If you have been thinking seriously about filing for divorce, you know that your marriage has been in serious trouble for some time. Conversely, if your spouse has blindsided you by asking for a divorce when you thought your relationship was not in jeopardy, or that you were both equally committed to working through your marital problems, you may feel as though the ground is crumbling under your feet.
Our Toronto divorce lawyer, Paul Riley, knows how difficult ending a marriage can be. Many divorcing spouses are emotionally devastated and are subsequently ill-prepared to make decisions which will affect the rest of their lives. That is where Paul Riley comes in to help you make wise decisions during your divorce.
Divorcing spouses can generally pursue two types of divorce in Toronto. If you and your spouse agree on all outstanding marital issues, you can formalize the terms in a written marital settlement agreement and proceed with an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce typically saves time, reduces conflict between parties, and costs significantly less than a contested divorce.
If any marital issues are disputed, the divorce is considered contested. Contested divorces require a judge to decide all unresolved matters and tend to be more contentious, expensive, and take longer to conclude. Divorcing spouses might disagree on issues related to:
If your divorce is amicable, Paul Riley could work swiftly to ensure an expeditious resolution. If your divorce is contentious, we will prepare you for litigation and trial. Regardless of how your case is going, a well-versed divorce lawyer in Toronto could help:
Among the most challenging issues you and your spouse will face during your divorce is the division of your assets. Any assets that you or your spouse acquired during your marriage would be considered part of the martial estate and subject to division upon divorce. Common examples of assets belonging to the marital estate include:
Otherwise, assets acquired before marriage or via inheritance or gift would be considered separate property and would not be subject to division in a divorce.
You and your spouse can rely on a previously agreed-upon marital contract to dictate which assets will be divided and which will remain under separate ownership. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements allow spouses to plan ahead for a potential future divorce and give them more control over the outcome, as family law judges must defer to signed marital contracts that are fair to both spouses.
To commence a divorce, you must file an Application for Divorce along with a verified financial statement. The divorce application should contain your divorce claims, including the relief you are seeking from the court. You may then hire a process server to deliver the divorce paperwork to your spouse.
Upon receipt of the divorce paperwork, your spouse has 30 days to answer the divorce application. If they do not respond, a judge could grant your requests for relief without a contested hearing.
If your spouse does submit a response, the case proceeds to an informal conference overseen by a judge. The court will assist you in resolving your disputes, if possible. During this stage of the divorce proceeding, known as the discovery process, you and your spouse can also exchange financial and other information relevant to your divorce.
Toronto divorce lawyer Paul Riley works with a team of financial professionals – including forensic accountants, business and pension valuators, real estate and art appraisers, and economists – to assist divorcing spouses with complex financial situations. He could help you gather the information you need to effectively resolve your divorce.
If you and your spouse cannot settle your case, you must attend a divorce trial. It is highly advantageous to attend court with experienced legal representation. A well-versed divorce lawyer would be prepared to present evidence and financial information in a way that bolsters your interests. After considering all evidence, a judge will render a decision on all outstanding issues and grant a final divorce.
Although there are almost always issues to work through, divorce does not have to destroy your finances, your children’s lives, or your ability to trust and move on. Though it’s the end of your marriage, divorce can also be a fresh start, allowing you to move on freely to the next chapter in your life.
Once you have made the final decision to divorce, you want the process to run smoothly and quickly, giving you the opportunity to start over without needless and excessive delays. Paul Riley knows what role he needs to play in your case to move it forward as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Our Toronto divorce lawyer is committed to helping you successfully navigate the minefields of marriage dissolution by protecting you and your children and minimizing your legal and financial risks as you move on with your life. Call today to get started.
Now you can have your FREE 30-Minute Consultation with Paul Riley any time from the comfort of your own home. With free video calls from Zoom, your Team at The Riley Divorce & Family Law Firm can meet with you virtually, and learn about your case. All you need is a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop with a built-in camera and microphone.
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