I was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta and obtained my law degree in 1987 from the University of Alberta. I have practised as a family lawyer in Surrey, BC for more than 20 years, focusing my family practice on resolving disputes through case conferences, mediation, Collaborative Law, and other non-adversarial means. My goal is to find practical, cost effective solutions for my clients, to enable them to navigate their post-separation journey with confidence and to ensure that they and their children have the best possible outcomes.
In my early years of practice, I became frustrated with the financial and emotional impact of litigation on my clients, and I explored alternatives to resolving disputes through the courts. I received Collaborative Law training in 2001 and mediation training a year later. In 2002 I was certified as a mediator by the Law Society of BC, and I have been an active member of the Collaborative Association since its inception in 2002: www.nocourt.net.
When parties engage in the Collaborative Law process, they have the opportunity to cooperatively develop their own solutions to their legal issues, be creative in their financial settlements, and develop parenting plans that are best for their children. That’s what I find appealing about Collaborative Law.
In 2007 I also became qualified as one of the first Parenting Coordinators in BC. There has been a realization among family lawyers and judges that the courts are not qualified to deal adequately with issues concerning children where their parents are highly conflicted. Parenting Coordination has been used extensively for a number of years in California and other jurisdictions to assist high conflict parents: www.bcparentingcoordinators.com.
I have taken courses in child development, family dynamics, high conflict separations, and arbitration. I have also had training in interviewing children, have prepared reports for the courts, and became a member of the Hear the Child Society in 2012. Through both my professional and personal experiences, I am familiar with the challenges presented by children with attachment issues and special needs. Together, this training and experience has allowed me to better assist my Collaborative clients.
Outside of the office, I enjoy spending time with my family and being involved with my children’s school and activities. I also enjoy my weekly equestrian pursuits and daily walks with my enthusiastic German Shepherd.
Sandra Jennings, LLB
Family Lawyer, Mediator, Collaborative Lawyer, Parenting Coordinator
Areas of Practice:
- Family Law: Adoption; Divorce; Separation; Child Protection
- Agreements – Separation, Cohabitation & Pre-nuptial
- Parenting Plans – Guardianship, Parenting Time
- Family Asset Settlements
- Child & Spousal Support Settlements
- Views of the Child Reports
- Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Alberta (1987)
- University of Alberta – Arts program (1983-1984)
- Concordia College – Arts program (1982-1983)
- Family Law Mediation Certificate (2002)
- Collaborative Separation & Divorce Certificate (2001)
- Parenting Coordination, Child Development, Parenting Plans, Interviewing Children, Family Dynamics & High Conflict Separations (2007 – 2012)
Memberships & Associations:
- The Law Society of BC (called in 1990)
- Canadian Bar Association (since 1995)
- CBA Family Law Sections (since 1995)
- Collaborative Association (since 2002)
- BC Parenting Coordinators Roster (since 2007)
- Hear the Child Society Roster (since 2012)
- Christian Legal Fellowship of Canada
- Access Pro Bono Society of BC – volunteer lawyer, family law
- Divorce Care – guest speaker on family law
- MCFD Adoption Education Program – guest speaker on parent panel
- People’s Law School – presenter on family law
- Stepping Stones (youth parenting program) – Advisory Board (2004-2007)
- Peace Portal Counselling Centre – Advisory Board (1999-2001)