The material has been provided by The Collaborative Association members for the assistance of the readers.


Life Coaching

August 28th, 2017

submitted by Maritze Verdun-Jones
“In addition to divorce coaching which primarily assists separating individuals to reach their goals as it relates to the divorce issues which may arise (such as co-parenting effectively as one example), life coaching may also be complementary to this process. More specifically, a life coach may be able to assist individuals reach their goals and timelines in virtually any area in their life. For example, after a separation and/or divorce, an individual may also want to get more fit or put in motion a career change or advancement.”

Section 8 of the Family Law Act and Collaborative Law

August 16th, 2017

submitted by Maritze Verdun-Jones
Section 8 (1) of the Family Law Act imposes a duty on “family dispute resolution professionals” to canvass with a party involved in a family law dispute various types of family dispute resolution mechanisms available to them – in addition to informing the party of any known facilities or resources that may assist in resolving the dispute if family violence has been adequately screened for. More specifically, the section 8 (1) of the Family Law Act states:

“8 (1) A family dispute resolution professional consulted by a party to a family law dispute must assess, in accordance with the regulations, whether family violence may be present, and if it appears to the family dispute resolution professional that family violence is present, the extent to which the family violence may adversely affect
(a) the safety of the party or a family member of that party, and
(b) the ability of the party to negotiate a fair agreement.
(2) Having regard to the assessment made under subsection (1), a family dispute resolution professional consulted by a party to a family law dispute must
(a) discuss with the party the advisability of using various types of family dispute resolution to resolve the matter, and
(b) inform the party of the facilities and other resources, known to the family dispute resolution professional, that may be available to assist in resolving the dispute.
(3) A family dispute resolution professional consulted by a party to a family law dispute must advise the party that agreements and orders respecting the following matters must be made in the best interests of the child only:
(a) guardianship;
(b) parenting arrangements;
(c) contact with a child.”
This particular duty presents an excellent opportunity for professionals to introduce collaborative family law as a possibly cost reducing option and an effective means for resolving family disputes.


July 11th, 2017

forwarded from Jas Salh

If you are classified as a “U.S. person”, you may be subject to certain U.S. tax filing requirements and not even know it.

Does this apply to you?

The definition of a “U.S. person” generally includes

* U.S. citizens

* U.S. residents

* U.S. green card holders

* anyone who has a substantial connection to the U.S.

* certain entities organized in the U.S.

However, since the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)’s definition of a “U.S. person” is very broad, it’s possible there are Canadians who may not realize they have U.S. tax filing obligations.


What you need to know

In 2010, the IRS issued a clarification to a set of existing tax rules.  That clarification resulted in Canadian mutual funds being classified as corporations for U.S. tax purposes.  As a result “U.S. persons” who hold Canadian mutual funds are subject to the PFIC * rules.  These rules are complex, and it is suggested you seek U.S. tax advice on how you may be affected.  “U.S. persons” are required to report income from each PFIC held at tax time.


* Additional PFIC details

A PFIC is a non-U.S. corporation of which 75% or more of its gross income consists of passive income, or 50% or more of the average fair market value of its assets consists of assets that produce passive income.

Passive income includes, among other things, dividends, interest, rent, royalties and capital gains from the disposition of securities.

It is generally believed that virtually all Canadian mutual funds and ETFs are PFICs.  Certain public companies are also PFICs.


The Qualified Electing Fund (QEF) election on U.S. income tax returns

Include only the pro-rata share of the mutual fund’s earned income and capital gains for U.S. tax purposes.  This is roughly similar to how U.S. mutual funds are taxed in the U.S. and is generally aligned with how Canadian mutual funds are taxed in Canada.  There are other reporting options but in many cases the QEF election will be the most beneficial to U.S. tax filers.


What to do next

It’s recommended that you consult with your advisor and a U.S. tax expert.  PFIC rules are complex, and it is important for you to have the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions.  Affected investors should not make changes to their Canadian investment holdings without first speaking with their advisor and a U.S. tax specialist.


How do these rules affect different types of accounts, such as non-registered accounts, TSFAs and RRSPs?

These rules affect investments in non-registered accounts, TSFAs and RESPs.  For PFICs held in retirement savings accounts such as RRSPs and RRIFs, most tax advisors suggest the PFIC rules should not be applicable.  However, you should speak with a U.S. tax advisor.


Note:  this information is general in nature.  It should not be relied upon or construed as tax advice.


There’s an ELEPHANT in the room!!

June 7th, 2017

submitted by Patricia Lalonde
That elephant has been the subject of money throughout your relationship. It’s a tough subject. Not because arithmetic is complicated, but, because the subject is loaded with emotional baggage and multi-generational values.

When a relationship ends, that baggage of emotionally charged money matters needs to be opened, scrutinized, clarified and divided. This is no easy task! To make matters worse, emotions have sky-rocketed, plans and dreams have exploded and the future is uncertain at best.

Help is at hand.

BC’s Family Law Act was designed to help families stay out of court by directing them to “Alternatives” such as Mediation and Collaborative Practice.

When money is an issue, Mediators and Collaborative Practitioners call on Neutral Financial Professionals who are also Mediators and Collaborative Professionals. When there are emotional issues or concerns about the children, there are Mediators and Collaborative Professionals who specialize in mental health. In this way, people have support from specialists in Law, Finance and Mental Health. It might seem counter-intuitive to think that this can be a cost-effective solution. But, it is. How much better is it, to have a financial specialist sort out your financial confusion? Less time, less cost, more clarity and better to have one financial document than fighting over two different ones.

How much better to have a mental health professional guide you through the emotions of separation than a lawyer or financial person?

Yes, help is at hand for that big financial ELEPHANT! That’s what a Neutral Financial Mediator can do for you.

Patricia Lalonde,
CFP, Qualified Mediator, Neutral Collaborative Professional



• The Three Most Important Words May 25th, 2017
• Defeating Fraud May 20th, 2017
• Why Becoming Upset about Adversity is a Waste of Time May 13th, 2017
• Can Mediation or Collaborative Law Ever Be A Waste Of Time, Energy and Money? March 17th, 2017
• Alcohol as a means of coping February 28th, 2017
• Hard on Everyone February 21st, 2017
• COST OF DOING BUSINESS January 25th, 2017
• ILA for UNFAIR AGREEMENTS January 6th, 2017
• What will the Children Remember? December 8th, 2016
• Reconciliation November 24th, 2016
• Circles November 16th, 2016
• Parental Gatekeeping in Separation and Divorce October 5th, 2016
• Dealing with divorce or separation stress September 19th, 2016
• Excluded Property 2016: Where are we now? September 6th, 2016
• Exercise Can Heal You!! August 31st, 2016
• Who needs conflict?! August 22nd, 2016
• Trade-offs July 29th, 2016
• The Proverbial Orange July 22nd, 2016
• Are You A Control Freak or a Control Enthusiast? June 15th, 2016
• Good Divorces: Myth or Reality? May 6th, 2016
• A Sculpture is Worth a Thousand Words April 29th, 2016
• Ancient Wisdom Recycled: “Beware The Man Of One Book” March 3rd, 2016
• What are the differences between mediation and the collaborative process? February 22nd, 2016
• Is the Process of Collaborative Law for Everyone? February 13th, 2016
• Authenticity January 25th, 2016
• The Gatekeeper January 12th, 2016
• I want to keep the house December 15th, 2015
• Guideline Income Calculations October 8th, 2015