When you are going through a separation from your spouse, it is inevitably an emotional journey. Whether the separation is amicable for both parties or it is a bitter parting, there are many reasons why it is not advisable to negotiate your separation without the assistance of a lawyer. If you are navigating the difficult waters of a separation, here are some compelling reasons why you should enlist the help of a family law lawyer.

Emotional Strength

You’re placing a lot of unnecessary pressure and stress on you and your spouse when you attempt to negotiate a separation without the assistance of a lawyer. Even uncontested separations are emotionally difficult, and could benefit from the involvement of a qualified lawyer to offer independent legal advice. With the layered history of your relationship, it can be quite a challenge to sit across from your spouse and negotiate a separation – and vice versa. In order to negotiate a separation that is viewed as fair from all angles, your best course of action may be to draft a separation agreement with the assistance of a lawyer.

Understanding the Law

Family law is a complicated area of law that varies considerably from country to country and province to province. Marriages have different rules for separation and property division than common-law relationships, and when children are involved the procedures become infinitely more complex. Do you understand terminology like “equalization payments,” the definition of “matrimonial home,” or concepts like the “Table amount”? An independent legal representative can help guide you through these concepts and draft a separation agreement that is valid and fair as far as the law is concerned.

The Financial Picture

One of the most important elements of a separation is coming up with a division of property and financial assets that is fair for both parties. Working with a legal representative can help ensure full disclosure on the part of your spouse, to share the full financial picture as far as their assets, debts, and earnings. Otherwise, there is a heightened risk that your spouse may not fully disclose their assets or debts, and you may not get a fair and equitable division of marital property.

Attempting to negotiate directly with your spouse is a mature and healthy response, as long as both parties are motivated by the right reasons. However, due to the complicated and sensitive nature of legal separation, it is advisable to seek legal assistance at some stage of the process. This may mean negotiating the separation with a mediator, enlisting a lawyer to draft the separation agreement, or hiring independent legal counsel to review an existing agreement.


Meagan LePage
Court Coach

Court Coach LLP is an Ottawa based law firm dedicated to providing cost-effective advice and coaching services for family law clients. To learn more about Meagan and how she can help you click https://www.thedivorceangels.com/vendor/meagan-lepage/

One Response to “Why You Should Work with a Family Law Lawyer During Separation”

  1. Tyler

    I like that you talk about how a family lawyer will be able to help you understand all the laws regarding divorce and separation. It makes sense that most people won’t have a lot of knowledge about the process before it happens and having a lawyer to help you understand could be very nice. Hiring a professional could be helpful even you have gone through a divorce, though, because not all situations are the same and a professional could help you understand why some things work out the way they do for certain scenarios, etc. Thanks for the post; it has some great info and could really help my brother who’s dealing with a divorce right now.


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