Make the right choice for you and your family.

Separation and divorce can affect many of the things that are so important to us: our children, our financial security, and our happiness and well-being.

That’s why you need to know and understand your options and receive sound advice from experts. At Severide Law, our legal team puts more than 30 years of collective Family Law experience to work for clients in Metro Vancouver and South Delta with a team that’s second to none.

Our lawyers, Deirdre Prestage Severide, Jacqueline Sowa and Lindy Mathesius cover the spectrum of dispute resolution options – from non-adversarial, no-court options to litigation – backed by our senior advisor and legal researcher, Danielle Deschamps-Carlson.

We’re a caring and compassionate team that understands how stressful and overwhelming separation and divorce can be, and that each client’s circumstances and needs are unique. We can help you determine which of the following options will be most suitable:

  • Collaborative divorce
  • Mediation
  • Negotiation/Litigation

Our Family Law team can also help you with:

  • Marriage/Cohabitation agreements
  • Separation agreements
  • Division of family assets
  • Parenting time arrangements
  • Child and spousal support
  • Obtaining a divorce order

First, we listen.

At Severide Law, we’re not just lawyers – we are compassionate, committed people with relationships and families of our own. That means that we believe in proceeding with care – in fully identifying your needs and goals before we discuss your options.

With our extensive experience we can quickly identify potential problems and issues. We won’t just tell you what you want to hear – we will tell you what you need to know. Whether you choose a no-court option or litigation, you can trust us to listen to your needs with care, to explain your options with clarity, to offer sound advice, and to advocate for you with passion.

Collaborative Divorce: a non-adversarial, no-court, family-centred approach.

Collaborative divorce is quickly becoming a popular option for couples who do not want to go to court, and who want to maintain control over the process and the outcome. In the collaborative process, the couple is directly involved in the decision-making for all important issues, so that the end result is a workable and respectful solution for the entire family.

Deirdre Prestage Severide and Lindy Mathesius are trained in this non-adversarial approach in which, the spouses and their lawyers agree not to go to court and commit to seeking a solution that takes into account the highest priorities of each of the spouses and their children.

Each spouse retains a collaboratively trained family lawyer who acts as a negotiation coach, information resource and advocate. Together, they work to reach an agreement tailored to their unique circumstances. Divorce coaches are often involved in the process to help the spouses better communicate and overcome any emotional barriers that might prevent them from reaching resolution and moving forward.

The collaborative process offers several important benefits:

  • Spouses retain control over the process and the outcome. (Instead of a judge-imposed order that may be difficult to comply with.)
  • Parents learn better ways to communicate and to co-parent in the future.
  • The collaborative professionals seek to preserve relationships.
  • Children are placed in the “centre” rather than in the “middle”. Research shows that how parents conduct themselves during a divorce has a far greater impact on children than the act of divorcing itself.
  • Resolution is cost-effective and timely.

Mediation: a non-adversarial, no-court negotiation.

Mediation is another no-court process that works well for low-conflict couples who can negotiate with a neutral facilitator. Severide Law’s experienced Family Law mediator, Deirdre Prestage Severide, will assess your situation at the outset to determine if mediation is likely to be successful for you.

In mediation, the spouses meet together with a qualified mediator who helps them negotiate a separation agreement. If the spouses are successful in reaching an agreement, the mediator will prepare a draft agreement and recommend that each spouse seek independent legal advice on the agreement prior to signing.

Some benefits of the mediation process are:

  • Spouses retain control over the process and the outcome. (Instead of a judge-imposed order that may be difficult to comply with.)
  • Resolution is cost-effective and timely.

Litigation: when court is necessary.

Some family disputes need the court process. That’s when you require compassionate, yet tenacious, representation in court with sound advice throughout.

Our Family Law litigators, Jacqueline Sowa and Lindy Mathesius are skilled at achieving successful outcomes in difficult situations. Both are passionate advocates and tireless negotiators who fight for your best interests and the best interests of your children, while providing calm support and reasoned advice. Jacqueline and Lindy work closely with you to achieve the best possible results as efficiently as possible – so that you can move forward with your life.

Where do I start?

Our experienced Family Law team can help you make an informed choice about the process that will work best for you. Please contact our office to arrange an appointment and then complete our Initial Consultation Family Form.

For more information on the Collaborative Divorce process, please explore the links below: