David Harris-Lowe

Associate, Family Law

The ending of a marriage or common law relationship is incredibly stressful.  You worry about your kids, house, income, savings all while you may be experiencing significant conflict.  The decision to separate and the decisions immediately after separation often have lifelong impacts on you, your spouse and your children.  Most people want an ‘amicable separation’ but accomplishing that is easier said than done but you can do it if you::

  • Look after yourself.  Make sure you get exercise, eat well and avoid unhealthy habits.
  • Be calm.  Divorce invites conflict, which poisons relationships that need to be maintained.  Kids need their parents and need parents that find a way to cooperate – even though they don’t really feel like it.
  • Be safe.  If there has been or may be violence then you need a safety plan.
  • Educate yourself.  Get as much information as you can – but make sure it’s reliable.
  • Understand your finances.  Meet with your financial advisor and gather up financial documents, such as tax returns, bank statements, RRSPs, life insurance, debts.
  • Get help.  You are not alone.  There are plenty of good counsellors, parent coaches, mediators and family law lawyers to give good advice.  It’s also important to rely on family, friends, church members or other social groups.
  • Meet with a lawyer.  A family law lawyer can tell you about your rights and responsibilities and will be able to help you to the end of the process.  Seeing a lawyer early in the process will often save you money and stress.