5 steps for chooseing a divorce lawyer
Choosing a divorce lawyer is one of the most important decisions you will make in the divorce process. Here are 5 things to consider when choosing a divorce lawyer.
Technology for divorced parents
Communication between divorced parents can be difficult. Here are a few key peices of technology that can help you manage schedules and communicate effrectively with your ex.
What is discernment counselling?
Not sure whether to get a divorce or stay and work on your marriage? Discernment counselling is a process that can help.
Separated or Divorced – Does it matter?
Family lawyer Kate Wright explains what the difference is between being separated and divorced.
CLEAN BREAK: Insurance and Divorce
Clean Break hosts Tina Murray and Daren Givoque talk to Insurance Agent Justin Rice about what divorcing couples need to watch out for when it comes to their insurance. Justin talks about the types of insurance they might need as well as the importance of keeping your insurance agent in the loop during any big life change.
How to bring up divorce with your spouse
Bringing up the topic of divorce with your spouse will never be easy. Here are some things to consider that will help make the conversation go more smoothly and set you up for a more manageable divorce process.
How to deal with a toxic ex
Counsellor Shulamit Ber Levtov provides some helpful tips on how to deal with a difficult ex.
8 things to consider before starting therapy
Registered psychotherapist Natalie Carriere talks about 8 things you you should know about therapy before choosing a therpist.
Keeping on top of your credit score during divorce
A few tips from a financial expert on how to protect your credit during the divorce process
CLEAN BREAK: Home inspectors and how they can help
Home Inspector Iain Detchon talks with Daren and Tina about the role of a home inspector and how they can help. The last thing you need when going through a divorce is the stress of a house sale and Iain explains how a home inspector can take the guesswork out of the equation so you know exactly where you stand when buying or selling you home.
Choosing your divorce process wisely can save you time and money
There are many decisions that need to be made once a couple has decided to end their relationship. Contrary to popular belief there several options to choose from for couples that want to stay out of court and resolve things as smoothly and cost-effectively as possible. Here are a few of the available options for divorce processes and some tips about how to decide which one would work best for you. Uncontested Divorce An uncontested divorce works best when both parties are getting along and generally want the best for each other. This process relies on both spouses working together to agree on the terms of the divorce. In an uncontested divorce both parties file separate paperwork with the court before amicably parting ways. Because things like division of assets and child support are decided on at the outset there is no need for hearings, settlement negotiations or other court procedures. If things are amicable an uncontested divorce is a great option because it allows the couple to end things congenially and with dignity. Mediation Hiring a mediator is a good option when both parties are frustrated and hurt but are still willing to work together to reach a settlement […]
5 tips for dating post-divorce
The idea of dating after divorce can seem very daunting. It may be years since you have been on a date and you could be wondering where to start. Depending on how long you have been single you may be feeling the pressure from family and friends to “get back out there”. However, there are some important things to consider upon re-entering the dating world, especially if your goal is to meet a new life partner. Make sure you are ready It is very important to be honest with yourself when it comes to deciding whether you are ready to start dating. Are you ready to take the lessons you learned from your past relationship and apply them to a new one? Or are the memories still too painful and fresh? The amount of time it takes to heal from a divorce varies for everyone and it is important to make sure you are ready before you “test the waters” and start dating. If you are still feeling emotionally vulnerable from your divorce it may be difficult to make good choices in a new relationship. Know your values As part of the healing process, getting to know yourself again is […]
The three legal grounds for divorce in Canada
There are many reasons why people get divorced in Canada. According to a poll by the Bank of Montreal 68 per cent of those surveyed say fighting over money caused dissolution of their marriage. Other reasons include infidelity, falling out of love and domestic abuse. While every couple has their own reasons for deciding to end their relationship there are only three reasons that are legal grounds to get a divorce in Canada. In order to officially split from your partner you must have proof that one of these three things have occurred. You have been living separately from your spouse for one year To use separation as grounds for divorce you must prove that you have been living separately from your spouse for at least one year. Even if you can’t afford to live in separate homes you can still use separation as grounds for divorce if you can prove that you have been living separate lives. This means you are not sharing a room, helping each other with household chores, sharing meals or attending family or social gatherings together. It is more difficult to prove that you are separated while living in the same house, but it is […]
4 things no one tells you about divorce
It is no secret that around 50 per cent of marriages end in divorce. Even though it is quite commonplace it is not something that is talked about openly. When going through the divorce process it is hard to anticipate how it is going to go and how you’re going to feel. Here are a few things that aren’t often talked about when it comes to separation and divorce. Your financial situation will change completely Divorce is costly in many ways. Suddenly your income may change drastically, and you must ensure you can pay your legal bills during the divorce and have enough money to support yourself and possibly your children once the divorce is finalized. There may also be child support and alimony to be considered as well. Whether you are the payer or the payee this needs to be worked into your finances. Your tax bracket may also change because you are now surviving on a single income. Talking to a professional like a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) can help you prepare a plan that will ensure you have all your bases covered during and after the divorce. Your friends may stop calling It is likely that […]
CLEAN BREAK: Let’s talk law
Daren and Tina interview Kemptville/Cornwall-based lawyer Tom Byrne about all things legal having to do with divorce. Tom delves into the difference between separation for married and common law couples and answers all the burning questions about the intricacies of the law when it comes to divorce in Ontario.
How to help kids cope with divorce
Any change is stressful, for both adults and kids. The degree of impact may differ, but the effect of change is the same. It is important to keep in mind that kids express their stress through their behaviour. Being able to know you’re experiencing an emotion, labelling that emotion, and expressing it in words are developmental skills. Some kids don’t have these skills yet, or don’t have them fully developed. As a parent, you can keep an eye out for difficult behaviour that’s out of the norm for your child. This is how you can tell whether or not your child is stressed. If you notice “acting out” behaviour, you could make a point of regular parent-child “dates” where you simply hang out (do your nails together, go for a hike, grab a pizza slice) and, in casual conversation, invite your child to talk about how they are doing. This will give your child an opportunity to express what’s going on in words, and, if you listen carefully, you can get information that can help you respond to what’s bothering them. If your child won’t talk about what’s on their mind, you could make some guesses about what it’s like […]
How to avoid 3 common mistakes after divorce
After the upheaval of your divorce, you have the opportunity for a fresh start and to explore your answer to the question “Now what?”. The challenge is avoiding things that can interfere with your plans for the future. Here are three common pitfalls of recently divorced people and how to avoid them. Allowing the advice of others to influence the choices you make It is natural to look for support from family and friends when you are going through a divorce. With so many decisions to be made it’s helpful to have the advice of an expert or to ask for a second opinion, especially when the decision has long-term consequences. But as you make plans for your future, you may find yourself receiving unsolicited advice. With the best of intentions, friends and family are often eager to give you advice on what they believe is best for you. Remember, their advice is based on their perspective on life and their experience. It may not take into account your vision for your life or include any new ideas and plans that may be percolating in your mind. If the advice doesn’t feel right or you are leaning towards taking the […]
3 signs your marriage may not be working
It is not unusual for people to hide their heads in the sand when it comes to the reality of a failed relationship. Deciding when to get a divorce is not easy and comes with significant heartbreak and emotional upheaval, no matter how unhappy the marriage has become. It is difficult for many people to realize when it is time to pull the plug, especially if they have been in an unhappy marriage for a long time. Here are some of the tell-tale signs that getting a divorce may be the best option for you and your partner. No communication Communication is a key component to any relationship. It ensures that you grow together as a couple rather than apart. While it is normal for communication in a relationship to go through peaks and valleys it becomes a problem if you or your spouse are not willing to work things out when you are going through a tough time. Often one spouse is present, while the other is starting to pull away and is not willing to talk it out either one on one or in therapy. It takes effort from both parties to move on from a communication breakdown […]
How to find the right car for you
There are a lot of new things that come with divorce and separation. If you and your ex were sharing a vehicle it may be time for you to look at investing in your own. Buying a car is not a small commitment and doing it solo can be extremely overwhelming. Here are the top three things you need to consider to make sure that you invest in the vehicle that is right for you. Identify your needs Consider your lifestyle and how many people you need to transport on a regular basis. Are you looking for a compact car for one to get you to work or a van that will be able to transport your children and half the hockey team? What matters to you most, fuel efficiency or maximum performance? How far will you be driving daily and how long do you hope the car will last? These are just some of the important questions to ask yourself when deciding what type of vehicle to purchase. Buying a car is very personal and there are more than enough makes and models out there at various price ranges to make sure you get a car that fits you […]
CLEAN BREAK: The benefits of working with a CDFA
Clean Break co-host Daren Givoque talks with Tina about his process and experience as one of the few Certified Divorce Financial Analysts (CDFA) in Eastern Ontario. Find out what a CDFA is and how they can help you feel secure financially in one of the most uncertain times of your life.
The importance of the separation agreement for getting a mortgage
For some people getting a mortgage can be an onerous task. There are several factors that come into play that can make it even more difficult for a recently separated person to invest in a new property. It is advisable to wait until the separation is finalized before you purchase a new property. This will ensure that the dust has settled, all joint debts are taken care of and legal financial obligations like child support and alimony are outlined. That being said, the divorce process can take years and many people don’t want to wait that long to purchase a new home. This is where the separation agreement comes in. For people going through the divorce process lenders will rely heavily on the separation agreement to dictate the mortgage they will approve. A separation agreement should outline everything from the division of the matrimonial home, to child support payments and alimony. It gives the banks and lenders a good idea of what your financial situation will look like post-divorce. In some situations, a signed affidavit is enough to replace a fully executed separation agreement. This only happens when there is no matrimonial home (or it is sold already) and child […]
Top 5 inexpensive ways to get your house ready to sell
Selling your house can be overwhelming at the best of times. Putting your family home on the market because of a separation or divorce is another can of worms. During the divorce process tensions are running high and stress can be at it’s max. Getting a good price for the family home is often integral in the divorce settlement so that both parties can move on comfortably. During a divorce there isn’t a lot of money to throw around either, as the divorce itself can be quite expensive. Here are a few tips and tricks that can make your house stand out, without breaking the bank. Declutter your home This is something you will want to do when you move anyway, so why not do it ahead of time? People looking at your house want to be able to imagine their stuff in the home and having your personal items all over the house can get in the way of that. Not only do you want to get rid of any unnecessary items you also want to make sure to de-personalize the home. Put family photos away, take your name off the mailbox, get rid of or stow anything that […]
Top tips for maintaining your vehicle
Separation or divorce often means reorganizing your entire life. From living arrangements to where you get your coffee in the morning, people usually want a fresh start. When it comes to maintaining family vehicles typically one spouse has the knowledge or connections. If this isn’t you, you may be left in the lurch. Here are some key tips for proper general vehicle maintenance that will ensure that you and your family are safe, and your vehicle stays on the road as long as possible. Regular maintenance Taking your vehicle in to get regular oil changes, tire rotation and break maintenance is one of the most important things you can do. A good mechanic should also do an assessment of the general health of the vehicle at the time of the visit to make sure there aren’t any glaring issues that need to be addressed. Having a quick check up for your car is important not only for the health of the vehicle but also for the safety of yourself and others on the road. You can use your warranty anywhere One big automotive myth is that you need to take your vehicle back to the dealership to ensure your warranty […]
Debt income ratios and getting a mortgage
Buying a house is not easy and the complex mortgage industry doesn’t make it any easier. There are few factors that go into whether a bank or private lender will give you a mortgage. Some people think that as long as you have a good income getting a mortgage will be easy, but that is not necessarily the case. Banks and other lenders rely heavily on debt servicing ratios to decide whether a person is eligible for a mortgage and how much they will lend. Gross Debt Servicing and Total Debt Servicing are calculated with every mortgage application to decide how much the lender is willing to finance. What is Gross Debt Servicing? Gross Debt Servicing (GDS) is a key debt servicing ratio that lenders look at to see whether they will finance a mortgage on a property. The GDS is calculated by adding up all your housing related costs (mortgage agents call this PITH, principal, interest, taxes, heat) and dividing it by your net taxable income. In Ontario your PITH generally cannot represent more than 39 per cent of your income. What is Total Debt Servicing? Total Debt Servicing (TDS) is another important debt servicing ratio that lenders look […]
CLEAN BREAK: Accounting and Divorce
Join Daren and Tina in this candid conversation with a woman who knows what it’s like to have her world torn apart by divorce. Cathy Sheppard, president of the Kemptville-based accounting firm Sheppard and Associates, talks all things accounting and gives some practical advice for anyone contemplating ending a relationship.
Top tips from productivity specialist on divorce
Most people do not decide to divorce or separate from their partner overnight. It often takes many months, and even years, of thought before one or both people decide to put an official end to a relationship. As a productivity specialist and someone who has experienced divorce first-hand I know how crucial being organized in your thoughts and actions can be for getting through the divorce process. Here are a few of the most important steps to take once you have finally decided that a divorce is on the table. Congratulate yourself This may seem strange but using positive enforcement is key to protecting your mental health through this process. Getting a divorce is a huge, life-altering event. There is a lot of guilt and shame surrounding divorce and separation and not enough people talk about how brave it is. Often ending the relationship is the best decision for you and your partner’s well-being. Rather than wallow in self pity and guilt, say to yourself “good for me.” You are taking steps to address your needs and that deserves to be congratulated. Get a good divorce lawyer Make sure you hire a good lawyer who you trust and knows […]
Traveling with kids after divorce
There are a lot of things to learn/re-learn about life after divorce or separation. If you have kids, new routines need to be created and custody rights need to be observed. Traveling with your children after you have separated from their other parent is something that needs your attention as it is much more complicated now that you are no longer with your spouse. Here are some things to keep in mind if you want to travel with your kids post-separation. Plan in advance Make sure to plan out when you want to travel with your children because you must ensure there is consent to travel from the other parent. You must consider the timing and whether the trip interferes with their other parent’s scheduled time with the children. You will also want to check if there are any travel restrictions or warnings for your planned destination and alert the other parent if there are. If there is a joint custody arrangement, the other parent may not agree for the child(ren) to go to a place that has travel restrictions. Review your Separation Agreement or Parenting Plan Make sure you know what your Separation Agreement or Parenting Plan says when […]
Developing mental toughness during divorce
We all have a dialogue that plays in our head. During stressful times this dialogue can either get in the way or help you cope. The problem for most of us is that our inner voice can be highly critical. And this can be exacerbated when you’re going through a particularly emotional situation. A divorce can trigger a whole gamut of emotions: Grief, shame, sadness, regret and fear are all common when dealing with a marital breakdown. More positive emotions like relief may also be a part of your experience. No emotion is off the table. When going through a divorce you’ll have to make a lot of important decisions that will shape your new life. This can be extremely difficult when you’re dealing with all those emotions. Your inner dialogue may be contributing to your distress as it overwhelms you with thoughts of failure and self-doubt. It’s important to realize that you’re not alone in this experience and there is something you can do about it. You’re not alone Everyone deals with anxiety and self-doubt. Even top athletes (who have won world championships and Olympic medals) talk about the little voice inside their head that undermines them as they […]
What is Arbitration?
Staying out of court during the separation process is ideal for a lot of couples. Hiring a mediator is often a great way to have someone help you resolve your differences. Unfortunately, in some cases, this is not enough and a third-party needs to be called in to make a decision; This is where arbitration comes in. Arbitration can be used to resolve a single issue or several outstanding issues. Here are a few commonly asked questions about arbitration and how it works in the divorce process. What is Arbitration? Arbitration is a process that is very similar to court. It is helpful in resolving issues on which the couple has reached an impasse and can’t resolve by agreement. At this point the parties select an arbitrator to decide on the outstanding legal issues. Arbitrators are often senior lawyers or retired judges. How does it work? The process is relatively formal and similar to court, with parties making opening statements, calling witnesses, presenting evidence and giving closing statements. The kind of evidence required will vary with each case but may involve affidavit (written) evidence or oral testimony. After hearing the evidence and submissions the arbitrator writes a decision, called an […]
3 ways to take care of yourself during divorce or separation
Life is busy and keeping on top of everything can be difficult at the best of times. Carving out time for self-care is important for everyone but it is even more essential when going through a major life change like separation or divorce. Here are three ways you can take care of yourself to make sure you don’t end up in mental and physical burn out. Give yourself time Many people going through separation or divorce want to get it over with. It can be a painful process and it may seem very attractive to make quick decisions to get though the process as quickly as possible. On the other hand, some people feel paralyzed with anxiety and fear when it comes to making any decision regarding their separation because they feel immense pressure to make the best decision for themselves and their children. The key here is to give yourself time. Allow yourself the time to process your emotions and get in touch with the right professionals who will help guide you through the process. Rushing through it or feeling bad because you can’t seem to make any decisions will not help you in the long run. Be kind […]
What is Mediation?
In many situations, divorcing couples want to avoid court. There are a number of alternative dispute resolution processes to choose from, one of which is mediation. Here are a few answers to common questions people have when considering mediation as an option for their divorce or separation. What is mediation? Mediation is a process where a separating couple meets with a neutral third-party who assists them in their discussions to reach an agreement. Unlike hiring a lawyer to represent you, a mediator does not work for one party or the other and remains completely neutral throughout the process. They do not make any decisions but facilitates discussion and assists both parties in coming to a Separation Agreement. When do you hire a mediator? You may hire a mediator at any time during your separation, even if you are in court. Mediation may not be suitable option if there are concerns regarding mental health issues or abuse. Who can be a mediator? There are individuals who are mediators who may not have training or who may not have experience in family law. For financial issues in particular, you should hire a mediator who has experience in family law and the legislation […]
Divorce Stress: It’s a thing.
Going through separation and/or divorce is very complicated. There is a laundry list of people you need to work with that includes lawyers, real estate agents and mortgage and insurance brokers, among others. Then there are the kids and their needs, as well as work, friends and family. It’s difficult to keep on top of it all at the best of times. Separation and divorce is extremely stressful, yet you are expected to make clear, level-headed decisions about your future. A tall order for anyone, and it brings up a lot of emotions. Many people prefer to push their feelings away. It’s hard to acknowledge when stress has gotten so intense you can’t cope. It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed, and even to flip your lid. It’s the way the human brain works. When you flip your lid, your emotions take over. Emotions are an important part of decision-making, and they enable us to react very fast. In the paleo days, for example, it was important for fear, when faced with a predator, to motivate you to either attack, run or play dead immediately. But in the modern world, responding on emotions alone—metaphorically attacking, […]
Clean Break Podcast Ep4: Finances, Accounting and Divorce
Talk taxes, divorce planning and the dreaded CRA on this episode of Clean Break featuring Chartered Professional Accountant Marg Egan. Marg delves into the world of accounting and divorce, informing our hosts, Daren Givoque and Tina Murray, about potential pitfalls and tips and tricks when it comes to managing your money.
Mortgage Matters: How a mortgage specialist can help
When going through a divorce or separation there are many things to consider, including where you will live after separating from your partner. If you own a home the situation can be complex as you must take into consideration the affordability of the home, children, the equalization process, other debts and of course your own feelings when it comes to where you live. With all this to consider it is a great idea to work with an experienced mortgage specialist to assess your situation and present you with options and advice on how to put yourself in the best position possible that meets your wants and needs. Here are a few key components that a mortgage specialist will help you pull together that are essential in figuring out your living arrangement after a divorce or separation. Check your credit rating It is important to know your credit score and historical information about your credit that can be obtained from a credit bureau such as Equifax or Transunion. This is something that everyone should check at least yearly as there may be errors or things about your credit that you aren’t aware of. If there is a surprise with your credit […]
CLEAN BREAK: Insolvency and Bankruptcy in Divorce
Going through a divorce is hard. Going through a bankruptcy and the same time can make it even harder. Talking about it is the first step, so we brought on Licensed Insolvency Trustee, Andre Bolduc from BDO Canada to talk to our hosts about all things bankruptcy and divorce.
Common-law relationships: What happens if it breaks down
More and more people these days are choosing to live together before marriage. For some couples marriage isn’t a priority or may not even be in their plan at all. This is a very personal choice and every couple is different when it comes to how they want to define their relationship. However, there are some legal ramifications to co-habitation that are important to consider. Here are a few things you should know about common-law relationships and how to protect yourself should you and your partner decide to split. What is a common-law relationship? If you have been living with your partner for over three years or have children with them, you are most likely in a common-law relationship. While many people believe this gives them the same rights to property as being married this is not the case. Under the Family Law Act common-law spouses are not entitled to any property division in the province of Ontario, unlike married spouses who are entitled to half of the assets. How is property divided in a common-law relationship breakdown? No matter how long you have been in the relationship property is divided based on what you brought into the cohabitation. Although […]
Insurance Issues: What to keep in mind in separation or divorce
Divorce and separation is hard. But, regardless of how you feel emotionally, there is a laundry list of professionals you need to contact when you separate from your spouse. People often forget but your insurance broker is one person you want to notify asap so you don’t run into any insurance issues down the road. Here are a few things that are important to consider about your insurance when going through a separation or divorce. Know who is paying your premiums Like anything in divorce or separation most people don’t want to be connected to their ex, especially with something as sensitive as money. Payment of house insurance premiums can become an issue if the party who is responsible for those payments is not living in the house anymore and decides to stop the paying for the insurance. You could be without insurance and not even know it! Also, you always need to maintain a proper risk address to ensure insurance renewal notices, or the pink slips you get for your car insurance are being sent to the right place. Changing the names on your policy Things get even more complicated if something happens to your home and both names […]
Real Estate: The benefits of a pre-listing inspection
People often ask whether it is beneficial to have a pre-listing inspection when they are selling their home. While it is not a requirement, the benefits of having someone look at your home before it goes on the market are numerous. Why wait until someone is interested in buying your home to find out there is something wrong with it? Here are a few key reasons why having a pre-listing inspection can help ensure any offers on your house go off without a hitch. Many deals make or break with the home inspection During a real estate transaction, the home inspection is usually one of the last components. The deal is contingent on the home inspection and whether or not the inspector finds any “deal breakers” in the house. Having your house inspected pre-listing will make sure there are no surprises that you have to deal with during the stressful process of a real estate sale. Knowing what is hidden in the bowels of your house will allow you to rectify any issues before the house goes on the market and eliminate any nasty surprises when someone expresses interest in buying the property. Home inspectors can help sell your home […]
Clean Break: Wills, Powers of Attorney and Divorce
Join Clean Break’s dynamic duo Deron Givoque and Tina Murray as they delve into the world of wills, estates and real estate law with lawyer Connie Lamble. Connie answers all the burning questions about how to deal with wills, powers of attorney and real estate when you get divorced. She also outlines some of the common mistakes people make when it comes to arranging their affairs after a divorce or separation. Do my powers of attorney change automatically once I get divorced? Is it important to change my will? How do I make sure my children are looked after? All will be answered on this episode of Clean Break: The Divorce Podcast. Got Questions you want answered? Join us on Anchor or Facebook or leave a comment below for us to answer in future episodes!
Clean Break: Mortgages and Divorce
Mortgage Broker Tom Insley makes mortgages interesting on this inaugural episode of Clean Break: The Divorce Podcast. Join hosts Daren Givoque and Tina Murray as they learn about the benefits of using a mortgage broker and how to handle a mortgage when going through a divorce. Tom dispels some myths about mortgage brokers and discusses the four things needed from a client before he can look at renegotiating a mortgage. If you own a home or are looking at investing in real estate this podcast is for you. Regardless of whether you are going through a divorce. Tom’s lively and personable style makes him the ideal guest for this first episode of Clean Break. Got Questions you want answered? Join us on Anchor or Facebook or leave a comment below for us to answer in future episodes!
Tax Tips: What you need to know about divorce and taxes
Nothing is certain in life except death and taxes. Nothing is more true, especially when navigating the complex and emotionally charged world of divorce. There are many tax implications that you need to watch out for both during the equalization process and after you and your partner have separated. Here are a few things you need to know to make taxation work for you and make sure you reach the best settlement possible for your situation. Consider the value of each asset after taxes This may be the most important thing you do in your divorce settlement. When you are looking at equalization it is important to consider the value of each asset AFTER taxes because assets will be taxed differently. For example, imagine you and your spouse own a house that is worth $400,000. Your partner also has non-registered investments totaling $100,000 and an RRSP that is worth $300,000. That comes to a total of $800,000 of which you are entitled to $400,000, or half. In this case the investments will be taxed at a rate of 20% while the RRSP will be taxed at a rate of 40%, leaving you with only $260,000 of the $400,000 once the […]
Real Estate and Divorce: Buying, Selling, Renting
There are many things to consider when going through a divorce. It is a major life change that is emotionally charged, making decisions about the future even more difficult. One of the most important things to look at during a separation or divorce is where you are going to live once you are split from your partner. There is often a home involved and what you are going to do with the home you built together needs to be decided. The decision about where to live and what to do with your home may seem daunting. But, considering the following will help you make the decision that is best for you and your family. Consider the value of your house When going through a divorce putting a value on all your assets is important. Often the family home is the biggest asset you have together and therefore you need to figure out how much it is worth. This will also help you decide whether to sell the house, or how it can be traded for something else in the equalization process. Mortgages on a single income Real estate can look a lot different when you are coming at it from […]
RESP Education savings and Divorcing Families
Dividing assets can be a tricky business when it comes to divorce. Throwing a savings account that affects your child’s future into the mix can make things even more complicated. RESPs are a great way to save for your child’s education but deciding what to do with them if you and your partner separate is no walk in the park. Here are a few things to consider about RESPs when going through a divorce. What is an RESP? A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is one way that a lot of Canadian parents save for their children’s post-secondary education. It is an investment account that allows parents to save money while receiving grants and incentives from the federal and some provincial governments. In an RESP money can grow on a tax-deferred basis and the government will contribute up to $7200 per child (beneficiary) depending on the amount of your contributions. The money in an RESP belongs to the subscriber, not the beneficiary Even though the funds are there to be given to the children, money in an RESP is the property of the subscriber not the beneficiary. Depending on how an RESP is set up, the account could either have […]
Prenups in Ontario: What you need to know
Talking about money is not an easy thing when it comes to relationships. It becomes especially complicated when two people have different ideas about money or one has more than the other. When a couple is ready to take the next step by getting married or moving in together the topic of a prenup may come up. This can be a difficult conversation to have, but a necessary one if you have valuable assets that you would like to protect. Here are a few things to consider when broaching a prenuptial agreement. In Ontario law a prenup is called a domestic contract While you may know the word prenup from TV and Hollywood movies the term is an American one. In Canada, and Ontario in particular, prenups are called domestic contracts. Domestic contracts cover both marriage contacts and cohabitation agreements and act in a similar way to the American prenup. Both are used to organize a couple’s finances, clarify their rights and responsibilities in relation to one another and govern the division of property should they decide to part ways. Domestic contracts are used for more than just protection of assets Although one of the main purposes for a domestic […]
Money Matters: How to keep financial issues from ruining a relationship
Financial problems are the leading cause of relationship breakdown. In fact, a Bank of Montreal poll found that fighting over money was the top reason for divorce among Canadians, even ahead of infidelity. A recent BDO Canada poll found that many Canadians are hiding financial secrets from their partners. In a world that survives on dual income households, it has never been more important for Canadians to be open and honest about their finances. 3 in 5 Canadians wish they could change their partner’s financial habits The BDO poll found that most Canadians say there’s something about their partner’s finances they wish they could change. Overspending, not saving and not keeping track of spending were the most common complaints. Unfortunately, many might not be communicating these concerns—the poll found that 36 per cent of Canadians rarely or never talk about money with their partner. Only 70 per cent say their partner knows everything about their finances, while the rest are keeping secrets. Women seem more worried about their partner’s savings Another stat that stood out in the poll: 42 per cent of women wish their partner would save more for retirement, compared to 29 per cent of men. Women are […]
