What To Do Before Filing For Divorce

What To Do Before Filing For Divorce

Filing for divorce or separation is a last-recourse solution to redress the emotional or financial woes caused by a dysfunctional marriage. The law rarely makes the dissolution of a marriage a simple process, so you must be fully prepared for it by the time you are serving your spouse the divorce papers.

Failing to lay the groundwork for a divorce can result in a drawn-out, contentious process that will cost you more time and money. Once you decide to pursue a divorce, choose your attorneys well, and have an answer for every situation that could arise, and you will contribute to settling your divorce as quickly and amicably as possible.

Ellis Legal Group understands the emotional toll that divorce takes on you and your spouse. That is why we stress the importance of making the correct preparations before filing for divorce. Setting the stage is already half the battle won. If you want to explore divorce as a last resort or how to better prepare for it in greater depth, call up one of our family lawyers at 403-879-1635 or fill out the online contact form.

Your Divorce Preparation Checklist

If you are committed to dissolving your marriage, you should know what it can entail. Not doing your due diligence can leave you blindsided in front of the judge. In fact, you should probably have a well-defined endgame in mind before you even file for divorce.

This checklist should help you make the necessary preparations for a successful divorce:

  • Make sure you are comfortable with your family lawyer: Synergy with your family lawyer can play an important role in maximizing the chances of a favourable outcome for your divorce. If you keep your lawyer at arm’s length, communication can break down. You do not want your lawyer to be working on your case when they are not on the same page as you. Experience matters too. If your case is complex, you should seek an experienced family lawyer—not the one offering their services at the lowest price point. If you are finding yourself second-guessing your lawyer, go with another one. You will need someone whom you can trust 100% for this ordeal.
  • Your financial documents must be in order: Most of your financial documents, including your account records, mortgages, and car payments, will be inspected during the divorce process. Prior to filing for divorce, make sure that you have copies of your finances. The outcome of the divorce may be negatively affected if your spouse decides to withhold this kind of information. If you and your spouse are on cordial terms, having your finances laid out can also help with equitable distribution of assets.
  • Think about custody: If you have children, you will likely have to share or split custody with your spouse. To minimize complications and lessen the anxiety you are forcing on your children, try to agree on an arrangement with your spouse before going to court. Establishing custody with your spouse in advance will make the divorce process much smoother.
  • Make necessary purchases or sales in advance: When you enter a divorce, you and your spouse are no longer permitted to buy, sell, or dispose of marital property. Think carefully about buying a new car or selling your home when you are about to enter a divorce. The court could view this action as a deliberate attempt to drain your bank accounts and punish you for it. If you plan to complete such a transaction anyway, make sure you can convince the court that you would have done so regardless of the divorce.
  • Where you live matters: Divorce often entails one of the spouses moving out of the home. Depending on your situation, the person who has to move out may or may not be you. At any rate, this has to be made abundantly clear to your lawyer and your spouse. If you plan to reside in your home at the expense of your spouse, for instance, you and your lawyer will have to make a case for that. The sooner you figure out your desired living situation, the sooner you and your lawyer can get to work to make it happen.
  • Protect your bank accounts: Let your lawyer know if you have joint bank accounts with your spouse. Contingent on your relationship with your spouse, your lawyer may advise you to close them. You do not want to deal with the risk of your spouse retaliating against you by emptying your finances.
  • Set up an emotional support network: Divorce is more than who gets what and how much spousal support you should pay or receive. Emotional well-being is at stake, too. Surround yourself with people committed to help you through this difficult time, including therapists and mental health coaches.

Do Your Homework Before Filing For Divorce

Divorce is never easy and always complicated. But if you choose to proceed with the divorce, you should prepare for everything that the process entails. This includes gathering your financial documents, arranging for custody, making your financial moves in advance, protecting your bank accounts, and setting up a support network. Having your act together will help you land on your desired settlement.

Choose Ellis Legal Group to make your divorce as painless as possible. Our preference for mutually agreed settlements minimizes trauma and distress for everybody involved, including children and elders. For us, divorce is not an end; it is the beginning of a healing process that leaves all family members reinvigorated for their next chapter in life. Call 403-879-1635 or fill out the online contact form to let us guide you through this difficult journey.


Q: Can I get a divorce If I was not married in Canada?
A: Yes. You still can get a divorce in Canada as long as you or your spouse has lived here for a year.

Q: What are acceptable reasons for a divorce?
A: To be eligible for divorce in Canada, you only need to prove that your marriage has broken down. This includes having lived separately for at least a year, adultery, and physical or emotional abuse.

Q: Am I automatically divorced if I have been living alone for a long time?
A: No. While living separately for a year is ground for divorce, you still need to go through the legal process.

Our Practice is Dedicated to Family Law

Our Practice is Dedicated to Family Law

Let us be your greatest asset during times of family transition. Ellis Legal Group takes a client-centered approach by educating our clients on family law, guiding you through a range of legal options, and customizing solutions to meet your unique needs. Being client-centered also means we do everything in a caring and supportive manner and with the utmost professionalism and integrity. Serving Calgary, Okotoks and surrounding areas.

Get Started Today With a Free Consultation

Divorce, separation, entering a marriage or common-law relationship, and planning your estate are significant, and sometimes traumatic, life transitions. Let us provide you with the information and support you need to plan for your best future. 

Call us at (403) 879-1635 and book your free consultation today.

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