Ten Things to Avoid When Going Through Separation
What Should You Not Do During a Separation in Ontario, Canada?
Our lawyers have compiled a list of common mistakes separating spouses and partners tend to make before getting independent legal advice. If you are separating from your spouse in Ontario, Canada, be aware of these common pitfalls to avoid unnecessary litigation and additional legal costs.
It is important to remember that while you are separated and not divorced, there may be a multitude of feelings from all parties involved. When you believe that separating is the right thing to do, avoiding these pitfalls can make the process simpler.
Do not leave the family home unless there is a risk of harm to you or your children.
Leaving the family home could potentially hurt your claim to an interest in the home. The only reason to leave the home is if you fear for your safety, or if you think your spouse will allege that you have assaulted them.
Do not threaten or become violent with your spouse.
Committing or threatening to commit acts of violence (physical or psychological) can impact your claim to the matrimonial home and to having custody of and access to your children. You will also need to retain a criminal lawyer, thereby increasing your legal costs.
Do not involve your children in the conflict.
Avoid arguing or discussing details of your separation in front of the children. Do not use the children as messengers between you and your spouse.
Do not interfere with established parent-child relationships.
You should encourage access between your children and the other parent unless there is a risk of harm. At the same time, do not abandon your children; establish your intention to have custody or access from the point of separation.
Do not change the financial status quo.
Depleting joint bank accounts and abusing joint credit accounts are deemed to be “unconscionable” acts and the court can resort to punitive measures against you.
Do not cut off your spouse financially.
If your spouse is financially dependent, ensure that you act reasonably when it comes to sharing resources. If your spouse makes a successful claim for child support and/or spousal support, that order can be retroactive, and would force you to pay support for the months before the order was made.
Do not resort to airing your grievances on social media.
Information posted in public forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be used against you. Further, making disparaging comments about your former spouse can create an awkward situation for mutual contacts, which can include your children and their friends, at a time when you need support.
Do not sign any documents or agree to anything without speaking to a lawyer.
It is crucial that you understand your rights and obligations before negotiating a settlement with your spouse. An experienced lawyer can advise you so you make informed decisions.
Do not make any large purchases until you have a signed separation agreement or court order; doing so will have an impact on your overall financial obligation.
This includes the purchase of a new home, a new or used car, or even a vacation.
Do not dispose of any property or assets or attempt to change ownership on assets that would be considered property accumulated during the marriage.
If you are caught doing this, it will damage your credibility with the court.
Looking for more tips and insight? Interested in retaining a lawyer to handle your case? Call Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. at (905) 581-7222 to get started.
A few things to consider:
Andrew Feldstein Founder
Andrew Feldstein graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1992. Prior to focusing exclusively on family law, Andrew’s legal practice covered many different areas, including corporate commercial. One of Andrew’s fundamental objectives is to achieve those goals mutually and collaboratively, as set out by him and his client.
Daphna Schwartz Lawyer
Daphna Schwartz joined Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. in 2007 as an associate lawyer. She was previously practising family law in the Barrie area. Her practice includes all areas of divorce and family law, including custody and access, child support, spousal support, and property issues. Daphna is also qualified to practise Collaborative Family Law.
Anna Troitschanski Lawyer
Anna Troitschanski joined the team at Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. in 2012. Prior to that, she practised Family Law at a boutique Newmarket firm. Her experience covers all areas of divorce and family law, including custody and access, child support, spousal support, and division of property.
Nick Slinko Lawyer
Nick Slinko attended York University from 2003 until 2007 where he majored in both Law & Society and Philosophy. Nick graduated in 2007 with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree. He proceeded to earn a Juris Doctor in Law at the University of Western Ontario in 2011. Nick was Called to the Bar in June of 2012 after completing his Articling term with the Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. He became an associate with the firm immediately thereafter.
Veronica Yeung Lawyer
Veronica Yeung joined the Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. as a summer student in 2014 and returned as an articling student in 2015. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in June 2016, Veronica was welcomed to the team as an associate lawyer.
Veronica attended York University for her undergraduate studies and graduated as a member of the Dean’s Honour Roll when she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Honours Criminology.
Shana Gordon-Katz Lawyer
Shana joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. as an articling student in 2017. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in June 2018, Shana was welcomed back to the firm as an associate. While completing her articles, Shana assisted with legal matters covering all areas of family law.
Shana attended the University of Western Ontario for her undergraduate studies, where she graduated as the gold medalist of her program, Honors Specialization in Classical Studies.
Rachel Zweig Lawyer
Rachel joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C as a Summer Student in 2019 and returned as an Articling Student in 2020-2021. Following her Call to the Ontario Bar in April 2021, Rachel was welcomed back to the firm as an Associate.
Prior to completing her legal studies and obtaining her Juris Doctor at the University of Ottawa, Rachel obtained her Bachelor’s Degree at Ryerson University with a major in English Literature.
Lauren Harvey Associate Lawyer
Lauren joined Feldstein Family Law Group as a Summer Student in 2020 and returned as an Articling Student in 2021-2022. Following her Call to the Ontario Bar in April 2022, Lauren was welcomed back to the firm as an Associate.
Prior to completing her legal studies and obtaining her Juris Doctor at the University of Western Ontario, Lauren obtained her Honour’s Bachelor of Arts Degree at Wilfrid Laurier University majoring in Criminology and minoring in Law and Society.
Quinn Held Associate Lawyer
Quinn spent two years as a Summer Student and then completed her Articling term at a boutique Family Law firm in Orangeville, where she was exposed to various complex Family Law matters. Following her Call to the Bar of Ontario in June 2022, she became an Associate with the Feldstein Family Law Group.
Prior to obtaining her Juris Doctor from the University of Windsor, Quinn obtained her Honour’s Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Guelph majoring in Criminal Justice and Public Policy and minoring in International Development.