Calgary Divorce with Criminal Element Makes Headlines
December 28, 2015
Even though divorces in Calgary have to overseen and approved by a judge in a court of law, they don't typically involve criminal law or any part of our criminal justice system—divorces are civil matters, involved with determining and implementing fair outcomes over financial arrangements (as well as child custody, in relevant cases), rather than concerned with finding fault or punishing anyone.
Because of this, it isn't often that you hear of criminal charges having an impact on a Calgary divorce proceeding; for criminal charges to arise out of a divorce case is even more rare. Yet the interactions between one Calgary resident and his spouse's divorce lawyer involved both existing criminal charges and led to new ones, while providing several useful lessons to others in Calgary going through a divorce.
A Pending Divorce Does Not Absolve You of Responsibility
When financial disputes arise during the divorce process, some Calgary residents think it's alright for them to stop paying certain financial obligations, such as a mortgage on a home they no longer occupy or a credit card bill they're expecting to be moved out of their name. Until the divorce and all financial movements are finalized, your obligations don't change, and in fact failing to meet those obligations can hurt your divorce case.
Keep paying your bills, and keep detailed and accurate records. Talk to your Calgary divorce lawyer about your concerns, and they can help you determine if and when it's appropriate to stop making payments, remove your name from accounts, and take other steps towards financial independence.
Alternative Dispute Resolution is Preferred in Calgary Divorces for a Reason
Divorces that end up being battled out in the Calgary courts take much longer and are much more expensive, generally speaking, than divorces that can be settled through alternative dispute resolution or ADR. Cases like this, where criminal charges were actually brought against a spouse for the level of aggression and uncooperativeness displayed, are an extreme example of why an amicable meeting of the minds is best.
Failing to come to a reasonable agreement only drags the process out, harming both parties in the process (and often harming the more demanding party even more). It leads to more emotional stress and poorer financial outcomes. There are cases where ADR simply isn't a viable option, but it should almost always be considered and attempted openly and earnestly before it is rejected.
It's Always Best to Work With a Calgary Divorce Lawyer You Trust
The reason this Calgary divorce resulted in criminal charges is simple: the accused tried communicating directly with his ex-spouse's divorce lawyer, rather than working with his own trusted legal advisor. While this is not illegal in and of itself, what the accused ended up saying in his communications was determined by a Calgary judge to be obstruction of justice—a fact that a lawyer could have warned him about.
This is, again, an extreme example of why working with an experienced Calgary divorce lawyer is important, but it's illustrative of the general principle: divorce lawyers work with the same set of laws every day, and understand these laws better than their clients. Your divorce will proceed much easier and much more successfully when you have professional legal advice in your corner.
If you need help with your Calgary divorce, please contact our law office today.
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