Do-it-Yourself

Sometimes separated spouses are able to come to an agreement with respect to the family law issues arising from their separation directly, and without outside involvement.

These direct negotiations are sometimes referred to as “kitchen table” negotiations, or “do-it-yourself” agreements. Direct negotiations are completely voluntary, and the spouses are free to focus on what matters most to them in reaching an agreement. 

Separated spouses who are able to negotiate the terms of a settlement on their own should still retain lawyers to provide them each with independent legal advice (I.L.A.) before signing an agreement, to confirm that they fully understand its consequences, and to ensure that it will be legally binding and enforceable in court.

Process Diagram

The parties work out a deal themselves.

The parties meet with their lawyers to explain their agreement and obtain independent legal advice on its terms.

The lawyers work together to draft a Separation Agreement.

The parties sign the Separation Agreement, making their agreement legally binding.

News

Here you will find links to articles to help explain the issues and options around family law.

Judge reinforces importance of confidentiality

News

A recent Ontario Superior Court decision underscores the importance of confidentiality for mediation matters, St. Catharines family lawyer and mediator Sharon Silbert tells AdvocateDaily.com… Read […]

Collaborative approach effective in high-stakes divorces

News

There is an alternative to an acrimonious divorce for high-net-worth individuals or people with businesses, St. Catharines family lawyer Sharon Silbert tells… Read more