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Further Resources

  1. Prenuptial Agreements - Marriage contract and cohabitation agreement information.
  2. Uncontested Divorce - Obtain an uncontested divorce or a separation agreement.
  3. Common Law Separation - Resource for common law couples
  4. French Site - French language family law web site.

4 Ways to Avoid a Messy Divorce

Although all divorces are painful, there are steps you can take to make your divorce more civilized.

It is important, especially where child custody issues are involved, to take your divorce slowly. Be methodical and realistic about your divorce case. There are financial considerations, logistics regarding living arrangements for the whole family, and above all, a need to minimize the painful impact of divorce on everyone involved. Not only does avoiding an angry, vicious attack on your spouse help things progress more smoothly; it will save both of you lots of money in legal fees.

Here are some points to consider in avoiding a messy divorce:

1. Research Canadian Divorce Laws
Make sure you are aware of your rights and the rights of your spouse before you sign a separation agreement. Although a separation agreement can be invalidated in court, this is a lengthy and expensive process with no guarantee of success. As well, make sure you understand the consequences of starting court proceedings for your divorce, rather than trying to settle out of court.

2. Seek Guidance and Professional Help for your Divorce
It often makes sense to start counseling with a therapist or your minister or priest. These professionals are trained to give you guidance, support and help you deal with your own feelings about the divorce. They can also help you understand the impact that your divorce is having on your children, and how you can best help them to cope. Your Canadian family law lawyer can give you recommendations about who may be able to help you.

3. In Your Divorce, Be Patient and Considerate of Everyone’s Feelings
Once you decide to divorce, or proceed with a Canadian family law case, everyone involved will go through feelings similar to mourning a death. There is denial, anger, depression, and then finally acceptance. To rush through any of these stages can be harmful, especially to children. Take your time. Also, waiting for your spouse to accept the end of your relationship, especially if you are the one ending the relationship, can make it much easier for you to reach an agreement, which will significantly reduce the legal fees in your divorce case.

4. Is a Particular Divorce Issue Worth the Fight?
In every divorce there will be issues you and your spouse just can’t agree upon. If you just ask yourself a few questions, you can save you and the entire family from a lot of unnecessary heartache. Ask yourself, “Is it worth the fight?” “Do I gain or lose more emotionally and financially by fighting this divorce issue?” So often, the anger builds up to a point where you just want to win. Winning may in reality be a loss if it has cost you more financially and emotionally than the benefit of winning. Proving a point in a Canadian family law case is often more costly than it's worth. Comments or Questions? Find out more at the Divorce Forums


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