The statistics on the rate of marriages ending in divorce can often be disheartening. It's easy to forget that such cold data excludes the value of extended family members who frequently might offer support to the reconfigured lives of those who have undergone separation and divorce. Last year, Ontario family law recognized grandparents as distinct from "any person"who could apply for access to or custody of the children of divorced parents.
The current model of alternative dispute resolution -- that is, reaching a mutually satisfying agreement peaceably, outside the courts -- probably originated in the distant past when two warring factions decided to forgo the bloodbath and find common ground instead. Similarly, marriage is based on commonality, which doesn't magically vanish when an Ontario couple decides to divorce. This is where collaborative family law can provide a potentially less forbidding path through the emotional and legal tangle entailed by a formal divorce.