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Ottawa Mediation Law Blog

Facing divorce? Consider taking a team approach

Despite how common divorce is today, most people will not know what to do to navigate the divorce process. If you have not been through the process yourself, it can be overwhelming, confusing and intimidating.

Because of this, it is crucial to know that no one needs to go through a divorce alone. In fact, you could have a team of people helping you through this process. So, who should you have on your team?

Leaving a job to stay at home? 3 things to discuss first

Staying at home to raise your children and maintain a home is a full-time job. As such, many parents ultimately leave another job to do this.

Whether leaving the workforce is something you want to do or must do, it can be a big change. In fact, it may likely trigger some critical conversations with your partner. Below are a few specific things you may want to discuss before leaving a job.

5 missteps that can derail a peaceful divorce

Divorce can be a painful enough process without the complications that litigation can present. As such, many people pursue more peaceful dispute resolution methods like mediation.

However, there are some missteps people make that can derail the mediation process. These mistakes are generally avoidable, especially if you know what they are from the beginning.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a legal process that allows two parties to resolve a conflict on their own. Each party may have their own legal counsel to advise them on how to position their needs or goals, but the process itself is usually between a meditator and the two parties.

It's a form of alternative dispute resolution, which means that the discussions and negotiations happen outside of a courtroom. If you have a list of items that need to be resolved, using mediation may help you resolve them. This can help you reduce your legal fees by only taking the most contentious issues to court.

3 ways divorce gets ugly

Contrary to many people’s beliefs, divorce doesn’t have to become ugly. However, the unfortunate reality is that many divorces do result in an ugly dispute inside and outside of court. The crumbling of a marriage often draws the worst out of a person during divorce.

Divorce only magnifies the damaging issues that brought the marriage to an end in the first place. It gets worse when these hurts are not only magnified, but mishandled. An “ugly” divorce results.

Is 'nesting' a trend worth considering after divorce?

Some parents may not like the idea of a traditional parenting solution that involves their child going back and forth between parents. This is especially true when the children are younger, as they may need some time to adapt to new parenting arrangements. Under these circumstances, you might consider a non-traditional option, like nesting.

As this article notes, nesting is an arrangement where children remain in the matrimonial home after their parents separate or divorce. The parents then move in and out of the house - or "nest" - in accordance with their parenting schedule.

How Does The Collaborative Divorce Process Work?

Traditional divorce litigation costs time, money and emotional heartache. The divorcing parties see the process as a battle. A collaborative divorce process takes a much different approach. It helps the parties end one relationship and begin a new one - especially if there are children present. Parents will be linked for life through important milestones in their children's lives. They must maintain an amicable relationship if only for their children's sake.

If a collaborative divorce goes smoothly, the couple and their children will be spared the emotional, financial and psychological drain of litigation. They will be in a much better position to move on with their lives.

Who gets to keep the pets following a divorce or separation?

If you own pets, you probably have countless memories of playing with them, walking them and helping them get well when they were sick. It's natural to feel a sense of loss when you are no longer able to enjoy a pet's company anymore.

For many people, this happens to be the case following a separation or divorce. Provincial laws generally state that pets are considered the property of the person who purchased the animal. However, many separated couples across Canada are trying to make the case that pets should not be treated this way.

Are you properly prepared for the divorce mediation process?

Once you and your partner have made the decision that your marriage is not salvageable, you may be intent on moving forward with the divorce process using mediation. However, you will want to first make sure that you are adequate candidates for mediation, and being screened by a prospective mediator will help to ensure that this non-traditional form of divorce is applicable for your unique situation.

Once you ascertain that mediation is a good route for you to follow and in your best interests – which is after your mediator asks you a few questions – you'll be able to move forward with the mediation process.

Avoiding tax headaches in Ontario separation and divorce

Spring may be in the air when April arrives, but it also signals tax reporting time. For Ontario couples who have undergone separation and divorce and are also spousal support payors or recipients, calculating returns can be a headache. Who gets to claim what, and how, is a question that family law lawyers hear repeatedly as filing deadlines loom.

Thankfully, some simple guidelines can be applied because tax laws recognize the reality that two households are more expensive to maintain than one. If, at the time of separation, written agreements or court-ordered papers have been appropriately filed, both payors and recipients of spousal support can make claims for the year due for report. What complicates matters is the difference in each ex-spouse's marginal tax rate.

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