Things to Consider in a Divorce
Heading into the fall again, where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday I was enjoying the arrival of spring and with another summer Olympics over, you realize how fast our lives go.
It seems though that some legal matters, such as litigation files, seem to drag on forever. Taking away some of your precious time and seemingly wasting it on the endless detail driven endeavor that is litigation.
Speaking of litigation, when you get divorced or separated it seems like it takes forever to get anything done. As a lawyer who sometimes enters the minefield of divorce and separation, I have come to the conclusion that the system is somewhat broken and needs some tweaking. Thankfully our system is not as complicated as the United States, but it seems to be heading in that direction.
What is involved in a divorce? The answer as always it depends. It depends on a whether you have children, it depends on how long you’ve been married, it depends on what property you have, and it depends on what you and your spouses’ incomes are.
If you have a couple with no property, no kids and very little income differences, then a divorce can be a straightforward matter of getting a piece of paper saying you are no longer married to one another.
If you have dependent children, then a divorce becomes a fairly complicated matter. It is interesting to note that anyone can have children without any involvement from the state, but as soon as you decide to separate, then the state has a say in how those children are raised and supported. I am talking of course of custody and child support. At least half of all separating couples could probably come up with their own agreement on custody or parenting and child support, but the law has the final say whether these arrangements are appropriate or not. Further if a couple cannot agree on these arrangements a lot of them appear in court, on Tuesday mornings in Lethbridge, to sort these matters out. Did you know that every Tuesday in Lethbridge there are 40 family law matters before a Justice and further that this is capped at 40 matters? A Justice hears all kinds of family law applications every Tuesday. Each typical application is not inexpensive either and requires a lawyer to prepare documents and spend considerable time crossing their T’s and dotting the I’s. An application can cost one a minimum of $2000 in legal fees. Needless to say this is big business for the legal profession and takes up a considerable amount of time for our legal system
If you have property that you have accumulated together during a relationship, then that has to be divided up as well and this is usually done by way of a separation agreement. Sometimes though this has to be dragged through the courts and at considerable expense and time.
Finally if you and your spouse have an income discrepancy, then a divorce will have to deal with spousal support. Trying to work this out used to be complicated and uncertain. Fortunately with the Federal Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, it has become easier.
Divorce is surely one of the most stressful things that can happen in your life or someone you know. The legal system doesn’t always do the best job of making it less stressful. Clearly if you are thinking of divorce, you need solid legal advice, not to mention emotional support. It is not something you want to do alone.
For more information on our divorce services, visit here. And don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation!