My Spouse Wants to Separate, What do I do now?
Separation is never easy. It’s even harder when there are children involved. Sometimes, couples are able to separate amicably and divide their assets fairly between them. Custody is not an issue and the parties simply part ways and begin their new, individual lives. More often, this is not the case and skilled, reliable, thorough and knowledgeable legal Counsel becomes necessary.
Your partner has told you they want to separate. Now what? First, stop and take a deep breath. Can the two of you be amicable? Can you work together? Are you able to retain one lawyer to draft a joint separation agreement? Do you need to retain separate Counsel and negotiate terms of the separation only via Counsel? These are the very first questions you should explore.
If you and your partner are able to be amicable, fantastic. Perhaps the two of you sit over a cup of coffee, determine what your Agreement looks like and then you choose your Legal Counsel, make the appointment, provide Counsel with your wishes and wait for the Agreement to be drafted. When the Agreement has been drafted, the two of you attend at your lawyer’s office, sign the Agreement and carry on with your new, individual lives. Once the two you have been separated for a year, divorce proceedings can be brought before the court and the matter of your separation finalized.
Sounds simple right? What if you can’t agree? What if the two of you can’t even manage to remain in the same room together? This is a situation that requires each of you to retain your own lawyer.
Once each of you have made appointments with your respective lawyers the process of negotiations can commence. Generally, Counsel will begin by asking a series of questions relating to your relationship and the assets and debts you and your partner have acquired. How long have you lived together? Are you married? Any children? What is the date of marriage and/ or cohabitation? What is the date of separation? Do you own a home? Pensions? RRSP’s? Investments? Vehicles? Debts? You can speed the process along if you attend your first lawyer’s appointment with this information already prepared.
During your first appointment, your Counsel will explain to you how the Divorce Act and the Family Law Act apply to your particular circumstances. Based on this information, you can begin to decide what offers you are willing to make to the Opposing Party to settle the issues arising as a result of the breakdown of your marriage. At this point, you should also begin to consider what points you are willing to concede on and what points you are firm on.
With the correct Legal Counsel behind you, the process of Separation and/or Divorce becomes manageable. Here at Shankar Law, our team makes the time to explain procedures to you and support you as you move into the next chapter of your life.
We offer legal services in #Bruce, #Grey and #Huron counties, including #PortElgin, #Southampton, #OwenSound, #Meaford, #Wiarton, #Hanover, #Walkerton, #Markdale, #Walkerton, #Goderich, among other places. We make the complex seem simple.