If there is a conflict between the parties over the division of property, child support, spousal support, or parenting arrangements you need to get a lawyer. The trick is being able to look yourself in the eye after it’s all over, and to know that you’ve got some money in your wallet. It will cost you something, but it need not cost you everything.
If you decide you want out, or your partner just leaves, you have a lot to think about. Kids, money assets and debt. If you want to spare your kids and yourself as much pain as possible you need a solution that works for both you and your partner.
The principles behind the law are not that hard. In Canada if you are married you can get a divorce after living separate and apart for a year. Children live with either one or both parents depending on what is in the child’s best interest. Parents are expected to financially support their children in accordance with their means. Spouses are expected to support each other; for how long and for how much depends on the difference in the spouses’ incomes and the length of their relationship. In B.C. we start from the position that family property and family debt acquired during the marriage are evenly divided. Then, we deal with exclusion claims, unequal division claims and how those claims are proved and whether they will succeed.
What does that mean to you?
It likely means that you will give up something. After you are divorced you will have less money, and you will have less time with your kids. So will your former partner. Think of it as a pie. How much less pie you have depends on how you choose to fight about dividing that pie. There’s no point in fighting about a pie that only gets smaller as you pay your lawyer to teach your spouse a lesson. All that does is fight the same old battles.
If you get divorced what you need is advice on how to get to a solution that works for you. Usually that means an agreement, but sometimes it means taking a problem to a judge and getting a ruling.