Ohh… the complexities of property division.
When you are separating, there are many things you will need to consider before you and your former partner go your separate ways. Whether or not you were legally married, you may need to divide your assets and debts that were accumulated during the relationship.
The ultimate goal of this process is to arrive at a mutually acceptable list of assets and debts that were accumulated during the relationship. A sample worksheet is included here if you wish to get started with your list. This process requires a great deal of documentation to be produced and exchanged with the other party.
Work together towards mutual agreement
If you are able to use the Collaborative Process or Mediation, we can assist parties to work together rather than against each other to complete this otherwise daunting and time-consuming task, creating one spreadsheet with values that are agreeable to both parties. Most parties can arrive at a complete spreadsheet within a couple months. Depending on how much preparation has been done by the parties prior to engaging our meeting-based services (gathering documents, arriving at mutually agreeable values), this process may take anywhere from one to five meetings.
This process of dividing your property can be extremely time-consuming if you and your former partner are working as opponents, or as adversaries. In the event that you must use two lawyers to negotiate your settlement, you may need to create two property spreadsheets with each party coming up with their own values, then having to reconcile each party’s numbers. This can take months or years, and may even require a trial to determine the outcome. Your lawyer will be able to discuss these options with you, and arrive at the most appropriate resolution process for your situation.
The Next Step – Getting Started
In order to get started, you will need to complete our Consultation Guide. Please bring this to your consultation as complete as possible. The more information you provide to your lawyer, the more complete advice we will be able to provide at an early stage. If you feel that certain portions of the questionnaire do not apply to you, or you have trouble completing certain sections, you may leave them blank. On the final page of the questionnaire there is a checklist of items that may be required in order to advise you; please start to gather these documents and bring as many of them to your consultation as possible.
At your consultation your lawyer will talk to you about any further information or documentation that will be required. As well, your consultation is designed to allow your lawyer to understand your situation further, and to ensure you understand your rights, obligations, and process choice options. At the conclusion of your consultation you will have the option of how and when you proceed. Some clients are ready to proceed immediately, and some need some time to think about their options and how they want to proceed, and some want the opportunity to speak with their former partner about the various options. You decide the timing. You and your lawyer will create an easily digestable action plan for the next step in your matter.
Please contact our office to schedule a consultation.