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  • Introduction

    Hello, everyone. I thought this would be a good start as I expect to be haunting the forums for the next few months.

    I'm at the research stage of separating from my common law partner. Which means I haven't obtained legal cousel yet, because I want to be prepared in advance with the right questions. I have not told my partner of my decision yet either.

    In a nutshell, we have been living together for 15 years, almost 19 years together as a couple. We have two young children.

    I expect that most of the questions I will be asking in the CL forum will be primarily concerned with obtaining legal counsel, finding and working with a mediator, and getting a separation agreement in place.

    The separation agreement is a particular concern, because I cannot move out without a financial arrangement in place: I am the primary caregiver (stay at home mom) and my personal income (part time work) will not cover basic living expenses.

    I am hoping that my partner and I will be able to come to an agreement with as little animosity as possible. The relationship is over and we need to move on. I also believe that we owe it to our children, to protect them from the future damage of growing up in an unhappy home.

    So far, I have found these forums very informative and the members willing to share and help. This is comforting to me, and to others here, I'm sure, because this life-altering decision is hard enough.


  • #2
    In addition to your legal research, get some individual counselling and/or attend some seminars (, Families in Tranistion is a great resource). It will be well worth it, if only to allow you to gain some coping skills in managing your ex's reactions and your re-reactions to the split.

    Prepare yourself for a long period of settlement. With kids and a longish term union, this will not resolve itself quickly. Michael Cochrane wrote Surviving Your Divorce ( Surviving Your Divorce: A Guide to Canadian Family Law: Explore similar items). Read the brief preview on Amazon. Get yourself a copy too. It's got some good stuff.


    • #3
      Hey dadtotheend, thanks a bunch for that link!! I had seen a poster for Families in Transition at our old daycare years ago, but didn't take the info down and was never able to remember the name to look it up. I had always regretted not looking into it, it had seemed like a good program.


      • #4
        You're very welcome. They have MANY different workshops/seminars that they run covering all manner of topics on separation and divorce. Check out the pamphlet Coping with Change on the web link provided. I attended "Sucessful Parenting Plans" in addition to receiving individual counsellling there. They are really good and affordable. The individual counselling is also on a sliding scale geared to income.


        • #5
          Thank you for the links, dadtotheend, it's very helpful.

          Can you tell me what you mean by "a long period of settlement"? Do you mean that the negotiations could take several months? Since I will be living in the family home until we reach an agreement, the prospect of it becoming a warzone is rather frightening.

          I'm willing to obtain personal counselling to help me cope with the separation, and hadn't considered it. Good advice.




          • #6
            You said you haven't told him of your decision yet, although you also say that the relationship is over. I don't know whether that means he agrees that it's over or not.

            You are going to have settle custody, access, property division and support (both child and spousal). If you are on the same page then it will be easier, but will still take months probably, unless you are VERY amicable.

            If he disagrees and there is a "warzone" expect a longer time, maybe a year or longer.


            • #7
              dadtotheend, I know (sigh).

              I haven't told him of my plans to formally end the relationship because I am not in a good position to start the mediation process. I certainly will not (cannot) leave the family home without an agreement. Yes, he can disagree, but I will try to have faith that it won't become too ugly, and do what I can to keep it fair. I'm not out to "get him"; I only want to end the relationship.

              I think we will be able to come to an understanding regarding custody without too much conflict. I will be seeking joint (full parental rights for both of us) custody, and it is currently my desire to keep the children in the family home full time for as long as possible, with the intention of working out a equitable schedule for caring for them.

              As for property division, I'm hoping that the finer details can be worked out in the longer term. Both our names are on the title to the family home, and we maintain separate bank accounts. For the most part, the children are the beneficiaries of any family assets in the event of death of one or the other parent. I am not concerned that the furniture will start disappearing.

              I will post a new thread in the Common Law forum with questions related to planning a separation, with a link to this thread.




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