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Family law: The first things to do when divorce is on the horizon

Ending a serious relationship -- whether a marriage or a common law union -- is never easy. Family law in Alberta paves the way for people going through divorce to take care of themselves and their children. When a breakup is imminent, there are a few things people should consider doing right away, and the first is to take care of themselves since a breakup can be emotionally exhausting.

There is such a thing as a healthy (or at least a healthier) divorce or separation. Although divorce can impact the entire family dynamic, the individuals involved should take some time to evaluate their health -- both mental and physical. Allowing honest communication is one way of accomplishing that. If children are involved, their safety and well-being is paramount; the law sees it this way as well.

When parents are quick to figure out living arrangements after divorce or separation, the children are much more likely to adapt to the changes in their lives. Children thrive on routine, so ironing out the details in this regard is crucial. If a family business is involved, its integrity must be preserved with transition or exit plans. Decoupling finances is also at the top of the list with setting up separate bank accounts, credit card accounts and the like.

Divorcing or separating couples likely have questions regarding the legalities of their situation. Obtaining independent legal advice from a family law lawyer might be the first step in understanding how to move forward as single individuals. Issues surrounding family law can be both complex and confusing and a lawyer may be able to explain things to his or her client in a way that makes sense.   

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