreck and move to an alternative divorce resolution service. This arrangement will require some careful navigation if there are proceedings in place. Secondly, if one party intends to continue with their law firm, you could do the brave and bold thing and fire your lawyer. Disengaging your lawyer and replacing that will self-representation is quickly becoming more popular and acceptable in the courts. You may want to check out our SOLE service for providing support to individuals going through divorce.

My spouse wants to hire a lawyer to protect him/her and will not consider an alternative dispute or mediation service

In the past, the only option you had was to hire a lawyer in response. Today, it is your legal right to self-represent, and given the pressure from the Canadian population, the courts in Canada are making it easier and putting systems in place to support those who do not want to go through litigation and want to self-represent or use mediation.

Like most lawyers, divorce mediation companies typically offer the initial consultation at no charge. Unlike lawyers, mediation firms are unbiased and will seek to serve both parties equally protecting each of their interests. See if your spouse would be open to a 60-minute consultation. You can go together, or separately, but rest assured this is the future of divorce. If they will absolutely not consider an alternative to the traditional system of fighting, please check out our SOLE service for providing support to individuals going through divorce.

I want my spouse to pay for his/her bad behaviour and the lies, and I don’t care what it costs. 

If you want someone to reveal what you perceive is the “truth” about your spouse, then you are best suited for lawyers. With lawyers, you get to put all your viewpoints and facts into a notarized affidavit and try to prove to the courts that you are right. In this case, hiring a divorce lawyer is the best solution. However this is foolish and a waste of money. In Canada it is a no fault system of divorce, which means that behaviour, regardless of how bad, is irrelevant to your settlement.

My spouse will not respond to me and is out reach or the country

This situation is unfortunate, but in the case where there is violence, a spouse is unreachable or will not cooperate in any way, then a divorce lawyer is a smart move as it may be your only option to get a divorce and support. 

We are living common law and we don’t know what our rights are. 

Depending on what province you reside in, the laws covering common law are very different. Due to the complex nature of these relationships and the lack of clarity in some provincial laws, using lawyers can be more expensive than if you were married. Using an alternative where you and your partner can negotiate is a good idea. Given the complexity of the laws, receiving some legal advice during the process, if assets are involved, makes good sense. 

Conflict and trust issues

I have not told my spouse.

Many people start to research divorce before they have told their spouse. How you tell your spouse can set the stage for a peaceful or conflictual divorce, so doing it right is very important. Unfortunately, there are many sketchy resources on how to do that.

Visit Fairway’s YouTube channel to get some great pointers on how to handle that conversation with grace and honesty.

My spouse does not agree with getting a divorce and is pushing back.

In Canada, if you want a divorce, you can have one. The question is not whether you can get a divorce but rather what will the process be. Understanding your options and the law is a good idea but rest assured, you can get a divorce. Perhaps focus on convincing them to use an alternative and let them know that if they refuse, then you will be forced to hire a lawyer and fight it out.

Visit Fairway’s YouTube channel and get tips on how to encourage your spouse to cooperate.

We are very conflicted. 

Just because you are conflicted does not mean you need to fight and avoid alternative dispute resolution or mediation services. While traditional mediation models often do fail with conflicted couples, there has been a great deal of innovation in alternative dispute models that are designed to move each person through a process that deals with conflict and prevents it from increasing. In particular The Fairway Method™ offered by Fairway is designed to work with both amicable and conflicted couples.

I do not trust my spouse. 

Many people getting divorced feel this way. The good news is that you do not need to trust your spouse to make smart decisions about how to move through a divorce. A pragmatic and analytical approach to financial disclosure is what you need to ensure that assets, liabilities, taxes, and valuations are done so that property division can be accurately completed.

Children's well-being

We want to protect our children and co-parent together. 

Children do not need to be victims of divorce. You can raise well adapted confident children when separated. The laws in Canada are designed to protect children first. Often, failing to plan results in planning to fail when it comes to positive co- parenting. While almost all families have joint custody, the focus can turn to residential care and a parenting plan. Fairway prides itself on helping you build a comprehensive Nurtured Children’s Plan™ that works for both your kids and you.

We do not have children and our divorce is easy. 

If you do not have children, then you may be able to file for divorce immediately. You can address all your property issues in either a full or condensed separation agreement, depending on the complexity of your assets. Reach out to us as we can File for Divorce on your behalf making is very easy and inexpensive. Check out Fairway’s Fast Track service as it is easy and cheap.

Our children are grown up and no longer dependent. 

If you do not have dependent children, as defined by the Federal and Provincial Acts, then you may be able to move right into filing for divorce. This approach will depend on how long you have been living separate and apart. You can address all your property issues in either a full or condensed separation agreement, depending on the complexity of your assets.

Assets and finances

We have complicated assets and finances. 

In the case of complex assets, you may need a team of experts to value your assets and help you divide your property fairly and legally while protecting your wealth. Getting legal advice is prudent, but you do not need lawyers to negotiate financial deals, you need them to ensure that the agreement is drafted to reflect your intentions. Our niche of expertise at Fairway, is that our divorce resolution experts specialize in financial divorce resolution.

We have reasonably straightforward assets and liabilities. 

In the case where your assets are not overly complicated, then getting resolution on issues should not be difficult, as most numbers are reasonably straightforward. Most couples in Canada fall under this category, and the good news is there are lots of ways to get this completed. 

We do not have any assets or liabilities. 

In the case, which is often the situation for younger people who have not been married for long, you can go right into filing for divorce. If you do have children, you will need a separation agreement. If you have other issues to resolve, you can do that with the assistance of a neutral third party. Fairway can help you file for divorce quick and easy.

We have a prenuptial or pre-marriage assets. 

In the case where there is a prenup, one the first things to do is ensure you both agree with the terms of the agreement. Once that is established, then often the next steps are quite easy. Of course, the terms of the prenup can make the process of negotiation easy or difficult. If there was no prenuptial agreement, but there were pre-marriage assets, then using divorce and legal experts is vital. 

Before you call a lawyer, call Fairway.

Client testimonials

Success comes in many forms. For us, it is hearing back from our clients and reading how we have changed their lives for the better. These stories are the reason we do what we do.

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I’d also like to say thank you for how you helped us handle everything. Having that agreement has made life so much more simple for all of us, especially the kids. We haven't had any issues.

- Saskatoon Client May 2020