My Own Divorce Story
When I got married in 1987, I told myself that it would be forever, especially if we had children as we had planned on. Both of my uncles had gone through divorces, one of them through a particularly messy one and the effects on their children were heart wrenching. My husband and I would make it through anything I told myself….I think we all hear that same voice at one time or another. As the years went on, I think we both realized that this wasn’t going to be a “forever” story but by this point we had 2 small, wonderful children, so the decision would have a much more significant impact now.
In 1999, we separated and embarked on a long, adversarial and expensive divorce which destroyed our co–parenting relationship. Divorce was alot of work and at times overwhelming. We had to fill out budgets, collect years’ worth of documents and answer questions at times neither of us had the answer to. We were trying to work out property and support issues while dealing with our own emotional instability, all the while trying to be good parents and supportive of our young children.
We had to make decisions that would affect the rest of ours and our children’s lives. I was lucky to some extent. I had both a tax business background and an understanding of financial issues. Even so, no one mentioned the effect of tax and other implications that I should consider in helping me make my decisions. We had a home, investments, RRSPs, and a share in my husband’s partnership firm. Again, no one mentioned the effect that my poor emotional state would have on dealing with all of this. This journey opened my eyes to the fact that there was so much to know and so many decisions to make at such a stressful time. If someone like me who has a financial background was struggling, what did people do who had no financial knowledge?
When I look back on my very personal journey, I realize that financially we missed out on negotiating numerous issues. We missed out on acknowledging tax implications on our investments and on a partnership equity share and did not agree to the handling of any of the tax items. In the 10 years since then, I have continually educated myself on all of the financial and tax implications that affect divorce decisions. I also decided then to make it my life’s work to empower men and women going through divorce by educating them on the financial and tax implications of the decisions that they will make in their own divorce. I was committed to bringing financial clarity to divorce!