Having full financial disclosure is the baseline for negotiation of most domestic contracts. Financial issues that could pertain to support, property and succession are contained within them. All too often, a client provides counsel with a draft separation agreement, provided by the opposing side, that lacks full financial disclosure, expecting that turnaround can be achieved

In our profession, we often meet people after they’ve made a life-changing decision. Often, the individual does not realize the legal implications of their actions.  In this blog, I will discuss the ‘what ifs’ and provide an outline of the ‘rules’ that go along with major life decisions.

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 1) If my child(ren) live 50/50 with each parent, there is no obligation to pay support

This may be true but is likely not. If child(ren) spend more than 40% of their time at each parent’s home, this is referred to as shared parenting. In these circumstances child support can be different than the child support guidelines. The first step in determining child support obligations in a shared parenting arrangement is to determine each parent’s income for support purposes and determine their child support obligation in accordance with the Child Support Guidelines.

The second step is to determine the ‘set-off’ amount of child support. This is determined by deducting the lower support payment from the higher payment. For example:


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Parental Alienation is harmful to children. The negative impact of alienation may include depression, substance abuse, low self-esteem, self-hatred, guilt, poor interpersonal relationships, distorted view of reality, and self-doubt.

Most of my clients don’t realize how harmful it is to the child’s development to try to separate the child from the other parent during your access time. The child should not have to hide the fact that they may wish to speak to their mom during your access time or that having a picture of their mom by their bedside might help them fall asleep. It is not healthy for the child to simply erase the mom during their time at your home. Similarly, mom should not try to erase you from the child’s life. You should be invited to watch the child’s extra-curricular activities. Mom should let the child have a picture of you to look at when they are feeling lonely about not being with you. Mom should let the child speak freely to you on the phone at their own initiative. Mom should share all information with you about the child’s progress in school and about significant events, good or bad.


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I’m surprised at the number of married clients who tell me they either haven’t been involved in the family finances, or they don’t know what their spouse owns.  In many of these cases, their partner was secretive, or dismissive or evasive when faced with questions about the family, the business or their own finances.

Money problems are at the root of many separations I’ve seen.  Even if it wasn’t the primary cause, conflict over money often plays an essential role in arguments and builds the level of distrust, leading a couple to decide to separate.  So, it’s no surprise when money struggles plague the separation process.


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What is Financial Disclosure?

Are contemplating a separation or divorce? One of the most important procedural steps you can anticipate is the exchange of full and frank financial disclosure. Family law legislation requires both parties to have sworn financial statements including supporting documentation. The forms needed for this process depend on whether the resolution of issues includes both property and support considerations, or just support.


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Are Limited Scope Retainers Right for Everyone?

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You may feel that you have a strong case. Feeling that you have a good case is different than proving that you have a good one. Remember you need to be realistic. I can provide you with a professional outlook on your case. When you hire me under a limited scope retainer, I can do certain parts of your case while you handle other responsibilities. Whether you’re going through a divorce or separation, I can make the process as quick and painless as possible.


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