Are you thinking about ending your marriage? The first thing that you should do is make sure that you are as informed as possible about your rights and the process as a whole. A mistake handling the very start of the process could be costly.
The best place to start is by getting in touch with a divorce lawyer. They will be able to help you with every step of the process and make sure that you get everything that you are entitled to. One thing that you should aim to avoid is falling into the trap of believing everything that you have seen on TV.
1. My spouse cheated so I’ll probably get what I want
There is no special dispensation given to those who cheat during the divorce process. This may have been true many years ago, but there is no truth to it today. It may garner a little bit of sympathy, but there is no legal weight to put behind this.
2. My spouse won’t sign, so I can’t get a divorce
This is a common movie trope and one that has no basis in reality. The responsibility is not on your shoulders to chase down your spouse and have them sign a document that releases you from the marriage. This is just lazy writing by movie and tv writers to give the main characters a reason to speak to one another.
Provided that you have met the requirements to file for divorce, i.e. you have lived apart from your spouse for a full year you can easily resolve the divorce, even if it is contested. After all, why would there be a law to force you into enduring an unhappy marriage?
3. Common-Law couples don’t need to worry about splitting their assets.
There are no two ways about it, if you have lived together for a certain amount of time, then you’re in a common law relationship. Even though you are not legally married you may still have to divide up your assets evenly. A divorce lawyer will be able to advise you on exactly what this means for you and what steps you can take to protect some of your assets.
4. I own the house so it stays with me
This is another area where you will need to speak with your divorce lawyer to get some clarification. You should bring as much paperwork as you can when it comes to demonstrating the assets that are yours and who owns what in the relationship. You may find that the non-owner is still very much entitled to a certain percentage of the home. How much is up for debate between the two lawyers, however, you should prepare yourself for any outcome.
5. I should stay in the house no matter what if I want to keep it
A lot of people are under the impression that they have to stay living in the house if they are to retain the rights to ownership. This is not true, if you have any questions about this then you should speak to your divorce lawyer as soon as you can. If you are in an abusive relationship, or simply just unhappy, you should feel free to move out when you please.
You should speak to a divorce lawyer and get all of the paperwork in order beforehand if that is possible so that you are fully aware of your options. The last thing that you should think is that you are held hostage in your own home. Just talking with a divorce lawyer will be a load off your mind as you plan the next chapter in your life.