Mistakes To Avoid In A Divorce Or Separation

First thing, don’t brag about what type of money you make.

When you brag about how much money you make, it is going to come back to haunt you. Once you have separated and you tell your spouse you really don’t make that much, they are going to have a difficult time swallowing that pill. So, the best thing to do is to not brag. Always tell your spouse that your income is what is stated on your tax return.

The second mistake is exaggerating income on a credit application.
Somebody decides, oh, it would be nice, I have worked hard, I want to get an expensive car, but if I put down what my income really is, then I am not going to qualify for my lease. So, they lie about it. If you are acting for the other spouse, you are not going to say that they lied, you are going to say that what was put on the lease application is probably an accurate reflection of their true income. And the court may very well accept that. It is very important to be consistent and tell the truth at all times. Do not exaggerate with respect to your income.

Another big mistake that people make during the course of litigation is they desperately want to buy a new house.
We tell every client don’t buy until there is a deal and you know that you have the money that you need to buy it. Some people won’t listen and they go buy a home and then they put themselves at a real disadvantage with the respect to the negotiation of a resolution. Once the other spouse finds out that they are obligated to come up with “x” amount of dollars on a certain date to close a purchase, they are going to use that to their advantage in the negotiation process and will get themselves a better deal.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is what they do with an inheritance or a large gift.
When people receive a large inheritance, they usually want to use those funds to pay down a mortgage or do some renovations on their home. What they do not appreciate is that the moment that the inheritance is invested in the matrimonial home or the moment that inheritance is spent, that money will now be shared with their spouse. In other words, if somebody has a $200,000 inheritance and they run and pay off their mortgage, that inheritance will now be shared with their spouse.

What they should have done is not pay off the mortgage and put that money into a separate investment account in their name alone. They need to make sure that they can trace that money right up to the date of separation without mixing it up with any other money. If they want to pay off the mortgage, then they should get a marriage contract to deal with that issue.

If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with family law issues in York Region, Durham Region or Toronto, contact Feldstein Family Law Group for a consultation.

This article is taken from a July, 2008 interview with Andrew Feldstein, Family Lawyer with Feldstein Family Law Group, a Toronto Ontario Family Law Firm. Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.