Hello, and Welcome!

Most women facing the unfamiliar legal intricacies, of separation and divorce, appreciate the need for effective legal advice and assistance. Yet, in my legal practice, I have found the need, and opportunity, for valuable emotional support, and encouragement, is frequently overlooked, or unavailable.

That’s why I’ve decided to start a Kitchen Table Divorce Support Group, specifically created for women either considering separation or divorce, or those experiencing those daunting challenges first hand. (In the future, I anticipate forming a similar, men’s only, support group.)

After all, what better way to find emotional support, and understanding, than in the company of other women, with shared life experiences, and stories?

Discovering that you’re not alone, that yes, you can, take steps to effectively represent yourself in court, and protect your interests, is an incredibly empowering experience. An experience which has the potential to positively impact the rest of your life! Just ask those clients of mine (some of whom I hope will be in attendance to share their stories), who have followed the Kitchen Table Divorce approach, and successfully represented themselves in court!

Uncovering your true potential and taking control of your life, by accessing all the “right ingredients”, is your recipe for success, and the solid foundation of Kitchen Table Divorce, (blog www. kitchentabledivorce.ca).

I anticipate inviting, from time to time, various professionals, (ie. counselors, etc), to address questions and issues, raised by the group. How often the group will meet, and other details, will be decided by the group.

The inaugural group meeting is scheduled for next Wednesday, March 10, 2010, from 7:00 pm to 8:15 pm at my office, located at #102 19610 64 Avenue in Langley. (For anyone unable to attend in person, I anticipate future arrangements to facilitate on-line attendance and participation.)

Please also feel free to invite any other women you think would benefit.

Because of limited seating, please RSVP by 5:00 pm Tuesday, March 9th.

Get ready to take your seat at the kitchen table!

Kitchen Table Divorce

They say marriage is grand – sadly, divorce is twenty grand (or more).

But if you’re like most middle class taxpayers you don’t have twenty grand to spend on lawyers. So just what are your legal options?

After over 20 years of experience as a family lawyer, I recommend an approach, for all my clients, which I like to call the Kitchen Table Divorce Option. So what is it all about?

It’s all about learning the right ingredients to beat the high legal cost of divorce and separation by representing yourself, even if your spouse can afford his or her full time family lawyer. Knowing when to make use of legal advice, and legal alternatives ie mediation and collaborative divorce, is critical, and so is being properly prepared.

But is it really possible to represent yourself and survive? You bet! All you need to do is to ask one of my many clients.

So why the reference to the Kitchen Table? Because traditionally the kitchen is where you can find all the right tools and ingredients, while the kitchen table is where everything comes together to create a successful recipe, or in our case, your own self made divorce.

The Kitchen Table (or for that matter any other table) is also the place where I suggest the parties initially meet to discuss and attempt to resolve any differences. That’s, of course, only an option if there is not a history of abuse or violence.

Some helpfull tips to start. Firstly, create a checklist of items that you would like to discuss and be sure to exchange with your spouse beforehand, ( ask if there other items that your spouse would like to address). A very good idea before the meeting is to obtain some legal advice about your rights and responsibilities. The lawyer can also help with the checklist and explain common but often misunderstood legal expressions ie joint custody which can otherwise create huge problems.

Secondly, resist the urge to agree on any financial numbers ie the price to purchase your interest in the family home or for that matter any other value. That’s because your spouse will inevitably take the position (after you find out that you literally gave away the farm – before you got legal advice) that you are now breaking your “promise” to her. Believe me when I say this can also cause headaches.

Thirdly, resist the temptation to sign anything, before getting independent legal advice, even if it looks like a smokin deal!! If you ignore this advice, you may find that you are legally trapped into an arrangement which you can’t get out of!

Last words – in my future blogs I’ll share some of my other legal insight and tips to show you how to make kitchen table divorce work for you.