Christmas is past us now, and the news on social media is full of articles about divorce.  “World’s Most Expensive Divorce Settlements”, “Divorced women share why they’ll never marry again”, “Divorce Test – Should I Stay or Go”, and “Rate your Mate: The Divorce & Compatibility Test” are a few examples of what shows up without prompting on a generic news feed.

It is the sad reality that in our society, divorce makes news, especially on social media.  What social media cannot tell you is the hardship, stress and cost of divorce has on individuals.  Separating from your spouse is a significant life event, often compared with the death of a loved one.  Divorce is a fundamental change to your financial circumstances, regardless of your level of wealth.  The effects of a divorce are unique to the individual.

Making the decision to separate from your spouse is an important one, which should not be decided without information and reflection.  You may be thinking that by making it through Christmas, you will be minimizing the impact of divorce on your spouse, your children, or yourself.   While this is possible, my experience is that the effects of divorce will occur regardless of timing or scheduling.

There are ways to try and lessen the impact of separation.  First, make sure separation is the right choice.  There are many resources and services available to help you with your relationship.  We can provide you with information on these resources.  Just contact us.

Second, make sure that you understand what happens legally when you separate.  No two divorces are the same, and what happened for someone you know may not be how your divorce unfolds.  Getting an idea of how the laws of your Province will affect your separation will help you plan your transition from your relationship, and will identify ways of controlling its impact.  It will also be invaluable in determining what process you prefer in moving through your separation.  Without a plan, you will feel pressure to ‘just go to court and get it over with’.  This pressure may come from your own expectations, your friends and family, or anyone who does not necessarily understand our legal systems.  Again, my experience is that ‘going to court’ is neither fast, nor cheap, and serves to increase acrimony, not decrease it.

There are plenty of options available to you for process – private negotiations, mediation, exchange of offers, and arbitration are four of several available to you.  The lawyers at Jennings Family Law practice problem solving family law, and work with you to determine the proper process for you.  An initial assessment with one of our lawyers is not just a lawyer reading the legislation to you – we offer you practical advice on your legal entitlements and what process will move you through to a settlement as quickly and as cost effectively as possible.  With the focus on respectful, dignified and discrete legal advice, we can assist you in making good decisions for resolving your divorce, should you have no choice but to separate.