Alberta family lawyer offering a simpler, friendlier way to divorce

An Edmonton lawyer is paving the way for a more streamlined, faster, cheaper and more co-operative model of divorce. The approach, being offered as a pilot project in Alberta, uses one lawyer jointly for the couple.

It’s the first time this method has been offered in Canada — in fact, it’s believed to be the first for all of North America.

Instead of having each person retain their own lawyer and then fighting it out in court, this process has two people meet with one lawyer together and work out a divorce agreement that works for everyone.

“The dominant thinking in the movies and TV is … you get that big shark and you go (to war), but ultimately family law is about families,” said Melissa Bourgeois with One Family Law.

“Families kind of band together in days like today, where we don’t actually want to fight. Life has been hard enough,” she said.

Story continues below advertisement


Click to play video: '“Zoom divorce” replaces traditional courtroom procedures'


“Zoom divorce” replaces traditional courtroom procedures


Bourgeois saw the one-couple, one-lawyer, one-fee model work in the UK and wanted to offer it in Canada. In 2020, she presented her proposal to the Law Society of Alberta, and was given the green light to run it as a pilot project.

“It’s a paradigm shift,” Bourgeois said. “It’s a really big shift in thinking. So there’s lots of risks associated with how we could go about this in a way. But there’s (also) an increasing risk of access to justice because the courthouses are overloaded, lawyers are overworked and tired and we have huge caseloads and we’re trying to assist people in that traditional system but there’s a limit.”

While traditional divorce proceedings can cost tens of thousands of dollars per person and last months (subject to court delays and backlogs), the one-lawyer model costs $5,000 in total and takes six weeks.

Story continues below advertisement

“People don’t have the resources they used to have, they don’t have the time.

“This is very straightforward for people. They know what the deliverables are.”

Bourgeois explained the process: both people give their consent to hire a lawyer jointly, background information is gathered including financial disclosure and details about any children or property, terms of a settlement are drafted that best meets everyone’s needs, and then paperwork is filed.

“It’s the mindset that we want something that will work for both of us. This is hard enough from an emotional standpoint. We don’t want the legal process to be something that each of us then goes and hire lawyers on each side.

“I don’t advocate for one side nor am I a judge. So it’s really giving them the information that benefits them and they decide from there how they’re going to structure things.”


Click to play video: 'Ask a Lawyer: As a divorced parent, how can I give my kids the best summer holidays?'


Ask a Lawyer: As a divorced parent, how can I give my kids the best summer holidays?


Bourgeois says there’s a huge demand for a more co-operative and less expensive divorce, especially when there are children involved.

Story continues below advertisement

“The rule that I’ve overcome is that I’m able to act for people who are ‘opposing parties’ in a ‘dispute.’ And I was like, ‘First, they’re not opposing parties and they’re not in an active dispute.’ Because if you’re parents, I’m sorry, to take the position that you’re opposing each other? But it’s a historical system that’s come a long way. It’s evolving.

“I acknowledge the role of the law, but this has very much just been: one impartial lawyer can give two people impartial legal advice that benefits them both.”

So far, Bourgeois has worked with 16 Alberta couples.

Bourgeois hopes to see the One Family Lawyer model formalized and then expanded across Canada one day.

“It’s taken off in the UK in a matter of years to become the dominant family law model,” she said.

“It’s just a reframing of what a relationship means. Just because it’s not romantic love doesn’t mean you can’t love someone in a different way. But our dominant thinking has been: ‘Well, that person’s your enemy. Never speak to them again and only speak to them through your adviser.’

“Taking that legal side off of it — ‘What are you going to do to me? What could you do to me? What is this going to look like?’ — Having that done allows them to move towards healing and to really figuring out their co-parenting relationship.”

Story continues below advertisement


Click to play video: 'Divorce professionals say divorce on the rise amid pandemic'


Divorce professionals say divorce on the rise amid a pandemic


The clients have been very generous and open with their feedback, Bourgeois said. Personally, she can’t imagine practicing family law any other way.

“My practice is very peaceful now.”

Bourgeois has only just had time to reflect on how revolutionary this work could be.

“This is what the people have been waiting for. This is what they really want,” she said. “I’ve had people come back and say, ‘This is the relationship that we have and we never thought that this was something that was possible.’

“Not everybody wants a battle and, in fact, very few do.”

