If you are contemplating filing for divorce, it's likely your head is swimming with the decisions you will need to make. While no two divorces are alike, there are definite common threads to all of them, such as the following:
-- Deciding which parent will be the primary caretaker for the children.
-- What will become of the family home? Will one spouse remain living there, or will it be sold and any equity split between the spouses?
-- The amount of spousal support to be paid to one spouse by the other (if any), and how long such payments will continue.
-- The amount of child support for any minor children.
-- The division of property and marital assets.
The best case scenario is for the divorcing spouses to decide between themselves the terms of their divorce. But often, reaching accord is impossible. In those circumstances, wives and husbands will probably need to retain their own lawyers to handle the divorce.
Even if some matters remain a sticking point, the more you can amicably resolve together, the less you will need to pay your lawyer to litigate. Resolved issues can be addressed in a separation agreement signed by both parties.
Separation agreements should not be entered into unless both spouses know and understand their rights and to what they are agreeing. Additionally, they should cover all bases. Divorcing spouses should never sign any important documents without having them reviewed by a lawyer they retain themselves.
Separation agreements are legal documents by which both parties must abide. They can only be altered by the judge or if both parties agree to the proposed changes.
A divorce isn't granted overnight, and parties should be prepared to be patient. When cases drag along, in some urgent circumstances, judges will issue temporary orders. That's most likely to occur when:
-- One of the spouses needs immediate financial support from the other.
-- Parents can't agree as to where the child will live when the couple splits up.
-- There has been abuse, violence or threats.
-- Concerns exist that one parent might kidnap the child.
-- One parent is estranging the other from their children.
-- There's a high risk that one spouse might hide assets or give away valuable property.
Source: Community Legal Education Ontario, "What you need to do when separating or divorcing," accessed Jan. 15, 2016