We need a Divorce Fair in Barrie, Ontario!

Recently, Halifax hosted it’s first divorce fair. It was an opportunity to learn everything you need to know about getting carnivala divorce, and how to prepare for life after divorce. Wow! What a great idea.

The fair was two days: one day for men and one day for women. You wouldn’t want to bump into your spouse, especially if your spouse doesn’t know you are thinking about divorce, hence the division of days by gender. Makes good sense to me.

Michael Niren in his most recent blog at www.divorcesupport.ca suggests that with the divorce rate over 40% this sort of fair may become common place in Canada. I hope so.

A similar fair was held in the UK in the spring of 2009 for the first time, and it was well received according to article in  The Telegraph. A second one is scheduled for March, 2010. I like the name they are using in the U.K. It’s called the Starting Over Show which of course makes the acronym SOS. Very appropriate.

There are exhibitors and speakers at these shows. For example, lawyers, mediators, financial planners, yoga teachers, dentists (to improve your smile), cosmetic surgeons, psychologists, real estate agents, counselors, dating agencies, life coaches and anybody else who might be of interest to people going through a divorce have booths or do presentations. It’s a place to get more information, new contacts and get inspired as you begin your new life.

Oliver Moore in his article in The Globe and Mail about the Halifax fair quotes the main speaker at the Halifax fair, Justice Harvey Brownstone as follows:

Mr. Justice Harvey Brownstone, author of Tug of War: A Judge’s Verdict on Separation, Custody Battles, and the Bitter Realities of Family Court, is speaking on both days. He noted in an interview that he’s seen first-hand the “emotional carnage” that can result from divorce.

“It bothers me as a judge that by the time we see parents they’re in front of me geared up for a fight,” he said. “I have long thought that I’d like to be able to reach them in advance. These people need counselling, they need financial advice, they need help coming up with parenting plans.”

The divorce fair provided the kind of information Justice Brownstone suggests, so people can make an educated decision about their choices. Too often people considering divorce end up meeting with traditional divorce lawyers who simply urge them to go to court.

I believe divorce is not just a legal problem. It has emotional, financial, parenting and many other aspects to it. An interdisciplinary approach to divorce best meets your needs. A divorce fair sounds like it would give the public the perspectives of many different disciplines and professionals which is a good thing.

We suggest clients use Collaborative Team Practice to resolve their divorce-related issues. It is an interdisciplinary approach to divorce. Financial specialist help with the financial issues; Divorce coaches help with the emotional aspects; and, parenting coaches help with the parenting issues. Lawyers deal with the legal aspects, offer their help resolving difficult issues and ensure the resulting agreement is legally binding. It works well. Both parties and professionals agree that they won’t go to court and will put all their energies into reaching a mutually agreeable settlement.

"Divorce Fair"… I even like the name! Fairs always have roller coasters and everyone who has been through a divorce knows it can be like a roller coaster ride some of the time! 

So, who wants to help me organize a Divorce Fair for Barrie?