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
slot korea slot princess slot thailand rtp slot ladangtoto 888slot slot zeus slot thailand slot kamboja mahjong ways 2 slot deposit pulsa 888slot sv388 ladangtoto slot luar negeri slot deposit qris slot thailand slot deposit dana slot jepang rtp slot joker123 slot kamboja slot gatot kaca https://penghargaan.kemenkopukm.go.id/demo/ slot thailand slot dana 888slot slot zeus ladangtoto sv388 slot server kamboja slot server jepang slot deposit pulsa joker123 pg soft mahjong ways 2 888slot gb777 joker123 slot zeus slot rusia slot jepang slot zeus slot77 pg soft rtp slot slot thailand slot thailand slot88 nolimit city slot jepang slot kamboja slot777 rtp slot slot zeus slot server luar negeri sv388 mahjong ways 2 slot deposit dana slot deposit ovo pg soft sweet bonanza wild bandito thor megaways mahjong ways 2 slot deposit pulsa meong77 spaceman slot gopay slot ovo slot dana slot server kamboja slot server thailand slot server jepang slot thailand slot88 slot zeus slot server kamboja slot thailand slot kamboja slot jepang slot zeus rtp slot slot mahjong ways slot thailand slot zeus slot777 slot pulsa slot dana slot thailand slot88 ladangtoto slot mahjong ways slot thailand slot kamboja slot qris slot zeus pg soft slot88 mahjong ways 2 slot zeus slot server kamboja slot deposit dana slot deposit ovo slot deposit gopay slot dana nolimit city slot princess slot kamboja slot777 slot88 mahjong ways 2 slot thailand slot dana slot kamboja slot77 slot zeus slot luar negeri https://bpkad.muratarakab.go.id/public/hacksaw-idn/ https://bpkad.muratarakab.go.id/public/mandiri-gacor/ ASIA GAMING SLOT SEABANK SLOT SAKUKU slot dewa x500 https://bpkad.muratarakab.go.id/public/sjoker123/ sv388 starlight princess slot thailand slot kamboja slot jepang slot luar negeri slot777 slot zeus mahjong ways 2 slot888 rtp slot slot zeus slot88 slot zeus slot princess pg soft slot777 slot kamboja slot jepang slot rusia slot malaysia slot korea slot myanmar https://bpkad.muratarakab.go.id/public/smahjong/ SLOT NEOBANK SLOT LINKAJA AKUN PRO PLATINUM CHEAT SLOT https://sikerma.untirta.ac.id/application/libraries/pragmatic/ slot maxwin https://sikerma.untirta.ac.id/application/libraries/sgopay/ Slot Thailand Slot Zeus http://labse.ce.undip.ac.id/sejarah/gacorx/ Slot Thailand Starlight Princess Mahjong Ways 2 Slot Maxwin Slot Thailand Sv388 Joker123 Starlight Princess Mahjong Ways 2 Slot Maxwin SLOT MEGAWAYS SLOT TRIOFUS CHEAT SLOT SLOT MANDIRI SLOT GANAS SLOT LINKAJA ladangtoto SLOT DEWA ZEUS SLOT BANTENG SLOT MANTAP SLOT X500 Slot Thailand Slot Zeus Slot Thailand Slot Zeus Sv388 Pg Soft Starlight Princess Slot Thailand Slot Zeus slot thailand slot server luar negeri slot qris slot thailand akun pro kamboja akun pro jepang slot filipina slot rusia slot kamboja joker123 slot zeus slot88 888slot slot deposit pulsa mahjong ways 2 slot jepang slot dana slot luar negeri koi gate nolimit city slot thailand slot princess slot zeus slot77 ladangtoto slot thailand slot kamboja slot mahjong slot777 slot thailand slot megaways slot ikan https://bpkad.muratarakab.go.id/system/core/s888/ https://bpkad.muratarakab.go.id/system/core/s777/ slot mania NEW SLOT POLA GACOR Joker123 Slot Thailand Slot Gacor Slot Zeus Slot Princess Slot Maxwin Pg Soft RTP Live Slot Pulsa Slot Server Luar Slot Thailand Mahjong Ways 2 Pg Soft Slot Zeus Sv388 Starlight Princess Joker123 Slot Maxwin Slot Ovo Slot Gopay Slot Bank BSI Gates Of Gatotkaca Twilight Princess Idn Slot Slot Toto Slot Anti Rungkad Slot Receh Slot Hoki Slot Asia Dewa Slot Depo Slot Raja Slot Nexus Slot Slot X500 Slot Dana Slot Server Luar Starlight Princess Slot Thailand Slot Hongkong Joker123 Slot Zeus Starlight Princess Sv388 Slot Thailand Slot Zeus Joker123 Sv388 Starlight Princess Mahjong Ways 2 Slot Hongkong Pg Soft Slot Zeus Sv388 Joker123 Slot Princess Slot Thailand Slot Thailand Slot Zeus Mahjong Ways 2 https://imwi.ac.id/assets/files/gacor-maxwin/ Slot Thailand Slot Zeus https://mandiri-gacor.angkolatimur.tapselkab.go.id/ jp slot slot ganas