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With the pressure, stress and anger that is felt during a divorce, you may hear your spouse say things you never thought they would. On the other hand, you may feel threatened and say things in return that you never thought you would say, let alone feel about someone you once loved. As tempers flare and threats are made, you may wonder what kind of carnage will be left once all the eruptions have cooled. Here are three of the biggest Canadian family law threats that you may find yourself saying or being told, and what in reality could happen.
Common Canadian Divorce Threats
Threat #1 - “You’ll never see the children again after the divorce!”
In Canadian family law, child custody and access is determined by what is in the best interests of the children. Unless there are some serious problems with your parenting abilities, you will at least obtain access to your children.
“Standard” visitation nowadays for older children where the parents live in the same city normally involves access every second weekend, as well as access one evening or overnight per week. Holidays normally are divided equally between the parents.
If your spouse unilaterally removes the children from your home, you should immediately seek legal advice. Quick legal action is normally necessary. This may be considered kidnapping, and judges treat parents who do this very harshly.
Threat #2 - “I’ll go bankrupt if you divorce me!”
Bankruptcy will have some effect on your divorce proceedings, but not as much as you might expect. Bankruptcy does not change a person’s child or spousal support obligations. So, even if your spouse does declare bankruptcy, any child or spousal support owed will still be payable. Bankruptcy may reduce the amount of property you get when the property is divided. However, Canadian family law courts often make up for this by awarding extra spousal support since one of the purposes of spousal support is to compensate a spouse for any disadvantages suffered during the marriage.
Threat #3 -- “Don’t expect to get any child support or spousal support from me!”
If a spouse quits his or her job without good reason (and often, in my opinion, with good reason) the court normally “imputes” an income to the spouse. This means that the court will order child or spousal support payable as if the spouse had not quit his or her job.
Under Canadian family law, the amount of child support is determined by Guidelines, and there is not much room for negotiation unless there is fairly equal access between the parties. The amount of spousal support is determined by factors such a length of marriage, roles played during the marriage, and other factors that there is not much your spouse can do about after you have separated.