How do I Start?

The process of getting a divorce.

Start with a Separation

To end your marriage, you need to have a separation agreement and file for divorce. People commonly start with the separation agreement and then once that is completed you can file for divorce.

If you have the desire to hire a divorce lawyer but possess the common sense to look at alternatives to save time, money and the ability to co-parent; if you want to protect yourself and get what is rightly yours but you want to avoid a massively destructive fight, then you have come to the right place.

Getting a divorce and figuring out the terms of your separation (Separation Agreement) are two very different parts of the process.

A Separation Agreement will usually need to be completed before the divorce filing, however, if you do not have kids or assets/debts to divide, and there is no spousal support, the chances are you will not need a separation agreement, and you can move directly to filing for divorce. To help explain this, let's go into more detail about each one.

Separation Agreement

A separation agreement is a legally binding, detailed agreement governed by Provincial laws that uncouples all of the financial connections between two people (Married or Common Law) in addition to clearly detailing the terms that the couple has agreed to in regards to the following areas:

  • Division of what you own and what you owe
  • Co-Parenting plans
  • Child support details
  • Spousal support arrangements

Think of this as setting the terms for taking care of the business of your marriage. This agreement also sets out your parenting plans, custody, child support in the case you have children.

A clear and detailed Separation Agreement provides you with a strong framework for the future. It will help you to avoid issues going forward, and it gives you a Clean Break™ to move on with the rest of your life.

There are two main approaches to negotiating an agreement - Mediation/Negotiation alternatives using qualified professionals, and Traditional Litigation.


Mediation/Negotiation

Fairway Resolution Experts

Using the professional skills of a resolution expert “Mediator/Negotiator” provides you and your spouse a neutral 3rd party who can help you get the information you need so you can be an empowered decision maker, and make informed decisions. This approach works well when you and your spouse have:

  • May have different ideas on what is the "right thing" to do.
  • Ideas on how to address issues regarding children but you are not aware of all the options.
  • Multiple assets or debt (or both).
  • May have some tension when it comes to communication and the issues
  • A desire to reduce the emotional and financial stress this will put on you and your family.
  • May not communicate well now and do not want to.
  • May not agree on what is best for the children.

Traditional Law

Divorce Lawyers

The traditional legal process requires both of you to hire your own lawyer and begin to position your case. This results in a tug of war. You will have your lawyer, and your spouse has theirs. There tends to be a lot of conflict in this process and you will have very little if no control of costs, process and times. This approach may be your only option if you and your spouse:

  • Have a severe personality disorder
  • Refuse to provide disclosure and can not be easily located
  • Are experiencing physical violence
  • When one person is out of the country

Get a Divorce

The average cost for a separation through Fairway is approximately $1,500 to $8,000 per person, which can be far less than half the cost of the traditional legal process. Also, the average time to complete an agreement through Fairway, once financials are disclosed by both of you, is approximately 120 days, which can be far less than a quarter of the time compared to the traditional legal process. When you get a divorce with fairway, you save time and money.

Uncontested

An uncontested divorce occurs when one spouse files an application for divorce and the other spouse does not file an answer. This fundamentally states that on failing to file an answer, the spouse does agree with the divorce. In an uncontested divorce, the spouses agree on the terms of the divorce, which most often does not require the parties to go to court. For an uncontested divorce to be valid, the parties must have resolved all issues such as child custody and access, and child and spousal support through a separation agreement or court order. An application for divorce may be submitted before the courts one year after the separation date, or earlier if there are grounds for mental and physical cruelty, or when a signed affidavit admitting to adultery is filed (consult a lawyer first).

Uncontested divorces are generally faster and more efficient in terms of less stress and cost; whereas contested divorce is generally longer and more costly.

Once the terms of the divorce and separation agreement have been agreed upon, the process is simple and typically without much cost or time. Usually, it is simply waiting for the courts to process after you submit the paperwork.

A person can remarry as soon as a divorce judgement has been granted.

Fairway Divorce makes this step easy. We offer to take care of this for you at a very low cost.

Contested

A contested divorce occurs when the spouses disagree on some or all of the issues within the divorce. Most commonly, these disagreements include child and spousal support, division of the financial gains/loss accumulated during the marriage, and parenting schedules. Both parties then must set out their positions and views on the issues in dispute. Contested divorces may be settled a number of ways, for instance outside of court, using mediation/negotiation professionals, or through formal divorce procedures.

Uncontested divorces are generally faster and more efficient in terms of less stress and cost; whereas contested divorce is generally longer and more costly.

A person can remarry as soon as a divorce judgement has been granted.

Most often contested divorces are expensive and can result in years of fighting and high costs.

Traditional System

  • Lawyer vs. Lawyer
  • Adversarial position bargaining
  • Pitting each party against each other thereby increasing legal fees.
  • Using emotional distress and difficult life event to fuel rights
  • Expensive experts having to prepare for court battles
  • Affidavits filled with perception labelled as fact that you can never take back

Fairway’s System

  • Our Proprietary Fairway Process: Clients and Experts all focused on Resolution
  • Empowering decision makers by ensuring each party moves through the process independently of each other
    So you can focus on your kids, career and moving on while we focus on driving the process
  • Outside experts ie business valuators, pension valuators and accountants held on task and focused on ensuring sounds decisions
  • Ensures that one person cannot bully the other
  • Parties negotiate separately to ensure their personal best interests are met