FAQs About Family Law
Frequently asked questions, to help you understand your options when
you are seeking legal advice for Family Law.
What should I do before I tell my spouse I want to separate?
There are several things to do in preparation for separation; some of these include:
- Having support measures available
- Document your family property, family debts, and excluded property
- Keep track of the money coming in and out of the household
- Have your own personal bank account
- Have the original marriage certificate
Prior to telling your spouse that you want to separate, it is important to speak to a lawyer. A lawyer can inform you of your rights and duties. By attending a free consultation with a lawyer, it provides you with an opportunity to get an opinion of your individual situation and a better understanding of what your future options may be.
Can we write our own separation agreement?
Anyone can write a separation agreement. However, writing a separation agreement can require a high level of skill and understanding of family and contract law. If an agreement does not accurately reflect the wishes of each party, then the document may have future legal consequences.
If a person chooses to write a separation agreement, at the very least, the parties should have a lawyer review it. A separation agreement at first glance may seem very straight-forward; however, it can quickly lead to complex problems.
My marriage is over, do I have to go to court?
There are many ways to resolve family law matters that do not involve going to court. One of the most commonly used alternatives is mediation. Mediation is an informal method of coming to a resolution between parties when wanting to separate or divorce. The same issues can be resolved in mediation as going to court. Although it is not necessary for either or both parties to have a lawyer, it is highly recommended. During the actual mediation the mediator (person conducting the facilitation between the two parties) is not able to provide any legal advice.