Getting Along with Your Ex

  • Recorded on: January 31, 2023
  • Length: 60 minutes

Summary

Breakups are hard. There are difficult issues to work through, losses to come to terms with, new ways of relating to your ex-partner. Lawyers and mediators Zara Suleman and Shelina Neallani and mental health professional Yuval Berger answer common questions about how to communicate effectively with your ex.

Highlights

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • Whether you’re legally required to communicate with your former spouse after a divorce. [4:55]

  • What types of challenges you may experience after separating from your partner, including when you have children together. [8:35]

  • Steps you can take to make your separation and divorce as peaceful as possible, and factors to consider when choosing between a mediator, traditional lawyer, collaborative lawyer, or no lawyer. [13:30]

  • Whether it’s normal to feel a range of emotions during a breakup. [18:00]

  • How to have conversations with your ex about how you will interact with your mutual friends after the break up is final. [23:05]

  • What to do if conversations with your ex tend to escalate into a shouting match and you’re concerned about the effect of those conversations on your children. [26:30]

  • What to do if you continue to feel angry toward your ex but need to continue communicating with them because you own properties together. [33:12]

  • What to do if you think your ex’s new partner is driving a wedge between your ex and your children. [38:15]

  • Whether to include your ex’s new partner in conversations about the children. [40:00]

  • What to do in your separation negotiations if your ex-partner tells you that you’ll never get spousal support and that you don’t have any rights to their income or business. [43:15]

  • What options you have when seeking more time and involvement with your children when your circumstances change after a divorce. [44:45]

  • What to do if you’re close with your ex’s parents and want to see them, but your ex has banned you from seeing them. [47:15]

  • Tips for how to speak with children about their parents’ separation. [50:20]

  • How to deal with a narcissistic ex who doesn’t pay child support. [51:55]

Featuring

Zara Suleman

Zara is the founder of Suleman Family Law where she practices family law and fertility law in British Columbia. She is a certified family law mediator and collaborative law practitioner. Zara is also an adjunct instructor for family law at the University of Victoria law school, on the board of the Law Foundation of BC, chair of a BC Law Institute research project on legal parentage, and on the advisory for the FREDA Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children. Prior to law school Zara was a frontline community advocate for over a decade. She has been working on issues of violence against women and children for over 30 years, and has also presented and written extensively on family law issues, trauma informed practice, and anti-racism/critical race theory issues.

Shelina Neallani

Shelina Neallani specializes in communication, well-being and conflict resolution, with over 35 years of training and experience as a coach/counsellor, mediator, social worker, and lawyer. She has degrees from UBC in social work and law, and is an accredited family law mediator & arbitrator as well as a registered social worker. She began her legal career in litigation (family law, followed by insurance), then established a mediation and consulting practice focused on helping people resolve disputes and become the best versions of themselves. Most recently, she served at the Lawyers Assistance Program of BC as a lawyer counsellor.

Yuval Berger

Yuval Berger is a mental health professional with over 25 years of clinical experience counselling individuals, couples, and families. In his professional practice with Hindsight Counselling, he brings an attachment-informed approach to support couples and individuals through challenging transitions. The framework he provides allows for collaboration and connection instead of hostility and rage. Over the years, he has practiced as a child specialist, divorce coach, as well as a trainer and lecturer.

Attendee feedback

“This was a great panel chosen for today's webinar!”

“The webinar was succinct and helpful. The questions presented by the panel were very helpful, especially the parts about dealing with the emotional issues.” 

“Always great to hear the perspective of professionals - it’s a difficult time of life for anyone going through separation and divorce - seek help for yourself and your children if need be.”

“Wish we could have more sessions like these. It covered so many areas, but still I needed more info! But thanks, it was great.”

“I really appreciated the different professionals that were invited to speak on the subject matter and offer their expertise. The length of the webinar was also perfect and the format where different guest speakers were allowed to share their input was really engaging. Overall a great webinar.”

Additional resources

From People’s Law School: 

Also:

  • Collaborative Divorce Vancouver explains the collaborative process, from a network of lawyers in Vancouver who are trained in collaborative divorce and mediation

  • BC Collaborative Roster Society provides information about the collaborative process, as well as a roster of trained collaborative law practitioners in BC

  • Battered Women's Support Services provides education, advocacy, and support to eliminate violence against women

  • Ending Violence Association of BC trains and supports anti-violence programs and initiatives that respond to sexual and domestic violence 

  • Bill Eddy has authored multiple books on managing high conflict personalities and navigating a divorce from someone with a narcissistic personality

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