When couples decide to separate, there are many things that may need to be sorted out and it can become overwhelming at times. Among other things, property needs to be divided, the children need to know what their new schedule will be, and support arrangements needs to be determined. All of this takes a lot of work and can take quite a bit of time to resolve. While dealing with these substantively larger issues, there are some smaller post-separation considerations to keep in mind that go a long way:
- Do you need to make any changes to your powers of attorney? This is particularly the case if your spouse or a family member of your spouse is currently named as a power of attorney for your property and/or personal case and if this makes you at all uncomfortable or uneasy, consider changing these instruments.
- Do you need to make any changes to your Will? You will need to do a new Will after you sign a separation agreement. However, in rare circumstances, a spouse could pass away during the negotiations and the other spouse will benefit under the existing Will. Keep in mind that if a Will does not provide the spouse with a benefit equal to what he/she would receive under the Family Law Act, the Will can be challenged.
- Is it feasible to pay off and close down or establish a reduced limit on joint debts? If so, this will knock one thing off the “to-do” list and give each spouse the comfort of knowing the other spouse will not be able to run up any post-separation debt on a joint line of credit or credit card. Although there are ways to account for post-separation expenses if needed, avoid this exercise whenever possible.
If you are considering separation or if you are in the process of separation, please free to reach out to us at Paul Family Law/Oakville Mediation for information about our family dispute resolution services. We are here to help.