Who Keeps the Engagement Ring If You Split up Before Marriage?

Who Keeps the Engagement Ring If You Split up Before Marriage?

Not all relationships are meant to last. If a relationship is going to end, it is better for it to end before marriage than after. In cases where a couple is engaged and the wedding is called off, a practical concern can arise, what happens to the ring?

 

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Wondering If You Can Legally Separate Without a Messy Court Battle? Consider Collaborative Family Law

Wondering If You Can Legally Separate Without a Messy Court Battle? Consider Collaborative Family Law

It is perhaps a bit obvious to say that divorces can be messy and that many families struggle to pick up the pieces after a nasty separation. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

When people use court to resolve their disputes they are relying on a stranger, the judge to make major decisions about their life. In a family law context this means a judge can decide when and where you will see your children, how much money flows to or from your spouse, where you can live and even what happens to your house.

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Date of Separation – What does it mean?

Date of Separation – What does it mean?

In most cases, people can agree on the date of separation. When my clients ask me how to decide when they were separated I ask them when they stopped acting like a married couple. There is no one thing that marks a separation definitively (although one person moving out is usually a pretty good indication).

 

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Everything You Should Know About 'Closing Costs'

Everything You Should Know About 'Closing Costs'

We've all heard the term "closing costs", have you been provided with an explanation of what that really means. I've outlined below things that constitute closing costs for both a sale, and a purchase. It is important to understand closing costs for a purchase do not come out of your mortgage funds. You will have to come up with this amount before the transaction closes. For a sale the closing costs would come off of the top of the sale price.

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Why is my Date of Separation Important?

Why is my Date of Separation Important?

In family law, the date of separation is a very significant date for two reasons. Most of the time, a couple will not be granted a divorce until they have been separated for one year. The other reason is that the debts and asset of a divorcing couple are generally divided based on the value they had on the date of separation.

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Should I Adopt my Step Child?

Should I Adopt my Step Child?

Non-traditional or “blended” families are becoming more and more common in Canadian society. One aspect of this movement is step-child adoption. Before deciding to adopt, it is a good idea to consider meeting with a therapist or a counsellor. In the rush of happiness about your new family it may appear there is no downside to adoption, but this is a big step to take with permanent effects. A counsellor can help you decide if adoption is right for you and the child.

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Making it worse – why you shouldn’t use social media to complain about your ex

Making it worse – why you shouldn’t use social media to complain about your ex

During a meeting last week, a senior family lawyer with over 25 years of experience told me that he tells clients involved in high conflict cases to delete all their social media accounts.  There can be a strong temptation to let the world know just how awful your ex is. This same senior lawyer also said, “people think if they post negative comments about their ex that everyone will agree and take their side.” It is a good idea not to post  anything to social media when you are upset. There is plenty of good research that says we do not make good decisions when we are emotionally charged, and once a post has been sent, there is no taking it back.

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How to Save Money during a Divorce

How to Save Money during a Divorce

Divorces and separations can be very expensive. During a separation, families may face new expenses for custody and access visits, outfitting a new apartment with furniture. Now add to that legal fees and court costs and it can be a very challenging time financially. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to reduce you expenses.

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Navigating the Unchartered Waters of Modern Families

Navigating the Unchartered Waters of Modern Families

 

A couple of recent news stories have highlighted the way that science, society, and the legal system are changing the definition of what it means to be a family. Just ask Natasha Bakht and Lynda Collins. Ms. Bakht and gave birth to her son, Elaan, seven years ago after using a sperm donor to get pregnant. From the moment Elaan was born, Ms. Collins was there for the family, eating meals, attending appointments, even joining them on holidays. Both women felt Ms. Collins had become a second momma to Elaan. But since they were not a romantic couple, it was not easy to for Ms. Collins to become Elaan’s adoptive parent.

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When all is not Merry & Bright

When all is not Merry & Bright

There is a stereotype in our North American Society that everyone should be happy and joyous during the Holiday Season.  Unfortunately, this is often not the case for many people. The extra stresses during this time of year can often bring negative emotions to the forefront.  If you are feeling extra stressed or depressed during this holiday season; step back and ask yourself why.  Are the stresses coming from inside you, or are they external to you and beyond your control. The Public Health Agency of Canada has published a helpful article entitled Managing Holiday Stress http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/stress-eng.php which lists signs of depression and suggestions to cope with these holiday stresses.

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