If you are thinking of divorce or separation and are worried about protection in case of litigation, it is essential that you have pre-divorce or pre-separation planning in place. The Edmonton family lawyers at Slaferek Callihoo can formulate a plan that will make you ready for divorce or separation in Alberta. Call us today to find out how we can save you money and unnecessary trouble.
What You Can Do About Family Finances:
Before a divorce.or separation. you can and should examine brokerage statements, property assessments, credit card statements, and monthly bank statements, while also keeping a copy safely stored for your own records. Our lawyers will keep these documents safe and use them to support any claims you will need to make during the process.
The financial difficulties surrounding separation.can be difficult. It can be very helpful to have cash stowed away or money transferred to traveller’s cheques so that you can remain afloat during a divorce. You should avoid debt and any unnecessary acquisitions such as boats or cars, and try to keep your assets liquid.
How You Should Handle Your Taxes
You should examine any tax returns that were filed by you or your spouse. If any items on the tax returns are suspect, make sure they are accounted for and noted. Make sure you examine anything that requires your signature and that you make copies of all tax returns over the last few years. It is very important that any taxes that are owed to the Federal Government or tax agencies are paid in full with no outstanding balances. If this is not possible, make sure you have a copy of any of these and any other outstanding balances.
How You Should Handle Assets
It is vital that you examine any credit cards in joint names and consider cancelling joint cards that could be used by your former partner to make large purchases without your consent. These non-essential shared accounts can cause unexpected financial damage. Make sure you do not sign anything, transfer money, or make a gift or marital assets in joint names.
To prepare properly, begin by making a full list of any and all assets that are in your or your spouse’s name. It will be necessary to understand the nature of any assets that were acquired before the marriage or during the marriage. Make notes of any assets that are held individually or jointly and how these assets were acquired, either by gift, through a third-party, or on your behalf. Make sure you make copies of these lists and all documents that provide values and details of assets and debts.
How You Should Handle Loans
To be prepared, it is essential that you make copies of all your mortgage applications, financial statements, and loan documents and keep them in a safe place. You must take stock of all your debts or other financial obligations, such as notes, mortgages, and credit cards, among others. For each loan or debt, you should make a note about why the debt was taken on and who has been making the monthly or yearly payments on those debts and when. If you will need transportation following the divorce, make sure a vehicle is both road-worthy and either in your name or shared jointly.
If you are working, plan to remain employed in order to solidify your finances for the future and to make any payments on outstanding debts on your house or car.
How You Should Handle Your Business (if it Applies to You)
You will gain great benefits by acquiring information on your spouse’s or partner’s business dealings. If you can gain access to business financial information, including loan applications, financial statements, bank documents, and tax returns, you will have a greater chance of success. Make copies of all of these documents and put them in a safe place or leave them with your lawyer.
How You Should Handle Pensions
It is vital that you have copies of your pension plans and those of your spouse. Collect all annual statements and try to discover when they vest and when the benefits become payable. Collect any plan booklets and the most recent contribution statements. These documents, including Canada Pension Plan statements, will serve you well when it comes time to file for divorce.
How You Should Handle Your Will or Trust
Any wills or trust agreements that have been used for estate planning should be copied and kept safe. Separate any inheritances from the marital estate and refrain from including joint names on any inheritance documents or using them to pay for expenses, debts, or purchases.
Do Not Move Out Of Your Home
Before moving from your home or other residence that you share with your partner, make sure to speak with your lawyer. Abruptly leaving the residence can make things more complicated with regards to your separation.
How You Should Handle Your Mail
Examine any mail that arrives and make notes on the senders and addresses on the envelopes. These may be clues to addresses of insurance companies, banks, revenue properties, stockbrokers, and credit issuers. Do not open any documents that are not addressed to you specifically and make copies of anything that is mailed to you personally.
It is also wise to change your personal address at the post office and to have your personal mail sent to another safe address. Do not change any of your jointly addressed mail.
How to Deal with Shared Insurance
You should try to obtain all insurance policies that relate to the shared residence and its assets and make copies of those documents. You should include all valuables such as technology, jewellery, and silverware, among other valued items. If any appraisals have been performed, try to obtain copies of those documents as well. All of these things will be helpful when filing for divorce in Alberta.
Hints and Tips In Preparing For Divorce:
How to Handle Signatures and Agreements
Refrain from signing any financial statements if they are blank or if you are unsure of their repercussions. Be aware of what you are involving yourself in and always keep copies of your documents.
How to Handle Medical and Dental Insurance
If you are considering filing for divorce, go and perform a complete medical and dental check-up in case you do not have insurance coverage immediately following the separation.
Professional Divorce & Separation Representation
It is vital that you have skilled legal advice and representation when life takes these turns. We can help you settle your separation matters out of court or we can handle your Divorce and Separation case if it does go to court. The lawyers at Slaferek Callihoo will make sure you get the outcome you deserve. Call us today to find out how we can help – 1-780-800-7620.