Amber Heard and Johnny Depp made headlines around the world during their reportedly “Shockingly Ugly Divorce” proceedings involving allegations of spousal abuse, applications for restraining orders and allegations of abuse of process. While Heard alleged domestic violence on the part of Depp, Depp’s lawyer argued the abuse allegations arose for financial purposes. The case finally settled for $7 million in August 2016 with prejudice, meaning it cannot be re-filed at a later date and Heard withdrew her domestic violence restraining order petition against Depp in the process. With the holidays here already and Feburary around the corner, finalizing your separation or divorce before Valentines can save you time, money and emotional stress.
Separation or Divorce During the Holidays
As we all know from the annual changes to store displays, as soon as Thanksgiving is behind us, Halloween is here followed by the winter holidays and Valentine’s Day. With the holiday season approaching, if your relationship isn’t working, you should not wait when filing and finalizing your separation or divorce.
Resolving matters early on before relations worsen can help you avoid getting caught up in a bitter legal battle. Times are all the more stressful during the holidays. Valentine’s Day in February is no exception. If you two are still together at this time, this may be a tremendous source of stress and your domestic relations could worsen. Finalizing your separation or divorce before Valentines can save you time, money and emotional stress.
Yet, many couples decide to stay together in uncomfortable situations to hide their situation from friends and family. It’s best not to put yourself through this pain any longer and seek help from the compassionate divorce and family lawyers in Barrie at Epstein & Associates.
Costs of Delay
Prolonging a divorce either before or after commencing legal proceedings can be costly and detrimental to children and loved ones. Ms. Coe and Mr. Tope discovered this the hard way during their divorce proceedings Coe v. Tope, 2014 ONSC 4002 (CanLII).
Ms. Coe and Mr. Tope separated within their jointly owned matrimonial home on July 19, 2013. They remained separate and apart under the same roof for almost a year without taking any steps toward formalizing this disintegration of their marriage. The parties waited a long time to retain counsel: Ms. Coe until March 2014 and Mr. Tope until April 2014.
On April 15, 2014 they accepted an offer for the sale of their Dundas, Ontario home. At that point – nine months after deciding to separate – they still hadn’t resolved parenting arrangements upon physical separation.
As the June 26, 2014 closing date for the sale of the home approached, suddenly custody issues became urgent and the mother brought an application. The parties were in and out of court three times in the same week. The parties had delayed and procrastinated, creating a crisis situation. To make matters worse, the proceedings turned increasingly nasty. The court addressed these concerns:
“These and other allegations raised by the parties are all relevant – or at least have the potential of being relevant, once the court is in a position to make factual determinations. But none of the allegations rise to the level of compelling the court to conclude that these children currently need to be protected from either parent.”
After all of these allegations and the back and forth, the court ultimately determined:
“The parties shall share equal time and equal residency of the children…exchanges shall occur at neutral locations such as school or daycare, to minimize direct interaction between the parties at exchange times…Each party shall assume responsibility and decision-making authority for the children during times when the children are in their care”.
In many situations, failing to raise concerns and get legal help right away can later worsen your legal position. Acting without the benefit of legal advice can also be to your detriment. For example, if you move out of the matrimonial home without your children, the move may impact your ability to possess the home or gain custody of your children. If living with your spouse until matters are settled is untenable, you also can face serious consequences if you pick up your children and flee. An experienced legal counsel will best advise you on what to do and what not to do during a separation or divorce.
Contact Epstein & Associates, Divorce Lawyers in Barrie, Richmond Hill and Newmarket
If you are experiencing marital difficulties and are considering divorce, do not delay retaining counsel and obtaining legal advice on your rights and obligations. You should not endure pain any longer as your unhappiness could impact your children as well. Start by getting a free initial consultation from the compassionate divorce and family lawyers in Newmarket, who can advise you of your rights. Contact Epstein & Associates Barristers & Solicitors at 1-866-463-2266.