In our last article, we addressed the importance of having a parenting plan in effect when going through a divorce or a separation. Here, we will discuss ways to help make you more knowledgeable about the options available to you.
Setting up a parenting plan can be very easy or extremely difficult. Every case is different and emotions tend to run high when a child’s welfare is involved. There are a few options available to you when formulating a parenting plan if you do not wish to leave it up to the courts.
When formulating a parenting plan, it is extremely important to have separate lawyers. It is a major conflict of interest and serves no purpose to have one lawyer serving both parties. Whether or not there are disagreements or disputes, it is advisable to have a separate family law lawyer who can represent your individual rights. An experienced and professional family law lawyer can be of great help to both parties, aiding in an amicable settlement that would satisfy the needs of the child and the parent.
There are certain steps that can be taken if an agreement can’t be made just between the parents. Often, one’s judgment can be clouded by emotions and a peaceful agreement may not be a reality. Below are a few options that are available to you.
The separated parents can meet with a mediator. A mediator is a non-biased party who is experienced in handling and settling key issues that impede the progression of separated or divorced families. It is important to know that a mediator does not give any legal advice. An agreement can be reached, but all legalities are handled by the lawyers.
Another option is going to an arbitrator. There is a very important difference between an arbitrator and a mediator. An arbitrator is usually someone with a solid legal background whose decision in a case is final. It can be appealed in court, but the decision made is legally binding. Parents should seek separate legal advice from their family law lawyers before agreeing to arbitration. An arbitrator’s main intention is to serve the best interest of the child according to Canadian Family Law.
Settling in court is another option that, while may not be popular, is efficient. A Judge attempts to make a decision based on information from both parents and sometimes seeks advice from independent sources like a social worker or psychologist. A Judge can also give temporary custody and access during the process as it sometimes can be very lengthy.
Deciding on a parenting plan is a very important and life-changing task. It is imperative that you seek the services of an experienced family law lawyer in Ontario when going through a divorce or separation. Let us at Zeidman Law guide you expertly through the process to ensure that not just your needs are met, but the needs of your family as well.