Considering Mediation One Of The Top Financial Tips For Divorce

Getting through a divorce with one’s financial situation still under control is a challenge faced by many British Columbia men and women. For those who are entering divorce proceedings, or see it in their future, an expert has assembled some top tips for staying solvent. Among them is trying mediation instead of litigation.

Indeed, making the choice to pursue a settlement rather than going to court can make a significant difference financially. Mediating a solution may be far less time consuming and require reduced expenditures versus a legal battle. And in preparation for mediation, properly understanding one’s current financial situation will help aim a person toward an appropriate settlement.

Part of the journey of financial self-discovery should also include checking one’s credit report. Despite their best efforts, many people discover unpleasant surprises in their credit report, including liens of which they were unaware. The recently divorced are also reminded to update their estate planning, such as wills and powers of attorney, to match their new reality; few people would want their ex-spouse as a beneficiary, or to have final say over their health care.

One of the most important tips offered is to be cognizant not only of one’s current expenditures, but also to give a thought for the future. For most people, a divorce will necessitate a change in spending and saving habits. The income flow a person once took for granted, and the nest egg one assumed would be waiting, may no longer be what they once were. Making a budget for today and a plan for tomorrow can ease the burden of reduced finances.

A divorce can be a challenging life event, but with proper preparation, it can be the catalyst for a new and improved life. Beginning with mediation may prepare the foundation for building a happier future. With the assistance of a caring British Columbia family law attorney, that future may be closer than it seems.

Source: Mark Avallone, “How To Succeed Financially During And After A Divorce“, Mark Avallone, Jan. 27, 2017

In Mediation And Litigation, All Assets Must Be Disclosed

The potential benefits of this option may seem obvious, at first. The fact of the matter, however, is concealing assets or liabilities during divorce proceedings is not allowed in British Columbia, or anywhere in Canada. All of a person’s assets must be revealed for property division to be addressed fairly. This includes any cash, accounts or property a man or woman may have concealed from his or her spouse. In short, every financial gain or loss each spouse made during the marriage is marital property.

Not simply a matter of picking the moral high ground, there are potential consequences to hiding assets. A sworn financial statement is a part of every divorce, and it lists all assets and liabilities of both parties. Should an omission be discovered, a judge can be asked to make a ruling based on the new information. Odds are, the settlement will favour the honest party, and not the dishonest one.

A lot of tough decisions have to be made during a divorce, whether the process is contentious or harmonious. An easy decision, however, should be choosing transparency over deception. Another good decision might be to seek the services of an experienced and caring British Columbia family law firm for mediation, or another route to divorce.

Source:, “I’m getting divorced. Do I need to disclose my secret bank account?“, Debbie Hartzman, Feb. 10, 2017

Using Mediation To Protect Children During A Divorce

There is no doubt that a divorce takes an emotional toll on both spouses, regardless of their feelings about their marriage. While one may hope to minimize the personal strain, parents who end their marriage in British Columbia also need to be concerned with the welfare of their children. A divorce can be very traumatic for young ones, but by working together, perhaps through mediation, and following some simple guidelines, it may be possible to reduce the impact.

Children are highly sensitive to the emotions of those around them. Parents would do well to avoid fighting in front of them, as it can be very disturbing and upsetting. Parents should also avoid the temptation to blame the other spouse for the situation, or speak negatively about him or her to or around the children. Children are not emotionally equipped to handle information like this.

Except in rare cases, most children want both parents to be involved in their lives, even after a divorce. It is very important for parents to set aside their feelings for one another and focus on the children. This means working together to create a schedule of visitation that works for both parents, and then following it to the letter. Children thrive on routine, and take comfort knowing where they will be and when.

One of the best ways to have a civilized divorce is to try mediation. Mediation allows parents to work out a solution tailor made for their situation without any courtroom drama. The professionals at a British Columbia law firm familiar with alternative dispute resolution options may be able to help families stay on track as they negotiate this difficult time.

Source:, “Children and Divorce: Helping Kids Cope with Separation and Divorce“, Accessed on Feb. 26, 2017

When Collaborative Law Cannot Help, Litigation May be Necessary

When parents cannot agree on what’s best for their child during or after a divorce, sometimes matters can become unpleasant. Recently, a child custody dispute spanning halfway around the world found its way to a courtroom east of British Columbia. This unusually convoluted case has seen an Amber Alert, a warrant for an arrest and stories of a sex and murder factory in a far-off land. Collaborative law is clearly no longer an option for this family.

A woman from Canada claiming her 9-year-old daughter was in danger at her home in Egypt, appeared in a Canadian court fighting for custody in Jan. 2017. In Dec. 2016, a nationwide warrant for her arrest went out after she failed to show at a Dec. 2 hearing. Furthermore, an Amber Alert was issued for her daughter, who was believed to be in her custody. The mother claimed she was protecting her daughter, who she alleges was sexually abused by her father.

During the proceedings, videotaped interviews the mother made of the child telling her story were under scrutiny. The child repeatedly alleged she was assaulted by her father, and made reference to a building with 500 rooms where groups of men committed murder and had sex. The judge did not believe any of the allegations, saying that they were most likely made up by the child under coaching from her mother. On Jan. 30, he ruled the girl would be given over to her father, and the two could return to Egypt where the case could resume.

In cases of genuine abuse, or in the presence of other reasons for a parent to fear for the safety or welfare of his or her child, litigation may be the only course of action available. If false allegations are made, however, matters will be unnecessarily prolonged, likely to the detriment of the child. Where possible, collaborative law solutions are far preferable to courtroom fights. An experienced and caring British Columbia family law attorney may be able to help in either situation.

Source:, “Allegations dismissed as “a malicious contrivance” in Amber Alert case“, Allan Benner, Jan. 30, 2017

Ways Collaborative Law Can Make Divorce Easier to Bear

No matter how one approaches it, divorce can be a difficult and emotional life event. There are ways, however, in which it may be possible to alleviate some of the stress and make a relatively clean break. Using collaborative law may be one of the best methods available to men and women in British Columbia.

Most people going through divorce are good, caring folks who once loved their partners. Regardless of the current state of the relationship, many people are loath to hurt their former spouse. Some men and women report feeling stress at having caused their exes emotional pain. It may be possible to minimize that pain by working together through the process of ending a marriage.

A more practical reason to work with rather than against one’s spouse has to do with finances. While the courts will settle the division of assets and the awarding of support with or without the agreement of the two parties, this isn’t the only way. In all likelihood, the two people who know their marital property and personal finances best are also best suited to decide how to split them up. Negotiating a division may end up being more pleasing in the end than settling for what’s given, and can help both parties avoid financial surprises.

Another consideration is children. Any couple with children typically try hard to avoid fighting over or around their kids. Ugly scenes can leave children emotionally scarred and parents estranged. A better choice would be to work together to make parenting plans, and show the kids that mom and dad are still a parenting team who love them.

Divorce may be an unfortunate occurrence, but for those who cannot avoid it, it doesn’t have to be emotionally traumatic. Collaborative law allows a couple to split with dignity and respect, and maybe a few more dollars in their individual pockets. A British Columbia family law firm can help to make this possible.

Source: The Huffington Post, “10 Lessons I Learned From My Divorce (So You Won’t Have To)“, Haywood Hunt, Feb. 16, 2017