With divorce settlement often taking years to reach and lawyers charging an hourly rate, the average legal cost of a contested separation agreement is $20,000 per person. At Dignified Divorce Vancouver, we get you 90% of the way through the divorce procedure in a far more affordable, timely manner.
This fee is often about $5,000 per couple, but can vary according to complexity of your situation.
However, with mediation settlement typically taking only a few months to achieve, it is rare for the joint fee to exceed $7,500. Indeed, we commit to having your separation plan in your hands within 90 days of full financial disclosure. At that point, we hand the separation plan off to the lawyers for conversion into a legal separation agreement, the cost of which is tremendously reduced because all issue have already been settled. For some, legal fees at this point are less than $1,000.
We save much time and costs on the settlement process because our service is based on a common-interest approach rather than the traditional, adversarial approach. Rather than bring in competing lawyers at the outset, we work on behalf of both spouses to negotiate and reach an easily understood, but detailed separation plan.
To this end, we apply our specialized training in finance, family law, and family mediation to conduct meetings with the separating couple. These meetings may be joint and/or one-on-one depending on what everyone's comfortable with.
Family mediation is emerging as a compassionate, compelling alternative to the old-fashioned adversarial approach to separation or divorce, thanks in part to the passing of the B.C. Family Law Act of 2013 which elevated the importance of mediation in family law.
Certified divorce financial analyst and mediator Paul Sweatman (M.Sc., C.F.A., C.D.F.A.) help clients resolve every divorce and separation related financial issue:
Gathering of all relevant financial information: Called Full Financial Disclosure, this is a critically important first step towards a good Separation Plan.
Division of matrimonial property: With full financial disclosure, a family net worth statement is created, jointly reviewed and then used for Division. There are important considerations that Paul will help with in this aspect of the process – especially your decision on Date of Separation and Valuation Date, and who will keep what asset and what debt.
Tracking of payments made after separation: This is an important but often poorly addressed issue. It can and can have significant effect on final Division and the Equalization Payment.
Child support and Spousal support: With the best software available, clients get an impartial schedule of support payments. Child support is largely dictated by the Federal Child Support Tables, with little in way of discussion or negotiation. However, even here, Paul can help by resolving a method for future adjustments as circumstances change.
Spousal support: While much less rigid than child support calculations, spousal payments generally follow a government schedule called the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines created by the Federal Government. There are nuances attached to resolution of spousal support and clients will be made aware of these and all other issues.
As a trained mediator, Paul will take a balanced, sensitive, and informed approach to helping clients resolve divorce-related parenting issues:
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