https://cheat-gacor.angkolatimur.tapselkab.go.id/ crazy time live slot qris https://sqris.angkolatimur.tapselkab.go.id/ slot akurat https://deposit-mandiri.pfn.co.id/ slot bca slot bni https://deposit-bri.pfn.co.id/ nolimit city slot thailand qris nolimit city slot korea slot zeus https://sibangkodir.bpsdm.jatimprov.go.id/vendor/phpspec/sqris/ nolimit city SLOT777 https://d3akt.feb.unri.ac.id/demo/ slot new terbaru https://rujak-bonanza.old.telusur.co.id/ slot gatot kaca https://bonanza-gold.old.telusur.co.id/ slot sugar rush https://x500-gacor.old.telusur.co.id/ https://server-luar-negeri.pfn.co.id/ https://bpusdataru-probolo.jatengprov.go.id/products/ server thailand https://pragmaticplay.dharmasatyasarana.co.id/ https://joker123.dharmasatyasarana.co.id/ https://pg-soft.dharmasatyasarana.co.id/ https://server-thailand.dharmasatyasarana.co.id/ https://dana.sidamaju.skom.id/ https://ovo.sidamaju.skom.id/ https://gopay.sidamaju.skom.id/ https://server-thailand.old.telusur.co.id/ https://server-kamboja.old.telusur.co.id/ https://server-rusia.old.telusur.co.id/ https://server-hongkong.old.telusur.co.id/ http://mahjong-ways.old.telusur.co.id/ https://idn.old.telusur.co.id/ https://starlight-princess.old.telusur.co.id/ https://zeus.old.telusur.co.id/ https://dana.old.telusur.co.id/ https://gacor88.old.telusur.co.id/ https://sabung-ayam-online.old.telusur.co.id/ https://pulsa.old.telusur.co.id/ https://pragmaticplay.old.telusur.co.id/ https://pg-soft.old.telusur.co.id/ https://joker123.putramuko.co.id/ https://akun-pro-rusia.mariyadl.sch.id/ https://ws168.putramuko.co.id/ https://pgsoft.putramuko.co.id/ sv388 joker123 zeus slot princess 1000 mahjong ways rtp slot slot88 server thailand sabung ayam online slot zeus pgsoft mahjong ways digmaan slot ovo joker123 server thailand ladangtoto slot zeus mahjong ways rtp slot slot princess sv388 joker123 digmaan powergaming88 powergaming88 powergaming88 server jepang server kamboja slot dana server thailand server hongkong slot ovo slot gopay slot linkaja joker123 nolimit city sv388 starlight princess mahjong ways pg slot slot zeus server thailand joker123 nolimit city slot dana sv388 server thailand joker123 sv388 mahjong ways zeusslot powergaming88 starlight princess idn slot 888 slot https://live-casino.pta-bali.go.id/ https://mi.pta-surabaya.go.id/mahjong-ways/ ladangtoto https://joker123.elearningmansatuokit.sch.id/ slot server thailand slot dubai slot malaysia slot kamboja sbobet sabung ayam online slot pragmatic zeus slot slot pg soft mahjong ways slot dana slot thailand 888 slot gacor88 gb777 ying77 66kbet ladangtoto2 slot thailand https://slot-thailand.itr.ac.id/ https://pn-watansoppeng.go.id/media/jui/server-thailand/ https://dinkes.hsu.go.id/wp-content/uploads/server-thailand/ ladangtoto slot thailand nolimit city koi gate zeus slot slot malaysia slot china slot rusia slot jepang slot amerika slot filipina slot dana sicbo online roulette online lice casino joker slot slot gacor maxwin slot mahjong slot303 live22 baccarat online slot hongkong slot303 slot88 nolimit city slot ovo slot gopay slot77 pragmati play starlight princess slot pg soft slot mahjong slot zeus slot thailand slot zeus starlight princess mahjong ways joker123 sv388 rtp slot slot dana slot ovo slot gopay nolimit city digmaan sabung ayam online powergaming88 powergaming88 slot kamboja slot dana pgsoft sabung ayam online slot princess slot777 slot jepang slot korea slot kamboja slot dana slot ovo joker123 rtp slot slot thailand slot zeus starlight princess mahjong ways joker123 sv388 rtp slot joker123 sabung ayam online slot pragmatic slot dana slot mahjong zeus slot slot thailand starlight princess slot pragmatic slot thailand sv388 joker123 slot zeus mahjong ways server thailand slot123 slot gacor slot dana slot mahjong slot maxwin slot pg soft gaming88 slot kamboja sabung ayam online slot mania slot zeus joker123 slot gacor slot jepang slot zeus akun vip slot pragmatic slot bet 100 sv388 mahjong ways pg soft slot maxwin zeus slot slot88 sv388 slot zeus slot princess sv388 pg soft mahjong ways slot zeus starlight