So you may be thinking of getting a Divorce. If you are going down the road of getting a divorce there are a few things you may wish to do prior to commencing the divorce process, or at least before telling your spouse of your wish to get a divorce.
Before Getting a Divorce
One of the most important things prior to getting a divorce is to make sure you have sufficient funds available to pay for the extra expenses that may result from you getting a divorce. This is particularly true if you are the lower income earner and you plan on leaving the matrimonial home. You may wish to start slowly putting money aside prior to informing your spouse of the pending divorce. Also, you should make sure you have important documents or at least copies of important documents such as you and your children’s passports and identification. You should also have copies of financial records such as bank statements, tax returns etc. You could also make a note of all mail being received (looking out for mail from unusual or unknown financial institutions). If you are planning on leaving the home with your children make sure you have secured an adequate place for them and that you have packed and transported many of their important belongings. Remember to consult a lawyer to get some legal advice on how the law will apply to your particular situation.
Beginning the Process of Getting a Divorce
At some point you will have to notify your spouse of your intentions of getting a divorce. This can be done by having someone serve your spouse with court documents requesting a divorce. However, it may be better to just talk to your spouse about how you are planning on getting a divorce. Hopefully, you and your spouse can communicate enough to deal with the pressing issues resulting from your separation. Some of these issues can be guardianship of children, parenting time or access with the children, child support, spousal support, division of property etc.
Dispute Resolution Prior to Getting a Divorce
All of the above issues need to be resolved before getting a divorce. Should you not be able to resolve some or all of the above issues with your spouse, you may need the assistance of a third party such as a Family Mediator to assist you and your spouse in obtaining a satisfactory resolution of the issues. You may also want to consider Collaborative Divorce to help resolve these issues. Collaborative divorce or collaborative law is where you and your spouse retain the services of collaborative lawyers to help resolve the issues between you and your spouse. In this process you, your spouse, and your respective lawyers would sign a participation agreement, which outlines your requirement to negotiate in a forthright and transparent manner. Also, the participation agreement will include words to the effect that should a Separation agreement not be reached then the lawyers are terminated and are unable to represent you or your spouse in a court proceeding. This process can also involve the use of third party experts such as financial experts, divorce coaches, child experts etc.
Obtaining a Court Order
If you and your spouse still are unable to resolve outstanding issues resulting from the termination of your marriage then a judge may have to make the decision for you and your spouse. Once the issues have been resolved and you have been separated for the allotted time (in British Columbia it is generally one year) then you may request an order for divorce from the court.
The Next Steps for Getting a Divorce
Getting a divorce can be a difficult and stressful time in your life. Don’t worry, we at M.J. O’Nions Lawyer & Mediator have the expertise to guide you through this process in the fastest and least stressful way. If you are getting a divorce give us a call at 778-375-2411 or send us a message through our Contact Page.