Does any of this sound familiar to you?
“Buckle up. This is going to one ugly ride.”
“That isn't actually ‘custody’ —that's actually called ‘access’.”
“Make sure you hire Lawyer X so you don’t get taken to the cleaners.”
“My sister tried that and I know it doesn’t work.”
"That's going to be hard since you are the dad and not the mom”.
“You have no option but to go to Court.”
“It’s a total gong show. Don’t even try to understand it.”
“My niece and nephew were able to choose where they want to live.”
“You need a legal separation.”
“You definitely need sole custody to do that.”
“You have to go to court to get a divorce."
If you are in the early stages of separating or divorcing, of course it does. These are just some of the pieces of information you are getting from well-intended friends, relatives or maybe your hairdresser. But did they go to law school?
The problem with unsolicited, free, and Googled advice...
There are varying degrees of credibility and applicability. Plus, one person's experience is not an accurate predictor for YOUR experience.
In my over 15 years as a lawyer, social worker and mediator, I can honestly say, how you begin your separation process is a crucial time. It often sets the trajectory for the entire journey.
That means, if you want to write a new kind of separation story, you need to get personalized, professional and knowledgable information in the very early stages. Someone who will work with you or, ideally, both of you, to help you sort through the legal details that apply to your family situation and give you an informed perspective grounded in years of reliable experience.
Let me help you.
I used to be a courtroom lawyer. I used to be the kind of lawyer that clients came to for legal advice—advice about what they should do given their specific situation. I would draft and file court documents for clients, serve divorce petitions and take clients to court, if need be. All the while, of course, charging you about $325 an hour under a legal retainer agreement.
I decided to change how I help people just like you.
I believe in my new model of helping clients so much that I retired from practicing law in order to pursuit it fully.
What I realized when I was practicing law was that most of my clients were really only seeking and needing legal information as early as possible in their separation or divorce—not legal advice. Clients really weren't ready to make any decisions about what to do—instead they simply needed to know what all of this new language and foreign process meant. During these expensive consults, I found myself slowly, carefully and contextually explaining to clients the language and terminology of separation and divorce as well as providing insight into their available options and resources that they could use—this was all legal information, not legal advice.
I found that clients needed this legal information as a necessary tool to better understand what they wanted to do and how they wanted to proceed if and when they did end up making decisions. And, in all honesty, I felt very guilty charging clients “lawyer rates” simply for acting like a sifter and organizer for tailored legal information about separation and divorce—but it was clear and obvious to me that people needed this kind of professional assistance.
So now, instead of meeting with clients for a “legal advice consult”, I am choosing to give clients what they actually need and want: a legal information consult that is tailored to their specific separation or divorce situation. After a legal information consult, my clients can make better, more informed decisions about how they want their separation story to unfold.
As a separation specialist, I offer:
Legal information consults to separating or divorcing people—alone or together. These consults are ideal for people who are not yet prepared to commit to the investment of hiring lawyers and those who are self represented.
The greatest value of the legal information consult is that, unlike when you each go out and hire a lawyer, I can meet with you both. I can help level the playing field for you and your ex. You'll both receive the same access to credible, reliable and trusted legal information specific to your situation, as well the same insightful descriptions of what your available options are including recommendations for useful resources to help you with your family law issues.
When both of you have honest, credible, and reliable information up front—from the same professional—you can increase your likelihood of continuing to keep your separation or divorce out of the courtroom.
When separating couples chose a legal information consultation with me, we can continue to work together in a mediation setting to address your separation or divorce and keep you out of the costly and consuming arena of court. If lawyers do become necessary, I can help each of you with that transition.
A legal information consult for individuals or ideally couples who are separating or divorcing is convenient.
I work with my clients by phone, Skype, or Facetime. This way you are not restricted to in person meetings.
Being from small town Saskatchewan myself, I believe that every separating or divorcing person, regardless of whether they are in larger Saskatchewan cities, small towns or rural farms, should have equal access to qualified, trusted legal information regarding their separation or divorce.
A legal information consult for individuals or ideally couples who are separating or divorcing is cost effective.
Hiring separate lawyers is expensive and the red tape exacerbates your stress.
When you work with me, I am not your lawyer. I am not your ex’s lawyer either. I'm a professional who is able to work with one or both of you and intimately understands the language of family law. I also have firsthand knowledge of the systems and resources available and I empower my clients to make informed choices about how they want their separation story to sound.
So that’s it. One of you. Or both of you. No legal advice. No big retainer agreements. No court. No need to fear asking for help.
What you can expect from a Legal Information Consultation:
Understand what legal terminology such as: access, custody, primary residence, parenting plans, separation agreements, child support, spousal support and family property—actually means.
Learn the differences between your process options for separation and divorce such as mediation, collaborative law and going to court—in terms of how each feels, looks, and sounds.
Receive recommendations to free government resources that can help you.
Feel reassured that you can each receive affordable, accountable and reliable information that levels the playing field at a time of crisis.
Realize that your have choices, options and support; separating or divorcing DOES NOT have to mean war.
60 minute - Individual
75 minute - Couple