Things to do if You Are Thinking About Separating/Divorcing From Your Partner

The decision to separate from your partner is a very difficult and personal one. Here are 7 pieces of advice if you are considering separating but have not told your partner yet:

1.Save some money and do a budget. You will need some savings to cover basic living expenses and legal fees until issues such as child support, spousal support and property division can be settled.

2.Gather financial documentation and take copies. Items of financial documentation lawyers usually need for you and your spouse are: last three years of income tax returns and notices of assessment, proof of assets and debts on date of marriage and date of separation.

3.Speak with a lawyer for a consultation. It is best to get some legal advice on your rights and obligations prior to separating. A lawyer can also advise you of what financial documents to collect given the specific facts of your situation. This consultation is 100% confidential. Your partner will not know you spoke with a lawyer unless you authorize that lawyer to release that information. Please note that during COVID-19 our office is offering telephone consultations for family law matters in the Barrie, Ontario and surrounding area.

4.Do not leave the home permanently without speaking with your lawyer first for advice unless it is a situation of domestic violence, in which case speak with a lawyer immediately upon leaving the home so that your lawyer can bring any urgent court proceedings if necessary.

You don’t want to unilaterally leave the home with children as your partner could bring an urgent motion to have the children returned (again, if it is case of domestic violence then speak with a lawyer immediately as soon as you leave the home with your children and your lawyer can bring an urgent motion to seek the court’s permission to leave the home with the children, even after the fact, but the motion has to be brought quickly).

You also don’t want to leave the home without the children, because in that case you are setting up a status quo giving the other parent primary care of the children. Again, speak with a lawyer for a consult as soon as possible.

You aren’t stuck in the home, but if there are children involved then you want to bring a motion to the court as soon as possible dealing with living arrangements.

5.Get counselling. Going through a separation and/or divorce will be one of the hardest things you will go through. It will be an emotional rollercoaster. It is recommended that you get counselling as soon as possible to help you deal with the emotions you will be feeling.

6.Realize that your social media posts can be used against you. Watch what you post on social media. In fact, be careful what you send in an email, text, or social media post. Always think – how would a Judge look at this information in Court if it came to that?

7.If the relationship can be saved then consider couples counselling.

Have questions? Please call our office at 705-302-3696 or email at info@chapmanmcalpine.com to book a consultation. Again, during the COVID-19 situation in our community we are offering telephone consultations and legal services remotely through email and telephone.

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