If you are beginning divorce proceedings, you may initially believe that using an online toolkit or navigating the process yourself will save time and money. However, understanding elements of family court can be complicated, and divorce can bring up unfamiliar legal issues. If you represent yourself, you risk drawing out the process and spending more money than needed.
Divorces can be emotional, and if you wish to safeguard your financial and legal interests, you should consider hiring a divorce lawyer in Winnipeg. If you unsure about how to navigate the legal system, don’t know your legal rights, obligations & options, if custody and access are in dispute, or if relations with your former partner are highly acrimonious, do consider hiring a divorce lawyer in Winnipeg.
Not Knowing How to Navigate the Legal System
Divorce can be a complex legal process and requires the proper preparation and filing of a variety of documents at various stages of the divorce. Most people are unprepared to take on the work and emotional toil associated with a divorce case, while a divorce lawyer will be able to approach your case with a clear mind and complete understanding of the law. A divorce lawyer is well-acquainted with the demands of different types of cases, and can handle all the filings for you, allowing you to continue your life as normally as possible.
A divorce lawyer can also assist with matters prior to the divorce, including drawing up a separation agreement, gathering appropriate evidence and financial statements, and beginning to create a child support agreement. A divorce lawyer can also suggest and execute legal options for the future, such as a future dispute resolution clause.
Not Knowing Your Legal Rights, Obligations & Options
As a divorce lawyer in Winnipeg is educated in the relevant laws, he or she will be able to examine your unique situation, explain your rights and obligations under the law, and the eligibility criteria you must meet to begin divorce proceedings. Your lawyer will also be able to explain if there are factors (e.g., unresolved property issues or support) that may affect your ability to be granted a divorce at this time.
By listening to your situation, your lawyer may also be able to provide you with options that you may not know you had. In D.R. v. L.N., 2000 MBQB 110 (CanLII), for example, the lawyer for the petitioner was able to secure a variation of a spousal support order that was nearly 20 years old. The petitioner had initially settled for an uncontested divorce with a spousal support order of $1.00 per year. However, after falling on hard times, including a battle with cancer that began pre-divorce, the judge found that there had been a material change in circumstances that warranted an increase of spousal support. This case involved a technical legal argument which would have been inaccessible to the average person without adequate representation.
If Custody & Access Of The Children Are In Dispute
One of the primary issues at stake for many divorcing couples is the care of children of the marriage. If you have children, your case may require orders related to child support, child custody, or visitation rights. These are all issues which are notoriously difficult to navigate, especially when the divorce is emotionally charged.
Consider the case of Knee v Knee, 2018 MBCA 20 (CanLII). In this case, custody of the couple’s 17-year old son was at issue. The issue had previously been before the court, and both parties appealed the decision. The father was represented by a divorce lawyer, and the mother was self-represented. Ultimately, the father’s appeal had more merit and the judge ordered the father to have primary custody. While there were a variety of issues at stake, the mother’s lack of legal counsel left her out of her depth in preparing for the case.
If Relations Are Highly Acrimonious
If you and your former partner are unable to communicate openly to reach an agreement, then hiring a lawyer is in your best interests. Involving a lawyer can help expedite the process and take some of the emotion out of the equation.
A divorce lawyer will be able to determine what aspects of the divorce are “musts” for you and can help facilitate compromise that would otherwise be extremely difficult.
Additionally, if your former partner has hired a lawyer, you should consider hiring your own legal representation. In many cases, self-represented parties are unprepared to negotiate with professionals, and this ends up drawing out an already difficult process and may put your interests at risk.
A divorce lawyer can also assist in securing legal protection for you if you have experienced abuse or violence from your former partner. Facing a former partner who has threatened you can be extremely daunting, and potentially dangerous. Let a professional advocate for what you are legally entitled to.
Learn More About Divorce From Cassidy Ramsay Barristers Notaries & Solicitors
Whether your case is ongoing, or you are just beginning to explore options related to divorce proceedings, our lawyers at Cassidy Ramsay have the experience to assist you. We can start the divorce process for you, identify and properly file paperwork related to your case, and guide you towards any reasonable settlement needed to help advance your interests. Contact us for your consultation. We are family law and divorce lawyers in Winnipeg, at 204-943-7454.