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Vancouver Family Law Blog

Family law: Avoid mistakes that could cost you in a divorce

Making the decision to end a marriage can be fraught with all kinds of emotions. When couples in Alberta decide that divorce is the only option for them, luckily they may be able to garner some help from provincial family law information. However, there are some mistakes that might make the going tougher and it's important to know what they are, so they can be avoided.

Not gathering together all the documents needed for the divorce process may be the first big mistake. These usually include bank statements, major asset amounts such as the worth of a family home, receipts for any home improvements made, tax statements showing yearly earnings of both individuals, the values of any stocks and bonds as well as any debts incurred. No one wants to believe that a former spouse may run off with everything that's in the bank, but it has been known to happen, so leaving joint accounts open may not be in the best interest of either person.

Spousal support is not automatic after divorce

If a divorce is in your future, you likely understand that your life may be changing drastically, especially if you have been married for some time. One factor that will profoundly affect the stability of your new life is your financial situation. Too often, the outcome of asset division is not enough to allow both spouses to continue the same standard of living as before the divorce, and the lower-earning spouse is usually the one to suffer.

In addition to having solid legal support to fight for a full and fair division of property, many spouses in your situation investigate the possibility of seeking spousal support as part of their divorce order or agreement. Knowing the basics of British Columbia law regarding spousal support is important to ensuring the protection of your rights.

Family law: Family is family even when parents get divorced

It's true that divorce does change the family dynamic, but it doesn't have to mean the end of a family unit. When Alberta parents are on the same page when it comes to doing what is best for their children as dictated by family law, then the pain of divorce may be lessened for everyone. Parental conflict can affect children negatively, so it's imperative divorcing parents keep their issues private.

Children thrive most when both parents work as a team to co-parent. It's necessary that children know they are still a part of a family. This type of scenario won't work, however, if there are abuse issues. The most important thing is keeping children safe; the needs of children should always come first.

Family law: Is an amicable divorce really possible?

Divorce doesn't have to be an all-out war. With the family law tools available in British Columbia, divorce can actually be quite amicable. The less stress a divorce creates on the family unit, the better -- especially when children are involved. With tools like mediation and collaborative divorce available to divorcing couples, the whole process can involve compassion and understanding.

The reason a couple divorces can be as individual as the couple, but often emotions are running on full speed when it comes to separation or divorce, so thinking there will be some sort of immediate emotional closure may be misguided. Divorce is a transition phase in which many issues need to get sorted out such as those relating to children. Once those are looked after, a couple can make decisions on the financial aspects of the dissolution of their marriage. 

Family law: Psychologist apologizes for unfair opinion

A psychologist has agreed that the report she gave in court regarding a visitation issue was one-sided. The psychologist, who is based on the west coast, was involved in a family law case in which a boy who also lives on the west coast with his mother, was set to visit his father in Alberta. The psychologist told a family court judge that the boy might hurt himself if he had to make that visit, but the psychologist admitted never talking with the boy's father. 

The family court judge thought the psychologist's written submission was unusual, so she called the woman from the court. The psychologist could not corroborate the information she provided in her court submission, so the judge refused to accept it. The judge suggested the evaluation wasn't worth the paper it was written on and said it was so bad, in fact, that she was considering reporting the psychologist to the professional society to which she belonged.

Family law: Some vaccination debates end up in court

The decision to immunize or not to immunize children is creating issues in the judicial system. Family law in British Columbia always has the best interests of children in mind and recently, a B.C. judge ruled that two children should be immunized as per the provincial immunization schedule -- much to the disapproval of their mother. The judge also ruled that the children's father should make decisions on the children's behalf regarding medical and dental procedures.

More parents across the country have been taking these types of immunization disputes to court. Judges are saying cases that involve science and medicine are much more challenging since they must decide whether the science backing the issues is valid. These issues can be extremely complex.

Understand your legal options. Make informed decisions. Contact the family law lawyers of Henderson Heinrichs LLP


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