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Family law issues: Preparation for divorce key to success

January is widely regarded as "divorce month" by attorneys practicing in this field of law. However, many British Columbia residents considering divorce at the beginning of the year may fall short in the preparedness department, a move some family law commentators believe could lead to a longer, more contentious process. This is why, they say, it is important for couples to secure the appropriate support in preparing for a divorce. 

The good thing about January being a popular month to initiate divorce proceedings is that it gives both parties an opportunity to review their taxes. Since preparing for a divorce includes gathering important documents detailing assets, debts, expenses and income, tax time is a great time to begin collating this material. A solid understanding of each spouse's financial situation allows for an easier division of finances when the divorce goes through. 

Review of retirement and estate planning is also key during this time. Beneficiaries of life insurance policies, 401(k) and other investments often fall to the province of a spouse, but in the event of a divorce, the beneficiaries may need to be changed. While it is tempting to leave everything to children, it is important to ensure that all bases are covered before such a decision is made. 

Family law is a complicated field, exacerbated by the strong emotions that accompany many divorces. British Columbia residents seeking to end their marriages, either in January or elsewhere in the calendar year, may benefit from educating themselves as much as possible on their rights and responsibilities during the process. Seeking the support of an experienced attorney to aid in this process can help smooth the road to a quick and efficient divorce process. 

Source: The Huffington Post, "January: The Month for Divorce", Kathryn Dickerson, Jan. 13, 2017

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