When ending a relationship ends, often the last thing you want to be thinking about is the legal matters surrounding it, but there are many reasons that you may need legal advice when dealing with a separation.
Even the most amicable of separations can include disagreements and problems, determining your rights and responsibilities in the separation process can be difficult. Hiring a lawyer who specializes in separation and divorce proceedings can save you a lot of trouble both immediately and in the future.
1. Contract negotiation
It is important to note that a separation agreement is a legal contract and as such is bound by Canadian law. Knowing what your rights are and how the law applies to you and your separation is important to ensure the best outcome.
Even if you and your former spouse composed an agreement by yourselves, hiring an attorney to at least analyze it and make recommendations regarding how to make it more beneficial for you would definitely be helpful in the process.
2. Child custody
When children are involved in a separation it can greatly complicate proceedings. Simply knowing what you can ask for in regards to child custody, access, and support can make a big difference. If the courts become involved, hiring a lawyer becomes even more important.
A divorce lawyer can advocate on your behalf and make sure that a custody or access schedule is fair and works for you. Even after an agreement is reached, you may need further legal advice in the case of refusal or inability to pay child support, whether from you or your former partner.
If you are obligated to pay support and are unable to, an attorney can appeal to the court, argue the reasons why you cannot pay the required amount, and can potentially have the sum of the payments lowered. If you are entitled to receive support and your former spouse is not paying, the attorney can bring the matter to court and can make arguments that can lead to child support payments being made.
3. Property division
A separation agreement will usually include the division of property. Typically, this covers co-owned property only but there are scenarios in which property purchased during a relationship may be included even if you or your former partner was the primary purchaser.
While this is relatively simple and straight-forward in regards to furniture and other material items, the separation of land or inheritances can be more complicated. For this reason a lawyer will be able to assist you especially if your former partner is either refusing to allow you to claim property or claiming property that you do not think they have rights to.
As far as land and other similar property often you or your former partner will get a monetary payout representing a share of the property value. While this process is usually reserved for properties, it can apply to goods that are deemed expensive and a payout is necessary in the interest of fairness. This process can be difficult but an attorney can represent your interests based on what you see important and in the even you are amicable to a pay-out, can come up with a sum that would be agreeable and fair to you.
4. Financial & debt division
Financial division has its own set of complexities as the division of debts accumulated during the relationship can be difficult. The advice of a lawyer can be beneficial in determining a fair division of finances and debts.
The attorney can establish what finances should be exempt from division, who is entitled to what amount, and debts that were accumulated before the union was formed. An attorney can stop your spouse from claiming funds that they are not entitled to and can also help in situations regarding stocks, investments, and pensions.