The Separating Fathers Guide

Top 8 Keys for Success as a Divorced Dad
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The course helps participants make positive decisions about the way they resolve parenting issues after separation. This online course provides information and strategies to help separating parents make positive decisions about parenting arrangements, child support, spousal support and property division. The focus is on information, building financial skills and increasing awareness of options for dealing with the financial challenges of parenting after separation.

How you deal with this crucial step will have a great impact on how your children adapt to this change in their lives.

Being a dad

Child support is the money one parent pays the other for the financial support of their child or children. Separation and divorce have a profound impact on all family members. Loss of security is often coupled with intense feelings of grief. The stress can be overwhelming for kids, teens and parents.

Advice For Dads After Separation

This website can help. Take absolutely no chances that someone may lose it and grab a gun. Get emotional counseling if you need it. There is no stigma attached to getting help for the stress and the anxiety depression that almost everyone experiences during the ordeal of a high-conflict divorce. Have your family doctor recommend a psychiatrist - covered under provincial health plans in Canada psychologists and social workers are not usually covered - or check your employment health benefits to see if referral to a counselor is available to employees. Transfer all money from joint spousal accounts to your own sole accounts.

If you don't, chances are that she will clean out the accounts before you do. Have your spouse's name removed from all joint credit cards for which you are responsible, get her spousal cards from her and destroy them. Engage legal counsel sooner rather than later. For your first meeting with him be prepared with a written outline of the issues of your case. Go to all meetings with your lawyer with a written agenda, and with all issues, questions, etc.

Write down all responses and action items. Be prepared to do any legwork for him that you can document searches, brief preparations, etc. Use his time wisely. The meter is ticking all the while you are sitting in meetings with him or consulting on the phone. Start and maintain in chronological order a comprehensive and well-organized file of ALL documents, memos, letters, briefings, affidavits pertinent to your case.

Your file is critical for referring to past actions, issues, details. Court actions.

Support for you

If you persist in forcing them to allow you to represent yourself, her lawyer and the judge will take you apart. Consult with and rely on your lawyer for the timing and the appropriateness of court actions. It may be in your best interests to get to court first with a petition or motion to be the "petitioner" ; or the other side may move quickly and make you the "respondent" to a court action. Your lawyer should know what strategies are best. Assist him as much as you can with written briefs for the affidavits, financial statements, etc.

Start, and maintain, throughout the duration of your case, a daily journal of all activities relative to your interaction with your spouse and the children.

Memory is a faulty faculty. Being able to go to your journal to find the unfiltered facts regarding events that were written at the time of occurrence can be a critical asset. Micro-manage your money. Legal fees and, inevitably, support payments will be major financial hurdles you will have to deal with. Go on an austerity budget. When you finally physically separate, you should be aware that you may be primarily responsible for financing two households. Start a war chest of any and all money you can squirrel away.

Be prepared for the "equalization of family assets". That is, in general: she gets half the proceeds of the sale of the house and properties, half the RRSP savings, half the investments, half the family liquid assets, half your employment pension, half the value of all vehicles and half the furnishings, etc. A note about the "separation date": This is a critical date for figuring out the equalization of assets. In general, you both keep whatever assets you brought to the marriage. The separation date is typically the date that one of you leaves the matrimonial home.

The status of that date may change if the one who left returns for any amount of time. A separation date may be established while you are still together. Usually, it's the date that you stop sleeping together in the same room, but may require the added proviso that you have stopped doing things together as a family. Be prepared to not get any form of custody of your children.

Therefore 'in the best interests of the children', the primary caretaker of the children guess who? There are cases of enlightened judges granting joint custody when there is a dispute, however, it is a very rare exception. Be prepared to pay child support. Because you will not get joint custody of your children in a contested case, you will automatically be ordered to pay full child support for all children of the marriage, common-law relationship or proven paternity situation.

The support order in Canada is based solely on your gross income and the number of your children relative to tables provided by the government. And it will be enforced by the enforcement branch of your provincial government if you default on payments. Once the order is registered, the support amount will be automatically collected from you by a government agency and paid to your ex -- unless you both agree to opt out of the plan and make arrangements for you to pay her directly. You may also be liable for a percentage of childcare expenses, based on the inequity of your salaries, if your ex is gainfully employed.

And you are liable for other "reasonable" extra expenses, i.

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Be prepared to pay spousal support. If your wife is a homemaker, you will be required to pay "spousal support" until such time as she can become gainfully employed. In some cases, where the wife has never worked and is at home with small children, you may be liable for spousal support for quite some time. If your wife is a part-time employee or "under-employed" you may be required to provide an equalizing amount of support relative to your income and hers.

Support for you

A separation can be a difficult time for everyone involved, but even more so when there are children in the picture. After family breakdown, reaching agreement about children can be difficult. This can include issues such as where the children will live, how often the children will see the other parent, child maintenance, schooling and education. Children who fare best after divorce are those who see their fathers most often; it usually reflects a relatively harmonious relationship between parents. For a free conversation today, why not contact one of our supporters?

The fact that women, typically, make less money than men means there may be an equalization of income by way of spousal support. There are no tables for spousal support. The lawyers and the judge will work out an amount and you will be ordered to pay it. Pay your support orders when humanly possible. You have an obligation to financially support your children even if you believe the order for support was unreasonably arrived at.

If you do not pay your support, the money will be garnisheed from your wages at source and your savings and RRSPs, etc.

You will get yourself into very serious financial straits if you let the ordered amounts accumulate over the years. And you will be hounded forever by the enforcement office. If your income declines, go back to court and petition for a reduction in support. But pay the support as ordered until you get the amount reduced. Do not withhold child support if your spouse is interfering with your time with the children. The courts treat child support and access as two completely separate issues.

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And they are. They are all dedicated to supporting families by helping them to make the best choices. Please leave this field empty. Are you looking for guidance on a particular issue? You will find answers to many frequently asked questions here. Do you need help finding an experienced family lawyer or mediator?