Marriage counselling has been tried, and failed. You have children, own property together, have joint bank accounts, credit cards, and debts. You wish you had more savings, but you don’t. One, or both of you, work. There may be RRSP’s, TFSA’s, RESP’s, and possibly a pension or two.
What now? Where to start? How do you do it?
The largest issues that must be addressed are: custody, support and property division.
There are many options available regarding the process to use in resolving these issues, and it is one of those times in life where you really do need to obtain legal advice to understand what those options are, and which one would be best for you. These include: solicitor negotiation, mediation, collaborative family law, arbitration, and lastly, litigation, or family court. Each has its merits, once again, depending on your personal situation.
Each spouse will need to obtain independent legal advice.
Sometimes couples separate and can maintain a healthy level of civility and reasonableness dealing with each other in order to resolve the important matters that must be faced when this happens. A separation agreement can be achieved that is fair to both, and when children are involved, in their best interests. Divorce can follow on an uncontested basis, if that is what they desire.
Other times, especially in cases of power imbalance between spouses, or where emotional, mental or physical abuse exists, it is essential that highly experienced, aggressive counsel is retained to protect and guide YOU through the process, including court proceedings if deemed necessary, to ensure that your rights and interests are fully protected and secured.
Graeme Fraser has advised and represented an equal number of husbands and wives over the 28 years that he has practised family law. It is his practice and preference to attempt non-court options first, as the separation experience can be stressful enough without having to endure court proceedings on top of it. Sometimes, however, family court is the only viable option to ensure that you/his client obtains what YOU are entitled to. Call Graeme Fraser. In the end, you will be glad you did.