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Oshawa Family Law Blog

Announcing a divorce as a united front usually the best tactic

Many couples look forward to announcing engagements and marriages, but announcing a marital breakdown is a very different matter. Finding a delicate way to inform friends, family, co-workers and even social media followers for higher-profile individuals is important in preparing for the healthiest possible divorce. Ontario couples who are divorcing or separating should consider a few tips before breaking the news publicly.

The first thing Ontario individuals and couples should do when announcing a divorce is to avoid oversharing or blaming the other party in a public forum. While it is possible that some people may feel that the breakup is mostly the others' fault, there is little to be gained by blaming and shaming an ex when announcing a divorce. If possible, work together to come up with a joint plan for what to say when people ask for the reasons behind the breakup.

What is the best way to ask for a divorce?

The process of ending a marriage can have many challenges, but the having the initial conversation about breaking up with a soon-to-be ex can be among the most difficult. Often, Ontario individuals and couples find the process of planning to leave a marriage more stressful than actually taking those first steps. There are some tips to help people bring up a divorce with a spouse.

The first thing people should do is arrange a time and place for this serious conversation. Waiting for a perfect opportunity can often lead to weeks or even months of putting off the conversation, or worse, an explosive confrontation. Arranging a time with no third parties to briefly and honestly express intentions to file for divorce is an important first step.

Support groups may help people deal with divorce

Emotional challenges can often be the hardest part of ending a marriage. Like many personal issues, support from others can be helpful. In Ontario, a real estate agent who struggled during his divorce is turning his difficulty into an opportunity for others through a support group. 

Due to the founder's real estate expertise, the group's benefits include helping people sell a marital home after a divorce. He realized in his real estate career that many homes went on the market due to marriage dissolution. After going through his own marital breakdown, decided that the emotional aspects of this undertaking required a support group.

Tips for retirement planning after divorce

Ending a marriage later in life can come with many unique challenges. Among these are concerns about how the divorce will affect retirement plans and financial security. While children may be grown and homes may be paid off for older divorcees, plans for leaving work behind or moving somewhere new for retirement may be thrown off by the life change. While it may not be easy, there are some steps individuals in Ontario can take to work towards their retirement as a newly single person.

Perhaps the most obvious thing people can consider doing is making more money, either by taking an additional job or by extending the time spent working before retirement. Divorce not only leaves people with more bills, but also more time on their hands. Returning to the workforce, working toward a higher paying job and starting a side business for supplementary income are all potential options.

Many people have misconceptions about divorce law

When people end a marriage, there may be some misconceptions about how the process will legally unfold. Having a strong understanding of Ontario divorce laws is important for those entering this process. Clarifying these misconceptions is a good first step.

One of the most common myths about divorce in Ontario is that one spouse will have the upper hand if their partner was unfaithful. However, Canada follows a no-fault divorce system. This means that the reasons for a marriage coming to an end do not play into the court's decisions as to who should get which assets.

Cryptocurrency complicates some divorce settlements

Cyptocurrencies have created many questions for a variety of industries and transactions. There are many discussions on how Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can operate in practice, especially with difficult financial matters such as Ontario divorce settlements. Experts worry that the secrecy and lack of outside access innate in the cryptocurrency systems may make it easier for people to hide these assets from a soon-to-be ex, as well as making it more difficult to divide assets altogether.

In Ontario, parties must disclose all their assets in a divorce. Cryptocurrencies are anonymous in nature, making them easier to hide should a spouse illegally attempt to hide their money. While these assets will hopefully be discovered, the investigation required to uncover anything hidden can be expensive and time-consuming.

Managing the challenges of a divorce with a shared business

Couples often have to work out agreements regarding property or dependant children when they divorce, but what about those who share a business together? For farming couples in Ontario, valuable acreage, family legacies and an uncertain industry can make divorce an even more challenging affair for those involved. Understanding the financial situation and having independent legal, financial and emotional support are critical during such an undertaking.

There are many advisers who may be involved in a divorce, including an accountant, a financial planner, investment broker, a lawyer and perhaps even a divorce coach. All of these people should be carefully selected as their advice will determine many important issues. Additionally, ensuring advice is independent and not influenced by an ex is critical for those undergoing an Ontario divorce.

Divorce in Ontario can be non-adversarial

Ontario couples who have decided to end their marriages can choose a path of acrimony or a path of cooperation. There are those who pursue a litigated divorce because they believe that they can fight a battle in court and come out as the winner. The truth is that there are only losers in any divorce, and when acrimony rules it, the children may be the biggest losers.

Other options that can save not only time and money but also aggravation include mediation and collaboration. Mediation provides a divorcing couple with the opportunity to negotiate a settlement agreement with the help of an independently qualified divorce mediator. This person will encourage communication and work to keep the two parties focused on the future rather than the past. The mediator will also make sure both spouses have the opportunity to have their voices heard and work to resolve their issues in a non-adversarial manner.

What is the purpose of cohabitation agreements?

Couples in Ontario who are planning to marry can sign prenuptial agreements that will allow them to predetermine the roles of each party in the marriage and how assets and debts will be divided in the event of a divorce. Because unmarried spouses are unprotected when it comes to property division, they may want to exercise their rights to sign cohabitation agreements. With such a contract in place at the beginning of a cohabitation relationship, a couple can focus on life and love rather than what would happen if they should split.

Under Ontario law, unmarried couples do not have the same rights to equal property division as married couples. With a cohabitation agreement, an unmarried couple can make sure they have the same property rights as those who are married. However, to ensure that such an agreement is legally binding and will hold up in court, both spouses must sign it in the presence of two witnesses.

Even with full child custody other parent must authorize travel

Sometimes, a person who has gone through a divorce in Ontario wants to get away from it all and relocate to another province or country. However, this could be a complicated process if that person wants to take a child along -- even if he or she has sole child custody. There are particular steps to follow before a child may travel across borders.

When a child travels with an adult, border officials may ask the adult for documented proof to show the person has authorization to remove the child from his or her home. A parent may be wise to check the court order or divorce agreement before travelling. The other parent's permission may be required before such a trip may be taken.

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