Although marriage is initially intended to last a lifetime, there are circumstances where ending it is the best decision for the couple. Many couples who are at the stage of finalising their decision to separate are wary about how the separation will affect them individually, and the aspects of the relationship that concern them the most include the division of property, financial settlement, and arrangements for the children.
Do you need a family lawyer?
Indeed, separation does a lot of things to a couple apart from changing their relationship status, especially if there are children involved. It’s hard to imagine the emotional stress the entire family go through as soon as the legal process of separation formally begins. There’s a plethora of information you need to gather and analyse in order to come up with a strategy that will secure your individual interest as well as their children’s.
By and large, the expertise of a family lawyer must be employed. Not only does this help reduce the couple’s burden but it can also help increase the couple’s chance of arriving at a fair settlement. With the emotional and psychological trauma separation can cause, proper representation by a family lawyer is imperative. Couples need to understand at the very least, the basics of separation, so they can make sound decisions down the road.
What of the de facto relationship?
The structure of a household has come a long way since the days when only legally married couples lived together and enjoyed marital rights. Today, unmarried couples who has been living together in a domestic setting, could be identified as having a de facto relationship, and may be entitled to the same rights and claims married couples have under the Family Law Act. In other words, they are entitled to undergo proper separation so that Family Law matters, such as financial settlements and child custody, can all be laid out appropriately.
Is separation the same as divorce?
In informal conversations, separation and divorce are often used interchangeably. Legally speaking, however, and according to the Family Law Act, there are clear differences between these terms. Separation occurs when one of the couple decides to end the relationship. The spouse who initiated the separation doesn’t have to file legal documents in court. This means the couple will remain legally married, but some of their legal rights will have changed. This also means the couple may be considered separated even if they are still living in the same house.
Divorce, on the other hand, is the official termination of the marriage. For a divorce application to be approved two conditions must be met. First, the couple must be separated for at least one full year, and second, they must be living separately and apart throughout the separation period.
How is separation decided?
A lot of married couples or individual spouses are reluctant to apply for divorce because they fear their case will be decided based on the reason for the application. They think that the reason must be heavy enough before the judge can grant the divorce. In truth, the court’s decision will be based mainly on the ground that the marriage can no longer be retrieved or that there’s no chance that the parties will be back together, and this is often reflected by the duration for which they have been separated. The court doesn’t care about why you decided to file for divorce.
This is just an overview of the process you go through to apply for divorce. There’s a score of other essential information that you need to know so that you can make sound decisions as you move forward into the process. With the emotional stress you can endure it can be really overwhelming at times, which is why you need to look to a family law specialist such as Lapointe Family Law for help. Not only do they provide outstanding legal representation services, but they also go that extra mile to help their clients make sound decisions by partnering with wellness centres for extra support.