Spouses in a Long-Term Relationship

When a long-term relationship ends, powerful emotions often surface. One spouse may feel financially vulnerable after a lifetime of financial dependence, with minimal skills or experience to become self-sufficient on separation. The other spouse may feel tremendous guilt in ending a long-term relationship.

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If you have questions about divorce or separation, please contact one of our Collaborative Practice professionals.

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Moving Forward Towards Resolution

If these emotions are not managed effectively, it will be very difficult for these spouses to reach a durable resolution. In litigation, these emotions are ignored. In the Collaborative Process, the divorce coaches work with the couple to understand and manage these emotions, which then allows the couple to move forward towards resolution more efficiently and effectively.

Creative Solutions – Case Study

After a long-term relationship, spouses often benefit from creative solutions that are not provided for in the legislation. In the Collaborative Process, we recognize that each couple is unique and may have interests and priorities that are not recognized in the strict legal framework. We recently encountered an example of this.

"After a long-term relationship spouses often benefit from creative solutions that are not provided for in the legislation."

A couple in a long-term relationship built and together ran a successful business. Prior to separation, the spouses were intending to work for another five to six years before retirement. In the Collaborative Process, the spouses came to appreciate and value the other's continuing role in the business to allow their respective retirement plans to continue. Their agreement provided that they would continue owning and working together in the business until retirement. This is another resolution that would not have been ordered by our courts.

Child and Spousal Support

Many clients are fearful of support obligations. The paying spouse is fearful of having to pay support that is beyond his or her capacity to pay. The receiving spouse is fearful of…

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Divorce Coaches

Get the help you need to understand and handle your feelings in a healthy way with divorce coaches through the Collaborative Divorce Network. Our Team includes qualified and compassionate…

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Unmarried Spouses

The Family Law Act in British Columbia has changed the legal framework in many ways - most significantly, spouses in a marriage-like relationship who have lived together…

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Children and Divorce

If you are considering a divorce and you have young children, their emotional and mental stability is undoubtedly your greatest concern. While research has proven the remarkable resiliency of children…

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Parenting Plans

A parenting plan is an agreement that separating parents develop together about how they will share parenting time and the day-to-day responsibilities of parenting…

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Separation Agreements

When relationships come to an end, challenges often arise when children are involved, when a spouse has inherited property or come into the relationship with more property than…

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Family Law

The ending of a marriage or relationship can be tumultuous. Coping day-to-day with this new reality is difficult enough, much less worrying about the long-term impact…

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Spouses without Children

Divorces that don’t involve children aren’t necessarily less complicated. These spouses need to reach resolution with respect to family, property, family debts and support obligations…

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Cohabitation and Marriage Agreements

Coming to an agreement in advance to deal with life’s contingencies can be a freeing experience for spouses. Establishing the framework for managing major issues when they are not…

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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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