Working with a family lawyer to write your own story

What’s your story?

When a client facing separation and divorce sits across from a lawyer for the first time, one of the most important tasks at that first meeting is for the lawyer to listen to their story: what brought them to see a lawyer, the moments of crises, the points of decision, the inner story of pain and grief. A family law lawyer listens, empathizes, and considers where the story fits within and against the framework of the law. Then the lawyer shows the client the various paths (or processes) available for continuing their story through separation and divorce to resolution.

Creating a new story

But another important part of the work of counsel is to help clients create a new story, the next chapter of their and their family’s life. If the client has experienced deep pain and describes the story of their past in sweeping brush strokes of hyperbole and enemies, they may need resources to help them face their pain and reframe what has happened so that acceptance and reasonableness can enable them to move forward.

If a client’s brain is telling them a story about the present coloured by doom, inadequacy, fear or control, a lawyer works hard at being a voice of reason and encouragement, so that self-confidence and empowerment can grow or be reclaimed.

As the client looks to the future and works toward agreements that lay the foundation for their future, the lawyer guides them in creating a new story, a story of hope and healing, of independence and community.

A collaborative approach

Creating a positive new story is  made possible by solution-based processes like collaborative divorce.  Divorce and separation are painful, but they don’t need to be ugly.  With the right support, ex-spouses can move forward in emotional and financial health. 

In the collaborative process, clients are encouraged to obtain holistic resources. Lawyers assist with the legal agreement, while financial planners or other specialists can educate and advise. Divorce coaches (clinical counsellors and social workers) can support the new co-parenting relationship, by developing  age-appropriate parenting plans and assisting when communication breaks down.  This collaborative approach enables clients to walk through separation and divorce with the resources they need to face the next chapter with confidence and peace. 

What’s your story? We believe a new story can be created.

If you have questions, or would like more information, please contact us.

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. Information made available on the Connect Family Law website in any form is for information purposes only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. You should not rely on, or take or fail to take any action, based upon this information. Never disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking legal advice because of something you have read on this website. One of our lawyers would be pleased to discuss any specific legal concerns you may have.

About Rebecca Stanley

Lawyer/Mediator – Fraser Valley/Vancouver

The focus of my practice is to empower people as they navigate the unique stresses (and opportunities) that accompany significant life transitions. My clients have said that my calm, strength and wisdom provide a solid anchor in the sometimes stormy seas of separation and divorce. I feel fortunate to be part of the Connect team, a collective of legal professionals and staff who understand that it is a privilege to support families through times of challenge and transformation.