Collaborative Practice is an out-of-court, team-based dispute resolution process involving trained family lawyers, a neutral family professional and/or financial professional. The approach is family-focused and for couples wanting to maintain positive family relationships for themselves and their children. The team works with couples in a series of settlement meetings to resolve issues arising out of family separation. Collaborative practice is client-directed and helps parents explore options and reach solutions that meet their family’s needs. Collaborative Practice has many benefits for families; negotiations are respectful, empathetic, interest-based and cost-effective in comparison to traditional court-based separation and divorce processes.
As part of the collaborative team, Stephanie supports families through the emotional difficulties that often surface during separation so couples can remain focused on their goals and achieve lasting agreements. Stephanie provides guidance to help family members voice their own interests, while assisting them in identifying and remaining mindful of their children’s needs.
Stephanie’s approach is child-focused by helping caregivers build skills to co-parent, communicate effectively, and make informed parenting decisions. Stephanie has observed how the collaborative process can significantly minimize on-going conflict among families, and help family members positively move forward with their lives. Following the collaborative process, parents may find it useful to continue counselling to help with co-parenting, managing their communication and/or issues related to their children.
Stephanie welcomes clients to continue seeking counselling services beyond the separation process in order to support families as they adjust to changes. In addition, parents may find it helpful for their children to engage in ongoing counselling with Stephanie.
In the collaborative process, Stephanie’s role as a family professional may be:
- Neutral Facilitator
- Parenting Mediator
- Counsellor/Therapist for parents and/or children
- Child Consultant (bringing the voice of the child into the collaborative process for input, awareness, parenting related decision making)
- Parent Coach