The best family law advice in our opinion starts with avoiding the court process if possible. At the same time, we recognize that court cannot be avoided at all costs and in all circumstances. In such cases, your lawyer may have to go to court. This is especially the case when the other party is not being reasonable (or let's just say it, when they are being totally unreasonable).
Family law advice comes in many different forms and is different in each case depending on the facts of each separate family. It also depends on whether or not the lawyer giving the advice believes in trying to resolve the matter instead of going to court.
Some lawyers believe that going to court right away is the answer. Other lawyers, (like us at Hemminger Law Group Westshore) offer family law advice differently. Our family law advice is that we do our best to avoid the court system until and unless we feel that we have no choice but to proceed to court.
At the same time, we are definitely willing, prepared, and ready to go to court if necessary. We see court as only one available tool in our toolbox as family law lawyers. Family law matters are governed by the BC Family Law Act.
So now that we have the court stuff out of the way (because sometimes we have to go there), this is what we really think when it comes to our clients, ourselves, and the families and communities in which we live.
The best family law advice always remembers these things:
1. As our lawyer friend Crystal Buchan says, "There is no such thing as throw away people." Just because people are separating, does not mean you have to erase them from your life, memories, and the lives of your children. Remember this when trying to negotiate a settlement.
2. Our kids and communities are learning not from what what we say, but how we behave. If we want our kids to grow up to be kind, compassionate, and happy people with successful relationships, we need to live our lives as kind, compassionate and happy people too. Yes, and we know this is asking a lot. Because separation hurts.
3. Our kids are going to get over the fact of our separation. If we let them. Remember our kids want to get on with the job of growing up and enjoying life. If we are constantly at war with the other parent, that hurts our kids.
4. Even though you are separated, it is not necessary for an entire family to divorce a person. Even though the marriage that may have introduced you to the family is ending, there are many reasons to remain in touch. Relationships with other human beings is part of what makes us human. This is because family is about the heart.
5. It is always our goal to ensure that both (or all parents, including stepparents) can celebrate milestone events with our kids. This is whether it is an end of school assembly, a graduation, or their wedding. It is important that we always realize we are part of something greater, and that greater, is our family, even if that family looks totally different than it used to.
Despite the best family law advice stating to avoid court, sometimes, we have strongly recommended court action. Here are some examples from the cases at our law firm:
Although sometimes it is important to go to court like in the above circumstances, it is almost always worth considering whether or not the matter can be resolved by avoiding the court process. At Hemminger Law Group Westshore we ask ourselves (and our client) in each case if mediation might make sense? What about a meeting with the other party and their lawyer?
It always depends upon the circumstances of course and each situation is different.
This article was written by Val Hemminger, lawyer at Hemminger Law Group Westshore