Separating can feel overwhelming. Start by getting legal advice, as soon as possible.
To help you get started, our lawyers provide upfront legal advice in a confidential, stand-alone meeting, called the Balbi Assessment.
Quality legal advice can help make your separation experience easier.
✔ Increase your understanding and clarity
Learning how the law applies to you and your family, on separation, is new for most spouses. Understanding the legal framework and process often results in a more positive experience.
✔ Make good decisions
It’s possible to make poor decisions when you don’t have the information you need or your emotions are running high after separation. Being informed can help you feel calmer and make better decisions.
✔ Have more control over your life
After separation, your decisions may have legal consequences they didn’t before. Your spouse may take unexpected legal steps. Legal advice can often help to minimize surprises and the impact of separation.
✔ Better manage your legal dispute
The resolution process you use will impact the time, cost and possible outcome of your matter. Choosing the right process will help you maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of your resolution.
✔ Reduce your stress
Legal advice often includes strategies that can help you deescalate the interpersonal and legal conflict between you and your spouse. Being informed, using the right process, and better managing the conflict can all help to reduce our stress.
“You are the diametric opposite of all the lawyer jokes that people love to tell. You are one hundred percent professional, but the genuineness of your caring is palpable . . . I am so happy to recommend you to absolutely anyone requiring a great and professional lawyer.” – Balbi & Company Client
There are other things you can do from the start to make your separation easier.
1. Keep your children out of the middle of your divorce conflict
Children can be severely impacted by the stress of divorce conflict, so it’s important to keep your children out of the middle of the issues between you and your spouse. If possible, work together with your spouse on how you will each talk to your children about the changes that will be happening in their lives. You may also want to talk to a parenting expert for additional support, if needed.
It’s also a good idea to take the Parenting After Separation Course (PASS) early on. PASS is a free, online course offered by the Government of Alberta that gives parents information and tools on how to parent their children after separation.
2. Take care of yourself
The stress of separation can take a toll on your physical, mental, and emotional health. We all parent, work, and play better, when we’re healthy. Stay resilient through the process by eating nutritiously, exercising, and hydrating. Talking to trusted friends, family and mental health professional is also often be beneficial.
3. Do not escalate the conflict unnecessarily
It’s normal for spouses to have strong feelings and disagree during separation. Choose a process and approach that helps you to navigate and manage it productively. With out plan to deal with the interpersonal and legal conflict, stress in the home, time to resolve and legal fees may only increase.
4. Consider out-of-Court options
Court is only one of many ways you can resolve your family law dispute. Learn about mediation, arbitration and other processes to resolve your matter outside of Court. These alternate processes often provide confidentiality, flexibility and greater overall affordability.
5. Write down your goals and priorities
During separation, keep your focus on what’s most important to you. Write down and prioritize your goals. This will help you make better long-term decisions and stay focused during chaotic times. Revisit and update your goals over time to make sure they still reflect your priorities.
6. Get your information and documents organized
It can be difficult to remember things when you’re experiencing stress. Write down relevant dates and facts, and start gathering the documents you may need, including:
- Your marriage certificate
- Your financial documents
- Your last 3 tax returns
- Your last 3 pay stubs
- A list of your assets and liabilities
- Bank statements
- Business financials
- Property documents
7. Be careful on social media
Do not post anything about your separation or your spouse online. It may unnecessarily escalate the conflict between you and be used against you in your legal matter.
8. Keep safe during separation
Sadly, some families experience family violence and unhealthy dynamics that need to be considered or protected against during separation. If you believe that you of your family are in immediate danger, call 911. If you need help with your family members future safety, attend at the courthouse for help or talk to a lawyer right away.
For more information tailored to your specific needs and circumstances, talk with one of our lawyers in your Balbi Assessment.
Looking for help for a friend or client?
We want to support you in supporting your child, friend, or family member going through their divorce.
It can be difficult to watch your loved one go through this major change in their life. There are things you can do to help them and things to avoid. Start by learning more about how best to support them.