Divorce and separation can be very upsetting and disruptive to all aspects of your life, but with careful planning and organization, you can make the process a great deal easier on yourself.
Whether you are the "dumper" or the "dumpee", this kind of major lifestyle change can have an effect on your self-image. Divorce and separation cut to the very core of who we are. The good news is there are lots of things you can do to help yourself.It may sound like a lot of work at a time like this, but you need to take control of the key areas of your life:personal and professional, financial and legal.
Personal & Professional
*This is not a time to hibernate; stay connected with your trusted network of family, friends and professional contacts.
*Keep your skills updated so you can get a job or change jobs if necessary.
*Take care of your mental and physical health, nutrition and fitness.
*Stay organized.Gather all your financial records and make copies.
*Pay attention to monthly statements as they come in including investment accounts, bank accounts, lines of credit and credit cards.Is there anything out of the ordinary?Are the household bills current?
The following is a general overview of the most common issues that have to be resolved on separation or divorce:
*Will it be necessary to commence a court action or should you enter into negotiations leading to a separation agreement?
*Who will remain in possession of the family home or will the family home be sold?Who covers the expenses of the family home until it is sold?
*What will be the parenting arrangements for the children?
*What are the financial needs of the children?How will the obligations for child support be apportioned between the spouses?
*Is either spouse entitled to spousal support?
*What is the value of the assets and debts at the date of separation and at the date of marriage?Are there any special assets such as large gifts or inheritances?
*What is the difference in value of the net family property of each spouse and how will the equalization payment be made, i.e. in cash or by transfer of assets?
*Who are the beneficiaries under wills, RRSPs, life insurance policies?Will it be necessary to change the beneficiaries?
*Are there any joint tenancies and should they be severed?
*Is there any exposure for debts and should debt obligations be brought to an end?
*Are there any pension benefits and who will apply for the Canada Pension Plan credit?
Readers are cautioned against relying upon the brief statements in this article.Any editorial comments should not be taken as legal opinion.Inquiries with respect to separation or divorce should be addressed to a family lawyer.