Often clients approach us having no idea what their entitlement is upon separation. They do not necessarily have a high conflict situation but they are starting from a point of almost complete ignorance.
Often the solution is that they spend an hour or two with an experienced family law lawyer, who analyzes their situation and provides them with an “education” as to what their rights are and what is an approximation of a fair settlement.
In an effort to save money, the next stage of “negotiation” is often undertaken by the client themselves who sit down with their spouse, and with the framework provided by “education”, are able to reach an agreement on the basic points outstanding between husband and wife.
Lastly, there is the important step whereby the agreement produced by the “negotiation” now requires “formalization”. That formalization almost always leads to a formal Separation Agreement. A Separation Agreement normally encompasses and settles all the issues outstanding between separating parties with the exception of a divorce which can only be obtained by way of a court application. Quite frankly, it is this formalization step that actually is far more important than the almost formal end to a marriage, obtained by way of a divorce. In essence, the Separation Agreement, which often can stretch to over 30 pages, can cover everything from soup to nuts. A divorce obtained often by the party who wants it more than the other, will often alone foot the bill for the divorce.
This three step process is commonly undertaken by the family law lawyers at Dale, Streiman Law LLP where the issues are relatively straight forward and both parties are willing to recognize that it is in both of their best interests to handle their matters in a mature fashion.