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Hi, my name is Daphna Schwartz and I am a lawyer with the Feldstein Family Law Group. Today, I’m going to talk to you about what you should and should not do when making the decision to separate.

Making the decision to separate raises many questions and unknown answers, such as how your finances will be separated, how much money you will have to support yourself and your children and where you and your children will reside.

When separating, you should remain in the matrimonial home with your children, until a temporary custody and access arrangement is agreed to between you and your spouse. If you leave the house, and leave your children in the care of your spouse, then he or she may make it difficult for you to see your children and may then claim that you abandoned the children and are not entitled to custody.

You should also not allow your spouse to move out of the matrimonial home with your children without your permission, as your spouse may not be willing to return your children to the home.

You should not change the locks on the matrimonial home because you and your spouse are each legally entitled to reside in the matrimonial home.

You should not discuss your separation in front of your children or where your children may be listening. Separation and divorce are very difficult, emotionally and mentally, for children and you and your spouse need to determine the appropriate time to tell them. Also, it is important not to argue and make negative statements about your spouse to your children or in a place where they may hear as this will likely have a negative impact on them and how they may feel about you and your spouse.

You should not threaten your spouse or make threatening comments about your spouse to others. If you and your spouse get into an argument, it is best to walk away until you and your spouse are able to discuss the situation civilly.

You should not change anything financially, such as clearing out joint bank accounts or maxing out joint lines of credit. This money will likely have to be paid back and further, it may leave your spouse in financial hardship.

Lastly, you should obtain Independent Legal Advice to determine what your rights and obligations are arising out of your separation. A family law lawyer will be able to provide you with legal information and advice regarding your situation and will be in a better position to determine the best way forward for you.

If you would like to learn more about what you should, or should not be doing when making the decision to separate, you can visit our website. If you need legal advice about your own situation, please call us at 905-581-7222 for a consultation. Thanks for watching!