Can I Still Use the Collaborative Process If I Don’t Trust My Spouse Anymore?
After you separate, it is almost certain that some level of trust between you and your former spouse has been broken. You do not need this trust to be rebuilt before embarking on the Collaborative Process.
The Collaborative Process is a process where you and your spouse will sit down with your lawyers and resolve your separation and divorce issues openly and honestly. Before you enter into this Process, the parties and the lawyer will sign a legally-binding contract which requires that each spouse will be transparent in the information that they provide during the process. This is key to the Process being successful.
The lawyers ensure that their clients are aware of their responsibility to, for example, disclose all of their assets and debts. If there are asset valuations to be obtained, the parties may jointly hire a neutral expert who can provide such valuations. Statements of assets and debts such as RRSPs, bank accounts, credit cards, pension plans, and loans, where available, are expected to be disclosed. Any items in your property division may be verified prior to being accepted. This is the due diligence that is expected during the process.
Trust is something that may be able to be rebuilt, slowly and over time. It is not a condition precedent to the Collaborative Process being engaged.