princess joker123 slot thailand sv388 slot dana slot kamboja slot88 slot kamboja slot thailand slot thailand slot thailand slot dana slot thailand fafaslot sv388 slot zeus joker123 sv388 slot thailand pg soft mahjong ways slot zeus starlight princess rtp slot sv388 sabung ayam online 66kbet ying77 dewaslot ladangtoto gaming88 slot thailand slot maxwin gaming88 slot123 mahjong ways starlight princess joker123 slot pg zseus slot servee thailand 66kbet gaming88 ying77 ladangtoto dewaslot sabung ayam online slot thailand slot77 slot thailand server thailand slot88 slot maxwin slot thailand server thailand slot88 slot thailand slot mahjong slot88 slot zeus pg soft slot gacor maxwin sv388 joker123 ladangtoto 66kbet ying77 slot thailand server thailand slot maxwin slot88 pragmatic play judi bola live casino sv388 sbobet mahjong ways pragmaticplay sv388 sv388 pragmatic play slot gacor maxwin pg soft gates of olympus joker123 sv388 pg soft slot mahjong slot dana sv388 fafaslot idn poker joker123 mahjong ways sabung ayam online pg soft pragmatic slot petir slot olympus slot mania fafaslot slot mania fafaslot habanero ladangtoto ying77 66kbet gaming88 slot thailand server thailand sabung ayam online slot mania slot mahjong slot bet 200 slot dana slot hoki slot x500 slot pgsoft slot thailand slot kamboja slot jepang slot amerika slot mahjong slot gacor 2023 slot x500 ladangtoto slot server kamboja nolimit city digmaan slot thailand dewaslot digmaan sv388 slot joker123 mahjong ways 2 slot zeus starlight princess slot88 pg soft slot olympus 66kbet ladang toto ying77 gaming88 dewaslot pg soft 66kbet ying77 ladangtoto dewaslot scv388 sabung ayam online slot sabung ayam online live casino 66k ladangtoto digmaan slot pragmatic slot jepang slot china slot kamboja slot rusia slot malaysia slot amerika slot thailand slot zeus slot ovo slot dana slot gopay sicbo online roulette online joker123 slot mahjong tembak ikan online joker123 live casino slot123 66k ying77 ladangtoto sabung ayam online 66k ying77 ladangtoto live casino online sabung ayam online 66k ying77 ladangtoto slot thailand ladangtoto ladangtoto sv388 ladangtoto ladangtoto ladangtoto sv388 ladangtoto sv388 66kbet ying77 gaming88 dewaslot ladangtoto slot thailand slot thailand ladangtoto 66k bet ying77bet sv388 66kbet ying77 ladangtoto 66k one ladangtoto ying77 slot maxwin 66k bet ying77bet ladangtoto slot zeus slot thailand slot thailand server thailand slot thailand slot thailand server thailand slot thailand slot thailand slot thailand slot thailand slot thailand slot thailand slot thailand slot thailand slot thailand slot gacor ladangtoto2 slot thailand server thailand ying77 bet ying77 ladangtoto 66k bet slot gacor server thailand slot88 slot gacor slot thailand slot88 slot thailand ying77 ying77 powergaming88 slot88 ladangtoto ladangtoto sabung ayam online slot thailand slot maxwin sv388 pg soft mahjong ways sv388 mahjong ways 2 sv388 slot thailand 66k bet slot sv388 ladangtoto slot zeus slot gacor dewaslot ladangtoto 66k bet slot dana sabung ayam online sabung ayam inline slot thailand slot thailand slot88 slot thailand slot pgsoft slot slot mahjong slot thailand fafaslot slot princess slot gopay slot toto slot server thailand slot thailand slot gacor slot server thailand slot thailand slot gacor slot kakek zeus Joker123 Mahjong Ways 2 Sv388 Sbobet Slot Dana Slot Thailand slot thailand situs slot wwg slot slot daftar judi slot online indonesia slot mahjong ways slot gacor slot mawin slot gacor slot thailand slot thailand slot gacor slot gacor slot gacor demo slot pragmatic sv388 slot88 pgsoft slot thailand slot gacor slot ovo Daftar Judi Slot Online Indonesia Paling Gacor di Indonesia Daftar Situs Judi Slot Online SLOT88 lucky neko slot gacor slot88 slot kakek slot dana slot maxwin slot server luar negeri slot thailand Slot Mahjong Ways 2 Mudah Jackpot Paus di PG Soft Hari ini 2023 Lucky Neko Situs Slot Gacor Pgsoft Hari Ini SITUS SABUNG AYAM SV388 ONLINE DAFTAR LINK LOGIN APK AGEN SV388 Daftar Judi Slot Online Indonesia Paling Gacor di Indonesia powergaming88