When a couple in British Columbia decides to end their relationship, they may not know what steps to take. Whether they were married and getting a divorce or lived together for a period of time in a marriage-like relationship (also known as a “common-law” relationship) which is ending, there are many things that may need to be addressed. These seperations are often complicated and among other things, couples may need to work through:
- The division of assets
- Spousal support
- Parental responsibilities
- Parenting time
The time to start to address these matters is when the couple decides to separate. Just what the separation will look like depends on the specifics of the situation. Legal papers or proceedings are not necessary. Couples could be separated if they no longer live together. In other situations, they may still be living under the same roof but have communicated their relationship is over and they are creating a permanent separation.
While legal representation is not always required when married or common-law couples decide to end the relationship, there is no doubt that in most situations it is advisable to consult with a family law lawyer. When children are involved they can help make sure parents get the time with the children each deserves. They can also make sure that the appropriate amount of child support is awarded.
In addition, a family law lawyer can help with the division of assets and when one spouse makes significantly less than another, help in determining what amount of support is appropriate. A lawyer can also help identify any additional issues that should be taken care of.