Collaborative Law

  • Collaborative Law is a private and structured process used to resolve family law disputes. In the Collaborative process, the clients and lawyers sign a contract which removes the ability for either party to begin a Court process and thereby eliminates the threat of litigation.

  • As collaboratively trained lawyers, we promote good faith negotiation and full transparency. By removing the threat of going to Court, clients feel safe to discuss settlement options that they may otherwise avoid.

  • Within the Collaborative process, we are able to access important resources, such as trained coaches, child specialists, and financial specialists, in order to best equip clients with the tools required to transition through significant life changes.

  • Even in high-conflict and tense environments, the Collaborative process is a highly successful method of settling disputes in a healthy, respectful, and safe manner.


  • Sometimes clients come to YSM Family Law after reaching a global settlement with their spouse, before finalizing the details. Other times, a client’s spouse may refuse to move forward with the Collaborative Divorce Process, but still wishes to avoid Court. In these types of circumstances, we focus on reducing the conflict and negotiating a settlement outside of Court. This may entail sending letters between lawyers or attending settlement meetings to reach an agreement.


  • Mediation is a cost-effective and helpful tool for clients to have focused and productive discussions with the goal of settling issues. A mediator is a neutral facilitator who leads couples through difficult conversations in a private setting. We offer mediation for clients who are separating, as well as for couples who need guidance with navigating often awkward discussions relating to relationship planning (such as prenuptial or cohabitation agreements).

  • Throughout the mediation process, we maintain a clear focus on what is important to each individual and the family as a whole. In a mediation setting, we have the freedom to develop creative options for settlement which may not be possible in the traditional court setting.

  • Every issue that needs to be addressed in the separation agreement, such as guardianship, parenting time, asset and debt division, and child and spousal support will be discussed. At the end of the mediation process, the goal is to execute a workable and long-lasting separation agreement.

  • At YSM Family Law, we are able to either act as mediators to help couples resolve disputes or to attend mediation in our capacity as legal counsel on behalf of our client.

Separation Agreements

  • When separated couples are amicable, a client may provide a comprehensive settlement agreement which has been discussed and agreed upon between the two parties without the assistance of legal counsel. In these circumstances, we are happy to draft a detailed Separation Agreement that reflects the understanding reached between the two parties while providing excellent legal advice.

Cohabitation & Prenuptial Agreements

  • At YSM Family Law, we have extensive experience in negotiating and drafting Cohabitation Agreements, Prenuptial Agreements, and Marriage Agreements.

  • Preparing a client for the initial discussion with their significant other regarding these issues is just as important as drafting and executing the actual agreement. These conversations are often awkward and may create unnecessary conflict if not properly handled.

Relative Adoptions

  • Adoptive families are given the opportunity to create profound and permanent family relations, and to make a lasting and positive impact on a child’s life as well as their own.

  • Adoption is a complex legal process with many issues to consider. In BC, the Adoption Act addresses the legal requirements to complete a relative adoption. Our lawyers have extensive experience assisting prospective adoptive parents, birth parents, and step-parents understand their rights and obligations as well as helping them navigate the challenges that may arise throughout the adoption application process.

Independent Legal Advice (ILA)

  • Receiving independent legal advice prior to signing a Separation Agreement or a Cohabitation Agreement may be life-changing. Our lawyers will review a draft agreement, explain the legal intricacies, and provide important advice. Investing in this service can save a client an extraordinary amount in legal fees.

Divorce Applications

  • Clients often wish to obtain a court order for divorce on an uncontested basis once a Separation Agreement has been signed. YSM Family Law charges flat rates for this service. We will explain, prepare, and file all of the necessary paperwork required to ensure a straightforward Divorce.