Unmarried Spouses

As your Collaborative lawyer will outline for you, the definition of spouse in the Family Law Act includes married spouses and also couples who chose to live in a committed relationship without getting married, called “unmarried spouses” in the statue and formerly known as “common-law spouses”. The Collaborative Process assists anyone wishing to transition out of a committed relationship, whether a long-term or shorter relationship, to address all aspects of restructuring that relationship.

Using the Collaborative Process to Achieve a Workable Settlement

As with married spouses, unmarried spouses have to sort out issues regarding their personal property (investments, pensions, personal belongings, vehicles), real estate (the family home and, possibly, recreational property), one or more family businesses, debts, child support and spousal support. Deciding the best way to go about sharing property after a relationship ends is a highly personal process. The people best suited to determining an ideal solution are the spouses themselves. The Collaborative Process allows separating and divorcing spouses to create their own solutions rather than surrendering those decisions to a third party like a judge or an arbitrator, thus fostering cooperation and mutual respect rather than conflict and protracted, costly battles. Your Collaborative team will support you and your spouse to create an outcome that is carefully tailored to meet your respective needs.

If there are children, the Collaborative lawyers will support the spouses to keep a strong focus on ensuring that all agreements regarding co-parenting the children after separation or divorce are in the best interest of your children. The Collaborative divorce coaches and child specialists help parents work through delicate issues, as well as provide age-appropriate insight into the best ways to support the children through restructuring the family. Even if your partner is not the parent of your children, it may still be possible for that person to maintain a relationship with your children, as long as doing so is in each child's best interests and is a positive experience for them.

Questions about Collaborative Divorce?

Contact us today to schedule an appointment. We are easily reached by phone at 604-866-5949. You can also send us your questions via email, through our eform.

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Your Team


Collaborative Divorce Network




Shelley Behr

Divorce Coach/Child Specialist


Garth Edwards



Robert W. Mostar



Deirdre Severide



Danny Zack


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