Who is The Modern Divorce For?
The Modern Divorce is for people who:
- Want to make decisions about their kids and their future and not leave it to a judge.
- Want what is best for their kids.
- Are willing to commit to deadlines.
- Want to move forward with their lives without spending the family’s savings on lawyers.
- Want to co-parent with their spouse.
- Want financial security and a settlement that sets them up financially for their post-divorce future.
- Do not want to drag out their divorce and want it done within 6 months.
The Modern Divorce is not for people who:
- Are hiding money or are dishonest about their finances
- Are not willing to make important decisions.
- Are not willing to make decisions in a timely manner.
- Won’t commit to a timeline to complete their tasks.
- Only want to punish their spouse or make them pay.
- Want “every penny” they are entitled to under the law and to take their spouse to the cleaners.
- Do not want to co-parent with their spouse.
- Want to be vindicated and want justice for the wrong doing of the other person.
- Have involved the police or CAS in their matter.
- Don’t want to compromise.
But my divorce is easy!
- This is a common feeling. We really hope this is the case but in our experience it often is not. It’s not because of you or your spouse, it’s because even the easiest divorce requires a number of informed decisions to be made and legal documents to be prepared. There are likely a number of things you haven’t considered. For example, if you agree to sell a particular asset, have you considered the tax implications? How will title be transferred?
- Your parenting plan will have details that need to be worked out so there are no surprises, so you don’t have conflict and so both people get what they want at the end of the day. The Modern Divorce takes away the surprises and gives you certainty and predictability.
How Long Is the Process?
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Additional Questions & Answers:
How Does The Modern Divorce Work?
The Modern Divorce is a streamlined, team approach we have developed to help couples with reach a divorce settlement without going to Court.
We are a team of independent divorce professionals who came together, to work in our area of specialty, creating a process that keeps things moving – so you don’t get stuck in divorce limbo.
The team is comprised of two lawyers and two neutrals. You will get the option to choose your lawyer who will help you understand the law and how it applies to your situation.
Our financial neutral handles all of the financial disclosure and administrative issues so everything stays on track.
And finally, our negotiation and communication experts help you discuss the issues and make decisions.
The team meets regularly to ensure things keep moving and to solve any problems which may have come up.
We also use current technology to safely and securely obtain and process your information. We designed the Modern Divorce Package because we believe in providing high quality services, predictable fixed fee billing, and a less stressful process.
There are no nasty lawyers letters back and forth. No battle of the experts regarding your finances.
We agree on everything, we don’t need a Modern Divorce package, we just need a lawyer to draft up our agreement how much does that cost?
Many couples come to us with a plan for how they want to divide their property or deal with support. But problems often arise when we start looking at the financial facts and discussing how the law applies. People are often surprised to learn that certain assets like businesses and pensions may be worth a lot of money. Or they did not know how much money their partner really makes or the significant cost of maintaining a home with only one income. This changes the conversation, since it may mean that you can no longer afford to follow through with your prior agreement or your prior agreement is unfair to you or your spouse.
By working with the Modern Divorce Team, we ensure that all of your financial disclosure is collected and shared. We explain your legal entitlements and obligations. If you’re not sure about how to proceed, we can offer suggestions, help you with budgeting and financial modeling so you can make the best decisions for you and your family.
Ultimately, if you decide you want to keep your original agreement, we will not get in the way. We will simply make sure that you have all of the information so you are making an informed decision.
How can I be sure my spouse isn’t hiding money and will The Modern Divorce team ensure all money is disclosed?
Our financial expert makes sure to ask every question and track down every document. To be certain nothing is missed, your lawyer will also review your spouse’s financials with you and ask more questions about things like their business(es), savings, cash holdings, or other concerns you may have. We won’t let you sign an agreement unless you are comfortable that you have all the information you need to make a decision.
My spouse and I are not amicable, does The Modern Divorce still work for us?
We work with couples experiencing all levels of conflict. You don’t need to agree to everything coming into the process – you only need to agree that you will both work to keep your family out of court.
Our communication and negotiation experts are skilled facilitators and will design a process that is appropriate for your situation, based on input from you and the rest of the Team. For example, sometimes it may make more sense for the negotiation and communication experts to be in the middle of discussions, going back and forth between you two (known as “shuttle” mediation). Your lawyers and financial expert are also there to give everybody the “reality checks” they may need to calm concerns about unfairness.
Even when conflict runs high, our negotiation and communication experts are experts at listening to each of you and learning what matters. Often we learn that you both agree to a lot more than you thought.
We want to minimize the stress to our children, how can The Modern Divorce help with this?
Divorce is hard on kids. But it’s much better when the parents can keep conflict to a minimum, and just between themselves. The Canadian Pediatric Society have studied the issue and advocate in favour of a collaborative process to reduce the effects of divorce on kids – our process combines the best of both.
Our team is 100% committed to keeping you out of court. If settlement talks breakdown, your lawyers cannot continue to represent you. This means we are extra-motivated to help you resolve your matter amicably and as quickly as possible.
Our process is built to minimize conflict and stress. We keep your matter moving forward, the team members stick to their roles, and our parenting experts help you with designing your parenting plan and how to work with your kids to assist them through transition.
