January is the start of new beginnings, and it could also mean things are coming to an end. Many British Columbia couples -- and those all over the country -- make the decision to divorce come January; so much so, that many lawyers have dubbed it divorce month. Experts say there are reasons the first month of the year being so popular for marriages coming to an end.
One of the most contentious issues when it comes to family law is how much one spouse pays to another after increases in income. When couples divorce, one spouse often has to pay support to the other. But what happens if the payor gets a hefty salary increase at work or additional bonuses that weren't factored into the initial agreement? That is what one separated British Columbia recently had to deal with.
There are many areas of life that can be affected when a couple decides to part ways. Not only can divorce create financial hardship for each individual, but it may also have an effect on a person's mental health. British Columbia residents who are going through a divorce or separation are usually stressed about their financial situations, which -- in turn -- can wreak havoc with their overall well-being, including mental health.
When couples decide to end their marriages, very often the claws come out. Although lawyers advise their clients in British Columbia to disclose all their assets to their spouses in divorce situations, that isn't always what happens. It also doesn't mean that the person's former spouse will automatically get some of those hidden assets.
There are tax consequences associated with the end of a marriage. Some British Columbia couples are not prepared for the financial consequences after having made the decision to divorce and that may cause even more stress. According to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), a couple is considered to be separated if they have lived apart as a couple for at least 90 days and when separated the CRA will tax a resident as an individual.
Decades ago, no one ever talked about a couple splitting up. Divorce was like a bad word in the 1930s and 40s and only become somewhat acceptable socially moving into the 50s. But today, British Columbia couples who make the decision that their marriages are no longer working and choose to separate or divorce are actually celebrating their new-found freedoms with aplomb.
No one may be as affected by a marital split than a child. Divorce is usually a difficult process for a British Columbia couple to go through, but it may be even more so for their children. In fact, the fallout of divorce may create behaviours in a child that usually wouldn't be typical of him or her. It may be harder for a child to concentrate on tasks, may cause a child to fidget more or create hardship when needing to manage tasks -- especially at school.
Younger couples whose marriages end may have much with which to contend, and most of that may involve their young children. But that doesn't make divorce any less easy for older British Columbia couples whose children have left the nest. More couples in their 50s and beyond are choosing to divorce, but grey divorce can come with its own set of issues.
As with most things in life making the decision to end a marriage or a common law relationship may take some planning. British Columbia married couples who have made the decision to divorce may find it helpful to have a road map of some sort as they move ahead as single individuals. Having a checklist of the things that need to be done may help the divorce process to be less complicated and less time-consuming.
Bill C-78 recently received Royal Assent in the federal parliament. The bill -- which affects British Columbia residents in the throes of divorce as well as other couples in the country -- strengthens federal family laws and also brings them into the 21st century. These are the first changes made in 20 years to three major laws affecting families.