During a divorce: 5 essential things a lawyer can do for you

February 6, 2014

Divorce is always difficult and emotions can run high. To help defend your rights and interests, here are five essential things a lawyer can do to help make it easier.

During a divorce: 5 essential things a lawyer can do for you

Is this lawyer right for me?

Before anything else, you must ask yourself if you feel comfortable with the lawyer you’ve just met. Would you entrust your divorce proceedings to him or her? The answer has to be yes. If it is not, you need to continue shopping around. When you are talking to lawyers, check for certain information.

  • How long has this lawyer been in practice?
  • Does he or she help with divorce or common-law separations?
  • Will she have the time, energy and resources required to process my application?

For an amicable divorce

If it is an amicable divorce, you can both use the same lawyer. He or she will draft the appropriate legal and administrative documents for your application. The lawyer will also follow up with the court.


If you are unable to agree with certain terms of your divorce, you may prefer to use the services of a mediator, although it is not mandatory.

  • The mediator, who may be a lawyer or a social worker, should know how to help with divorce issues that pertain to finances, property distribution and child custody.
  • A mediator is not there to give legal advice but to help you find common ground.

What can a lawyer do for me?

If you're looking for help with divorce questions or difficulties, a lawyer can prepare you to deal with any issues that apply to your situation, especially these five:

  1. Establish who will have custody of the children. Do you prefer joint custody? What about visitation rights? The court's decision will be based on common sense and the interests of the children, not necessarily on what the parents prefer.
  2. Figure out child support payments. The amount will be calculated according to the parents' income, custody arrangements and certain expenses. Laws vary from province to province, but generally speaking, you have to have been legally married in order to receive spousal support. Your lawyer will be able to give you all the necessary information about this.
  3. Help you divide things up amicably. During amicable divorce proceedings, or after mediation, property is usually divided equally.
  4. Determine if one spouse will buy the other’s share of a home or cottage. Will you have to sell because it’s not possible for either of you to buy the other out? The rules of property division can be complex. Again, your lawyer can give you all the help you need in this aspect of your divorce.
  5. Fairly distribute pension funds and RRSPs. These, too, may also be divided between the spouses. As every law has its own wording and objectives, it is necessary to refer to the text of the specific law. In other words, each case is judged on an individual basis.

Consider allowing a legal professional to help you through your divorce, while you take care of yourself during this difficult time.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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