My spouse doesn’t understand at all what it means to be a primary hands-on parent, there is no way I can agree to equal parenting time. Isn’t Court a better option for me?
We believe court is very rarely a better option for anybody. Instead of arguing over a parent’s abilities – which can become very nasty and expensive – our process helps educate and communicate with both parents.
Our process takes your concerns into account. It’s not just about the law. If one parent is worried, we find a way to help the other parent understand why and to come up with a solution together. For example, perhaps the spouse can build up to more equal parenting time after they show that they are capable. Or maybe when we talk about everybody’s schedules, we find out that we can come up with a better arrangement than just “equal time”.
My friends and family keep telling me I’m entitled to half of everything. I have no idea what I’m entitled under the law, will the team help me understand?
Yes! Our financial expert will make sure you and your spouse provide the full and complete financial information you are entitled to. We take the stress out of it by working closely with you to understand your finances.
Your lawyers and the mediator will meet with you to help you understand what you are entitled to BEFORE you talk about how to divide everything up. The law is a little more complicated than just dividing everything in half. We explain the law and how it applies to your specific situation. This way you have the information you need to be empowered and discuss your financial future.
We have been to Court already, a few times, we have multiple orders, we are nowhere near finished and we have spent $100,000 in legal fees? Can we switch to The Modern Divorce team now?
Of course! We love lawyers – but sometimes they make things harder than they need to be. Our team can pick up where your lawyers left off to keep things moving forward. However, both of you should be prepared to work through a new type of process. Court is very positional – meaning both sides strongly argue that they are 100% correct. With the Modern Divorce, we need everybody to understand where they are right and where they may be wrong. Managing expectations is our team’s specialty, since we meet regularly to ensure all team members have all of the information.
My spouse has been arrested for domestic violence, will the Modern Divorce work for us?
Probably – but it depends. We screen for domestic violence as well as power imbalances and the other, more subtle ways that people control their spouses. We must create a safe process for each individual, so that you can make decisions without fear of intimidation or retaliation.
For example, we may keep you and your spouse in separate rooms for discussions, have different arrival times, refer you to resources to help you navigate the trauma of domestic violence, and continually check in to ensure you are safe and able to make your own decisions. The courts cannot do this – and often you just have to show up at the same time and be in the same room.
This is a voluntary process built on the premise of self-determination. As long as you feel as though you can safely make decisions for yourself, we can help.
What happens if you don’t do financial disclosure?
Any agreement you sign will be easily overturned if it is challenged down the road. It is a waste of your time and money to do the agreement at all. It won’t be worth the paper it is written on. You will then have to go back and start everything from the beginning. You may owe a significant amount of past support and equalization.
Without financial disclosure and knowing what the family assets are, how will you be able to make a decision on making or accepting an offer with your spouse? You will have no idea if it is a bad deal and if you should sign.
If you are looking to get financing from a bank, they will require a proper Separation Agreement, which includes financial disclosure and lawyer certificate.
We include in the Modern Divorce package complete financial disclosure for both sides, so this will not be an issue.
Do I really need a Parenting Plan? We already agree to equal parenting time.
Parenting plans are not just about weekly parenting time. They address a number of logistical and practical things that most parents don’t think about. Some examples include:
- Who will hold the child’s passport?
- If one parent wants to travel how will they book the time?
- How do you communicate with your child during your “off time”?
- Who volunteers for the school trip?
- If the child is sick who stays home from work that day?
As you can see there are a number of details to work out.
You may say, we will figure it out as we go along. This is not a good idea. Having structure and knowing what to expect in your co-parenting relationship reduces conflict, reduces anxiety and keeps everyone focused on the kids. Flying by the seat of your pants without a plan is the fastest way to derail a successful coparenting relationship. Inevitably you will not agree and then you are either back in a place of conflict or worse, you are back to lawyers to fight it out. Making a plan for today and the future is critical to your success as parents and to your kids thriving after divorce.
My partner and I were not married and never in a relationship – is there a Modern Divorce package for us?
Yes! The Modern Divorce has a package that helps couples prepare parenting plans and support issues. This package is more streamlined and can be completed in even less time than a traditional divorce, because you will not be addressing property issues.
My partner and I are considered common-law. Does The Modern Divorce work for us?
Yes! The Modern Divorce has a package for common law couples with children and without children. We cover all property issues – yes there may be property claims with common law couples as well as support both child and spousal and parenting plans.
Is The Modern Divorce all-inclusive? Are there any additional fees that we will owe or additional services we will need down the road?
The Modern Divorce is designed as an all inclusive package.
In most cases there are no additional fees. However, if you own a business or have a complicated financial situation, additional fees may be required. Don’t worry we won’t charge any fees without your prior approval.
If we can’t agree on something in the Separation Agreement or a new issue arises can we come back to the Modern Divorce team?
Down the road, sometimes couples need to amend their agreement because their situation has materially changed and the agreement they reached no longer works. If that is the case, you can return to The Modern Divorce team, who will put together a package to help you resolve any new issues. This is an uncommon occurrence. Most couples reach their agreement and do not need to return to the team.