In a previous article, we addressed some common myths about separation and divorce. Here, we will address some additional misconceptions:
Myth 1: “I have to file for legal separation.”
It is very common for people to come to us and say that they want to file for legal separation. However, when you and your partner or spouse separate, there is actually nothing to be filed to confirm that change in status. Even if you and your ex ultimately negotiate a Separation Agreement, you are not required to file that contract with the court unless you are applying for a Divorce order or if you need to enforce provisions in the Agreement.
Myth 2: “Separation and divorce always hurts the children.”
There has been research conducted to study the effects of separation and divorce on children and, largely speaking, that research has shown that children are very resilient and can grow up to be very well-adjusted and unharmed by their parents’ separation. The key appears to be in limiting the exposure to their parents’ conflict. This means not speaking negatively about their other parent to them, not letting them read court documents, not making them feel guilty for looking forward to or enjoying their time with their other parent, and not engaging in conflict in front of them. Services such as Family TLC here in Barrie can assist families and their children through the separation and divorce process.
Myth 3: “My ex and I will equally share all assets”
The equalization of assets for married couples is much more complicated than simply dividing each bank account, investment, and/or pension in half. Special consideration is given to inheritances and personal injury awards and assets that arose as a result of such funds may be excluded from division. Each party’s debts must also be taken into account as well as any adjustments from the time of separation. The assets and liabilities that existed on the date of marriage also play a role in determining one’s obligation or entitlement to an equalization payment. Dividing each asset in half, while intuitive, does not lead to an accurate calculation and can lead to a result that is off by thousand or tens of thousands of dollars.