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What decisions need to be made after separation?

When you separate from a partner, it means that you are no longer living together. Furthermore, it is likely that you will never live together again in the future. While a separation sounds simple enough, there are several important decisions that you need to make.

For example, you need to decide who will stay in the home and who will leave. You may also have questions regarding family debt, who will care for any children, and how shared property will be divided.

Since there are many decisions to make, it's important to know your options for resolving issues. These include but are not limited to:

-- Create an informal arrangement.

-- Create a separation agreement.

-- Hire a lawyer to help you negotiate a fair separation agreement.

-- Consult with a mediator.

-- Go to court and let them decide which steps to take next.

While it is not always possible, it's best for separating couples to attempt to work things out on their own. When you do this through negotiation or mediation, you can avoid court proceedings that can be costly and time consuming.

It is never easy to separate from somebody you once cared for deeply, but this is part of life for many people. It is important that you address all issues in a timely manner. When everything is said and done, you should be comfortable with what's to come. As long as you bring closure to your relationship, as long as every last detail is taken care of, you can feel good about the future.

Source: Ministry of the Attorney General, "What You Should Know About Family Law in Ontario," accessed May 12, 2016

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