Separation – 10 Things to Avoid
Separation is a challenging time for ex-spouses or partners whose lives are deeply intertwined when the relationship ends. The decisions and actions you take could lead to unnecessary litigation and additional costs. Our experienced Family Lawyer, Daniel Boiani has listed 10 things spouses should avoid during separation.
- Don’t sign any documents or agreements before speaking to a lawyer.
Often spouses try to draft their own written agreements to be “signed off” by a lawyer, however, most often lawyers won’t simply sign. These agreements are often ineffective. Speaking to a lawyer first is essential in order to understand your rights and obligations. Lawyers can advise you and help you prepare properly.
- Don’t change the financial status quo.
Spouses should never clear out joint bank accounts or joint credit accounts. These actions can be considered “unconscionable” acts and a court will likely punish a spouse for it.
- Don’t involve the kids in conflict.
Spouses should avoid fighting or talking about details of the separation in front of their children. Children may already be feeling the weight of the separation of their parents without further being involved as messengers between their parents or feeling like they need to pick aside.
- Don’t cut off support.
If the other party is financially dependent, a spouse should be reasonable when it comes to financial arrangements. It is always better to offer to pay support voluntarily than to invite a court application/motion for financial support. Getting ahead of support is preferable to racking up retroactive arrears.
- Don’t interfere with the child’s relationship status quo with the other parent.
Parents should encourage access unless there is a risk of harm to the child. Maximum contact with each parent is important for children.
- Don’t sell the family home or make any large purchases until AFTER you have a signed separation agreement.
Selling the family home or making large purchases could impact your ability to secure other financial obligations, like equalization.
- Don’t dispose of property or assets.
Like selling the family home, spouses should not dispose of any property or assets or attempt to change ownership on assets that would be considered the property of the marriage before a separation agreement is signed.
- Don’t slander each other on social media.
The information posted online is public and can be used against either party. Additionally, spouses posting online risk involving their children when family and friends can see public posts and comments.
- Don’t threaten or become violent with your ex-spouse or partner.
Violence and threats could not only lead to criminal charges but also impact your likelihood of obtaining custody or access. Criminal charges result in additional legal fees and other such consequences.
- Lastly, don’t leave your home or your children.
Unless you are in danger, leaving the home and your children can impact your claim for an interest in the home or custody and access of your children. Use a spare bedroom or create a space for yourself until a separation agreement is signed.
Speaking to an experienced lawyer is essential for a smoother transition during separation. If you are looking for more information, do not hesitate to contact us and our specialist Family Lawyers can discuss your matter in more detail over a free consultation. You can reach our office at 905-366-0202 or contact us through our website here.