If I leave our matrimonial home, do I give up my rights to a claim to the home?

Any questions and concerns during your separation and divorce with respect to your rights or claims should be
directed to a family lawyer. Only a family lawyer can inform their clients of their legal rights and of the laws of divorce.

My ex-spouse won't pay the bills or give me any money, how can I force him/her to do so?

Family lawyers represent the interests of ONE party in the case of serious issues in a separation or divorce.
Only family lawyers have the legal means to enforce these types of arrangements.

How do I choose a lawyer?
  • Look for a lawyer that practices strictly family law
  • Find a lawyer that will be totally candid and up-front with you
  • Find a lawyer who is reasonable and fair and has alot of experience
  • Find a lawyer who is a skilled negotiator
Did You Know?

Did you know that a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™) is the only divorce professional specifically
trained to explain all financial aspects of the pending decisions in separation and divorce? They help to empower
their client(s) to make educated decisions throughout the process. Lawyers defend their clients' legal rights and
try and negotiate the best deal possible for their client psychologists help clients; deal with the emotional
healing process; financial planners help their clients with post-divorce financial planning. What's often missing in
most divorce processes is financial expertise. CDFA™'s help clients determine the short term and long term
financial impact of any proposed divorce settlement. They also provide valuable information on financial
issues that are related to the divorce, such as tax consequences, dividing pension plans, continued health
care coverage, investment information and much more. A legal settlement that floats back and forth between
lawyers, without the client having a clear understanding of all financial ramifications, can be detrimental, time
consuming and expensive. In separation and divorce, make sure you have a clear understanding of the role
each professional can play in the process.

What is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™)?

A CDFA™ is a financial expert thoroughly trained in the financial issues of divorce through the
Institute of Divorce Financial Analysts. A CDFA™ takes all of your financial issues into consideration and
can help provide you with better more detailed information to help you make the right decision in your
divorce settlement.

Why do I need a CDFA™?

The Institute of Divorce Financial Analysts recommends a CDFA™ for the following reasons:

  • Analysis conducted early in the divorce process can save time.
    A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA™) can explain all financial aspects of the pending decisions and help to empower their client to make educated decisions throughout the proceedings.
  • A CDFA™ can help their client save money during the divorce process.
    By using a CDFA™, you can have a clearer view of your financial future to approach a legal settlement that fully addresses your financial needs.
  • A CDFA™ can help their clients to avoid long-term financial pitfalls related to divorce agreements.
    Working with a client and their attorney, a CDFA™ can forecast the long-term effects of the divorce settlement including details of all tax liabilities and benefits.
  • CDFA™'s can assist their clients with developing detailed household budgets to help avoid post-divorce financial
    A CDFA™ can help clients think through what the divorce will really cost in the long run and develop a realistic monthly budget during the financial analysis process.
  • Using a CDFA™ can reduce the amount of apprehension and misunderstanding about the divorce process.
    Misinformation and misconceptions about the divorce process can be detrimental. Many have false expectations that they will be able to secure a divorce settlement allowing them to continue with their accustomed style of living. Financial divorce analysis helps to ensure a good, stable economic future and prevent long-term regret with financial decisions made during the divorce process.
Do I want to keep the house?

Keeping the matrimonial home is often the one item of matrimonial property where our emotions cloud the ability to make sound financial decisions more so than in any other area. We often feel overwhelmed at the thought of moving. We want to retain the home for stability for our children. Retaining the matrimonial home after divorce should of course be a sound financial decision. Do you know what it costs to maintain your home? Do you need to renegotiate a mortgage and if so, would you qualify?
Are you prepared for the workload that comes with maintaining a home on your own? These are all questions that a trained CDFA™ can help you review and resolve, but that must be considered before determining that keeping your home
is the right decision in your divorce settlement.

Will I get child support?

Visit the Canadian Department of Justice Website for information concerning child support.
For interpretation and clarification of this information, you should consult a family lawyer.

What about my spouse's pension?

Pension benefit accumulated during the marriage is most often considered marital property.

Pension valuation in the case of a Defined Benefit pension plan is complicated, and after discussion with a CDFA™, an actuary specializing in pension valuation will have to be consulted.

When contemplating what assets to take in a divorce settlement, one must consider at least a few factors with respect to a spouse's pension.

  • Firstly, if you need cash now, pension money will not be available today; it will be transferred usually to a locked-in retirement account for you for many years (the particular pension administration of the spouse's pension must be reviewed).
  • Secondly, do you have a capable financial broker who can wisely help you invest these funds?
  • Thirdly, in the overall picture of your financial situation both from a cash flow perspective and a property perspective, is this in your best interest?

Pensions are often one of the most complicated areas of marital property division, and care should be taken before making the decision about including a portion of this asset in your division settlement.

I know nothing about our family finances. Where do I begin, and will I still get a fair settlement in my divorce?

First of all, take a deep breath.
Second, consult a CDFA™ or your accountant so that you are prepared to meet with your lawyer. You will be asked to collect information and documentation on every bank account, credit card, investment, mortgage, pension, and any other asset or liability of your marriage. This can be an overwhelming task, but when most people sit down with pen and paper and make notes on anything they can think of in this area, they actually have more information with respect to their property than first thought. Begin to make notes on everything you can think of, it will help your CDFA™ and lawyer immensely. This will at least provide you with a good start; the professionals will guide you from there.

What is a legal separation agreement?

A separation agreement is a legally binding contract between spouses (married or common-law) or ex-spouses setting out the terms of their relationship after separation (or the decision to separate). This agreement often deals with how property (and debts) will be divided between the spouses, spousal support, child support, child access and other issues.