Divorce from a Woman’s Perspective
If you’re considering ending your marriage, make sure you’re basing your decision on facts, not misconceptions, about how divorce works in Canada. Both men and women may have false beliefs about the proceedings and outcomes prior to and during divorce. Before beginning the process, call Verhaeghe Law Office at 587-410-2500 for a consultation to ensure your understanding of the divorce process. This is part one of a two-part blog. Part one focuses on divorce from a woman’s perspective.
In Canada, the Divorce Act is the federal law that addresses issues related to couples in the process of obtaining a divorce or are already divorced. To get a divorce, you must establish breakdown of a marriage. This includes living separately for at least one year before divorce proceedings, or the spouse being sued for divorce has committed adultery or physically or mentally abused the other spouse.
From Wife to Single Mom
Deciding to pursue a divorce, especially when you have children, is a difficult and emotional decision. We see divorces play out in television shows, movies, and fiction. In many instances, these portrayals are inaccurate and contain information that can be very misleading.
For example, you may have seen the scenario played out in which the husband has an extramarital affair which gives the wife an advantage in court when deciding matters of custody, alimony, or child support. While an affair establishes breakdown of a marriage to qualify for divorce, the fact that a husband has been unfaithful does not hold any bearing on the division of property or child custody.
Another oft-used plot device in dramatic television is the “marriage trap.” Your husband refuses to sign divorce papers, so you cannot divorce. In truth, you do not need your spouse to agree in order to obtain your divorce. If you’ve satisfied the grounds for divorce set forth by the Divorce Act, or if you have not lived with your spouse for a full year or more, you can file an application for a contested divorce, in which your husband does not need to sign.
Custody & Division of Assets
You have worked hard on your career during your marriage. You’ve saved and invested wisely. Your husband tends to spend more than he saves. Don’t go into these proceedings believing you have an edge because of your good financial habits. Unless you have a marriage contract, drawn up by a lawyer, that states that your finances are to remain separate from your spouse’s in case of dissolution of your marriage, your money isn’t safe. Your assets will be considered together and shared between you.
Don’t go from filing for divorce to the car dealership to buy that luxury car while you still have shared assets. It may seem like a good idea at the time, but ultimately it won’t be a benefit. Once you’ve filed for divorce, you are prohibited from making big purchases of liquidating assets.
Another myth that is commonly believed is that mothers always get custody of minor children. This is never a guarantee. Custody is determined by the best interests of the child. Several factors go into determining the “best interests,” but simply being a mother is not one of them.
Your Best Advantage
Don’t assume that as a woman, wife, and/or mother, you will have leverage over your husband during any part of the divorce process. Your best advantage during divorce, division of property, spousal support, and child custody is to hire an experienced family court lawyer. The lawyers at Verhaeghe Law Office in Alberta, Canada, have the knowledge and background to help you understand the court processes and obtain the best possible outcomes. Don’t go into court unprepared. Call us today. +1 587-410-2500