How to Get a Divorce in Ontario – What to Expect if You Are Thinking of Divorcing

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The problems that led to the separation don’t go away after separation.

Communication challenges with your co-parent increase, not decrease, after separation.

Thinking of divorcing? Think twice. People should beware of any romantic notion they have about improving their lives by getting divorced. While they have a feeling that the legal separation process may not be easy, they believe that the legal system will fix their problems and that Ontario divorce laws will finally make their spouse behave properly. And, they often think that getting rid of their spouse will set the stage for happiness and a great relationship with someone else.

Think again. The problems that made you want to run away from your spouse will still be there after separation. These problems frequently become even bigger after separation because what little goodwill that was present because you both lived together is no longer there.

People also have the notion that their family lawyer will be the guardian of their well-being and will encourage them to take the appropriate actions along the way. What they forget is that lawyers are trained and required to take instructions from their clients, not the other way around.  And, if a client instructs their lawyer from a place of anger, fear, insecurity or revenge, the chances are good that any recovery from the separation will take even longer.

As a family lawyer, I want to let you know the reality. Ontario divorce laws are not designed to take into account the complex emotional and practical needs of families and children. You need to be the guardian of your own welfare because chances are no one else will do that for you, sometimes not even your own family lawyer.  And chances are you will not be happy to discover how the Ontario divorce laws apply to you.

If you are thinking of divorcing, setting proper expectations and addressing the feelings of resentment and hurt that are often present at the time of separation is the access to creating a powerful post-separation family.

Separating from a place of anger, resentment, hurt or revenge will keep you stuck in the unresolved issues of the past – you can’t run away from them. On the other hand, resolving these thoughts and feelings enable spouses and their children to create a new and better future for their family; a future in which each member of the family is empowered, successful and thriving.


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