If youre going through a separation, our team of dedicated lawyers are committed to offering legal advice to help you navigate these unchartered waters. In addition to offering formal consultation, our Calgary lawyers have put together a list of 10 practical tips to help you through your separation.
10 Tips for Separation
1. Get good legal advice ASAP
How you start out has a dramatic impact on how issues are resolved. Dont be afraid of getting legal advice early. Spending the time and money up front can often save you much more later on. Good lawyers are problem solvers first and foremost. Divorce isnt a war. Its a restructuring of the relationship, the parenting and the finances.
2. Dont make promises (or threats) without having good legal advice
People often make promise that arent easily achievable in the legal system. Then they feel compelled to live up to these promises, and an array of problems are created as a result. Instead, make a promise to work cooperatively, to ensure you reach solutions that ultimately work for everyone.
3. Separate the legal from the non-legal
While emotional issues are an important part of the separation process, you wont be able to resolve these in the legal system. Those who are most successful in solving their legal issues without drama, are the ones who are able to separate between legal and non-legal issues.
4. Dont panic and try to relax
We know, we know. Easier said than done, right? Youll get through this with less pain and grief if you dont make decisions when youre upset. Defer decisions when youre not in a good frame of mind. Ask your spouse to respect your need to defer decisions until youve had the time and space (and advice) to evaluate them.
5. Choose to do it right
Operate out of rationality not fear, anger or spite. The biggest job of good divorce lawyers is to lend clients their rational brain when clients arent able to access their own, due to the stressful circumstances.
6. Give and seek early commitments
Have an honest conversation with your spouse about how to make the separation process easier on both of you. Discuss your plan on how to attack problems – not each other. Recognize you cant change how you feel, but you can change your actions and reactions going forward.
7. Decide parenting on a child centred perspective
Always seek solutions based on the best interest of the children, not what works best for mom or dad. Be honest. Try hard to be objective.
8. Recognize your children need you both
Parenting is often about sacrifice. Doing the right thing for the children, often means abandoning ones own needs and wants. Most important for children is a relationship with both parents, a peaceful environment and a loving home.
9. Dont rely on advice from your friends or family
Theres no getting around it. Youre going to receive a lot (and we mean a lot!) of unsolicited advice. As well meaning as everyone is, youre best off determining your appropriate course of action in consultation with a professional. Separations are all unique, and these differences can be critically important in determining the right answer for you.
10. Be open
Pick a process for resolution with your eyes open to all options. There are merits to each of them, and your lawyer can give practical examples as to why some will work better for your unique situation than others. This is part of getting expert legal advice.