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THE MESSY DIVORCE: DEBUNKING THE MYTH

May 1 2015

Many people have a story about, or know someone who has gone through, a messy divorce. While sometimes the circumstances that lead to a divorce or separation are unavoidable, there are things you can do to help both parties arrive at an amicable agreement.

PREPARE YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES.

Relationships are built on strong bonds between two people. A separation can bring up intense emotions that may be unexpected. It is important to acknowledge that a shift in relationships will impact you and others involved on an emotional level. It is a good idea to see a counsellor before, during, and after a divorce or separation. Counselling can help sort through feelings and emotions that may cloud your judgement or reasoning in the settlement process.

This goes for children too. Studies show that the most damaging part of divorce on children is to see or hear their parents fighting, particularly over them. It is really important to have your emotions in check when there are children involved. Consider finding a child counsellor to give your son or daughter a safe place to vent or express how they are feeling about the situation.

SET REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS FOR A SETTLEMENT.

Understanding what the law says about divorce and what each party is entitled to in a settlement is important for setting realistic expectations. If one party comes to the table expecting to get everything, even though they didn’t bring anything into the relationship, they may be disappointed or even angry at the outcome. With the change in family law in 2013, dividing property has become clearer:

  • Each person will retain the value of whatever they brought into the relationship, this is called excluded property,
  • While anything obtained during the relationship, and the increase in value of excluded property, is divided equally.
SEEK GOOD LEGAL COUNSEL.

A family lawyer helps bring much needed clarification and counsel to a separation agreement. Early in the process a family lawyer can provide understanding of what your options are and what the law requires. They will help both parties move toward a fair and equitable settlement and will ensure that all legal agreements and documents are properly prepared, and that you are protected.

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