It is critical to evaluate the whole picture, both what is occurring now and what may happen in the future when creating a separation agreement.
In many cases, it is tough to end a common-law marriage or, in general, a marriage because of the many factors that influence one’s choice. Not only is it essential to recognize the emotional toll of separation, but also essential to understand the financial and legal risks that might come with a separation. Here are a few recommendations to assist you if you are experiencing marital separation, that may help you to make this important decision in your life..
Domestic Violence or Concerns about Safety
Separation may worsen the already violent relationships. Assume you are concerned about informing your spouse that you want to end your relationship. In such a scenario, you may contact the police or perhaps a local organization to inform them of your intention to depart from an abusive environment and to get assistance in developing a safety plan. It is essential to realize that the police reports may result in the abuser facing criminal prosecution. Before discussing separation with your spouse, it is important to prepare a safety plan. It may be prudent to have another individual present throughout the chat to mitigate the potential violence.
Take an Interest in Your Family’s Finances
If you are not engaged in your family’s finances, it is advised that you take an interest and learn as much as possible about the family’s income and spending, as well as “where the money is.” If you are married, property division (or “equalization”) will require you and your spouse to exchange paperwork about 1) earnings and 2) debts and assets at the time of the marriage as well as the date of divorce. Income tax returns and statements of evaluation, bank account, and credit card statements are documents that should be gathered.
Suppose you want to become more active in your children’s lives. In that case, it is better to take the necessary steps and do so before initiating a separation to show that you are a willing, devoted, and competent parent. Parents who have been uninvolved in their children’s life yet want their children to reside with them for an extended period may face difficulties unless there is proof of this attitude. Suppose you are a stay-at-home or jobless spouse. In that case, you may want to request them to work before initiating a separation, as this may help you avoid their future support responsibilities. If you are considering a professional change to make more time for your children, which will result in a decreased income, in that case, it will be prudent to make this employment shift before undertaking a separation to prevent the claim that the change was done to reduce future child or spousal support responsibilities.
Separation may bring the worst out of individuals in various scenarios. Keeping your vital legal papers (passport, birth certificate, SIN card, OHIP card, and so on.) and any jewelry or treasured items in a secure location is a smart idea in case matters go wrong.
If you do not have a bank account, you should establish one and get a credit card. If you have access to a joint line of credit or bank account, you may choose to withdraw money from it and deposit it in your account to ensure that you have access to money if you are afraid that your spouse may engage in financial abuse. Please keep in mind that while you and your spouse settle financial concerns, you will be required to explain any money being taken from a shared credit line or bank account.
Consult a Family Law Attorney
It is essential to discuss your legal duties and rights with an attorney to educate yourself – if everything was “common sense,” there will be no attorneys. It is not suggested that you agree to terms with your spouse or file a separation agreement without first seeking legal guidance. Consultation with a professional does not indicate a lack of confidence between either side or those proceedings will be combative and costly. An experienced family law attorney will discuss various out-of-court ways to resolve legal issues that arise from separation (i.e., Alternative Dispute Resolution), as these processes tend to resolve matters more quickly, cost-effectively, and creatively, thereby preserving a good relationship into the future.
Avoid Financial Games
Because the law presumes that you will share property acquired during the marriage, you should avoid transferring large sums of money from your name to family or friends or giving substantial cash presents to third parties to “hide” money before separation. Likewise, it is not suggested that you make large purchases before separating since this may result in charges of asset dissipation. If you behave in this manner, your spouse may seek an “unequal split” of property. You may lose “credibility” in court. Additionally, a spouse may petition the court for a “preservation order” prohibiting the other spouse from obtaining additional assets due to their intentional depletion.
Protecting Your Privacy
If you are separating, it may make sense to purchase your mobile phone and create a new personal email or update your passwords if you are afraid that your spouse has violated or will violate your privacy due to the split.
The above advice is not a legal opinion of any type. You should consult with a skilled family law attorney to find out about your particular circumstances. Not obtaining competent legal assistance from the outset while the separation procedure is underway might cost you a ton of money. Separation anxiety is a tough, stressful situation, and making your way through it may be challenging.