Budgeting for a Divorce
Budgets are important no matter what life stage you are at. Any financial adviser, accountant or even your own mother will tell you that having an idea about what your expenses are and where your money is going is imperative to ensuring financial security. When it comes to divorce, sitting down and figuring out how separating from your partner will affect your life financially is just as important. The reality is that very few people are better off financially after a divorce. It may not be an easy task, but taking a look at the following items will ensure that you are not stuck sitting at your kitchen table with a bunch of bills you can’t pay. The first thing you need to do if you are contemplating divorce is to start tracking your spending as a family unit as well as your household income. How much do you and your partner bring into the house and how much of it is used to pay essential bills like water and electricity? How much do you spend on groceries? What are your mortgage payments? If you have kids, what expenses are you looking at when it comes to taking care of […]
4 things mortgage brokers need to renegotiate a mortgage
A home is usually the biggest asset a couple has to consider when going through a divorce. Navigating the complex world of mortgages is not an easy task and knowing how to deal with a home when it comes to reaching an equitable settlement can be complex. Mortgage brokers are your best ally when it comes to dealing with the intricacies of property ownership, divorce and figuring out the best option when it comes to your home. Here are 4 things a mortgage broker will need to complete this process. A written and executed separation agreement signed by both parties A separation agreement will break down what the division of assets will be. It will also lay out any ongoing financial responsibilities for either parties like child or spousal support. This has to be taken into consideration when it comes to the affordability of the mortgage for the spouse that is keeping the house. The separation needs to be finalized meaning that it must be the final document that has been agreed upon by both parties. Separation agreements that are in the process of being negotiated are of no use to a mortgage broker as it will not deliver an […]
Before the Lawyer: Questions to ask yourself about your finances
Going to a lawyer unprepared can make a divorce a lot more complicated. These simple questions get you thinking of simple things to do to give you a better financial position down the road.
Fair is Not Always Equal: Why you should talk to a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst
When a person or couple starts looking into divorce it is hard to know where to turn. It is commonplace to have a lawyer or mediator handle the legal aspects of the divorce and ensure that the division of assets are equitable and fair. While divorce lawyers and mediators are excellent at applying the law, understanding people’s rights and negotiating with other lawyers in a legal framework, they don’t specialize in the intricacies of dividing assets. In many cases finding a situation that is fair to both parties may not be as simple as dividing the assets 50/50. This is where the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) comes in. A CDFA provides clarity, accuracy and equity through a collaborative divorce process. They are experts in all the financial aspects of divorce. A CDFA’s role is to help divorcing couples address the financial issues of divorce using data to help achieve equitable settlements. They are well versed in analyzing financial records and investments and identifying possible tax consequences that come along with liquidating assets. A CDFA will work with the divorcing individual or couple to create a comprehensive financial plan. This report outlines all the assets involved in the divorce, taking […]
6 things you need to know about divorce, marriage and your will
Wills are very personal and important documents. However, there is confusion surrounding how significant life events like marriage and divorce affect a person’s will. For example, did you know marriage revokes a will? Here are 6 things you need to know about wills when it comes to marriage and divorce: Marriage revokes a will This may come as a surprise to you but once you say “I Do” any prior will that you have created is revoked, unless that will was made explicitly “in contemplation of the marriage.” This means that if you don’t make a new will and you die something called the rules of intestacy (explained later) will dictate where your estate goes. Even if you are in a long-term relationship and marriage is not necessarily in the cards, it is a good idea to put a clause in your will stating that it is being made “in contemplation of the marriage” – that way if you do have a wild weekend in Vegas that includes wedding vows, you still have a valid will. Separation from a marriage or common-law relationship has no effect on your will No matter how definite a separation, whether you were married […]
(Video) When One side knows more
Divorce is not always a two-person decision. What happens when one person springs a divorce on the other? Daren Givoque, a Certified Divorce Financial Advisor from O’Farrell Financial and Chair of DivorceNET talks about the need for reliable advice when you need it fast.