Finances and divorce: Collaborative law may be the sound choice

On behalf of Gary Kirk of Kirk Montoute Dawson LLP posted in Collaborative Law on Friday, October 28, 2016.

There may be no greater source of concern for the average person than money. Day-to-day living expenses consume much of our resources, and a recent study conducted in Alberta suggests that most people have little margin for error with their finances. For those about to divorce, fiscal considerations take on extra significance. Collaborative law might be the way for those seeking a sound future.

Consumer insolvency company MNP Ltd. recently conducted a follow-up to their Feb. 2016 survey of Albertans regarding personal finances. They found that 53 percent of people surveyed were concerned about their current levels of debt. A total of 58 percent told MNP that a reduction in cash flow of just $200 would render them incapable of paying all their bills.

The list of unexpected financial changes that could cause such a thing to happen includes divorce. Not only does a divorce cost money, what was once one financial portfolio becomes two, with a possible reduction in overall income for both parties. Couples with kids should note that back-to-school shopping was cited by 43 percent of respondents as an area where the budget was exceeded.

During this current period of economic downturn in Alberta, the cost of divorce may be harder to bear for many than it might have previously. Though there is no way to completely obviate the expenses of a separation, collaborative law may offer a helpful alternative. By each party working with a family law firm, couples might be able to reduce their overall legal bills versus litigation and develop a plan that will help both parties maintain themselves financially as individuals.

Source:, “More than half of Albertans concerned about debt load: poll”, Sept. 28, 2016

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