Separating can be overwhelming, especially in the initial phase. It’s hard for separating spouses to know where to start (Lawyers? Therapists? Financial professionals? Mediators? All of the above?).
Choosing where to start – and how to start – is one of the most important decisions separating spouses must make. It is the process that will guide the family through the difficult discussions and choices that follow. Choosing the process that will work best for the family is paramount.
Early Neutral Process Planning (or “Early Neutral Consultation”) is a service that we provide for separating spouses (and/or their supportive friends and adult family members). We help prepare a roadmap for the family so that they, together, can choose the most efficient, economical and respectful process.
In an Early Neutral Process Planning session we do not provide legal advice to participants (that would be a conflict of interest because both parties are present). We do:
- Walk clients through the separation process step by step;
- Provide general information about the law;
- Provide information about the different process options and professionals (including lawyers, financial professionals and family professionals) available – their roles, how to make the best use of their services, etc.;
- Set out the disclosure that parties will need to make, regardless of their chosen process, and options for compiling that disclosure; and
- If needed, provide referrals (we are not compensated for this by the professionals to whom we may refer clients).
Marian Gage is a Collaborative Family Lawyer, a Certified Specialist in Family Law and an Accredited Family / Intergenerational Mediator at MGPC