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Collaborative and Traditional Legal Representation

Collaborative Process

Nathalie favours the collaborative process over the traditional court-based process when appropriate, to reduce the financial and emotional impact on you and your family.

Collaborative lawyers are trained in the most evolved system of negotiation developed through Harvard Law, called “interest–based negotiation.” In the collaborative process, you and your spouse, with the support of your respective lawyer, enter into a written agreement to make a good faith attempt to address everyone’s legal, financial, and emotional needs without going to court. If the collaborative process fails to help you conclude your separation, the collaborative process requires that the file be transferred to different Court lawyers. This provides an incentive for everyone to work together to reach an agreement.

When the interests of both parties are clearly understood, solutions that are complementary to both of you can be found. Both spouses are generally more satisfied with the solution on a long-term basis, improving the parties’ relationship after the process is over.

Collaborative lawyers are encouraged to model good behaviour and promote open communication and respect throughout the process, even when there is disagreement and spouses become upset.

At the end of the process, if an agreement is reached, the lawyers work together to build a legally binding separation agreement.

The vast majority of participants in the collaborative process generally report a high degree of satisfaction in the experience and results.

Traditional Representation Process

If you want to use mediation or the collaborative process but your spouse does not, or your spouse has already chosen a lawyer who is not trained in the collaborative process, your family will be using “traditional negotiation” by default.

In this case, you can still work with a collaborative lawyer who will bring not just strong advocacy but also promote respectful communication. In some cases, the collaborative lawyer can introduce interest-based negotiation techniques during the traditional negotiation process to both spouses’ benefit.

Many traditional family law lawyers negotiate separation agreements in a respectful way. However, this is not always the case.

Traditional negotiation is not a process with specific guidelines or rules of conduct. There is no cohesive method of negotiation. The goal is not to help the separating couples to separate in a way that is fair to both, or to foster a long-lasting post-separation relationship after separation. The main goal of traditional negotiation is to conclude a separation agreement. Aggressive tactics (threats of going to Court if the position is not accepted, stonewalling, intimidation, etc.) are often used to gain advantage for one party over the other, sometimes with little regard to the upset and impact on the families or children involved.

Other Services

Business Owners and their Families

Nathalie is one of a small number of Canadian family law lawyers who is a certified Family Enterprise Advisor™. Part of a family business herself, Nathalie understands the unique needs of families when a business is involved, and helps to develop strategies to preserve the business, often the major source of revenue for the family, from the negative impacts of separation and divorce. Read more


As a family lawyer and accredited mediator, Nathalie is qualified to mediate both financial and parenting issues and she ensures the process meets legal standards. To avoid the costly exchange of numerous draft separation agreements between the spouses’ lawyers at the end of the process, Nathalie prepares the first draft of the separation agreement to ensure a fair process with neutral language. Read more

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