The High Cost of Being ”Right” In a Family Law Matter

At the end of your relationship, you may experience conflict with your former spouse. This conflict will likely be escalated if the relationship did not end on good terms and if children, property, companies, and debt is involved. When children are involved, the parents frequently disagree with what is best for the children.

Parenting Arrangements

One parent may want to be the primary caregiver while the other wants shared parenting. The Mother and the Father may attack the other parents parenting abilities in support of their argument.

Child Support

The parent that has primary care of the children receives child support from the other parent. If the parents share parenting, both parents are required to pay child support to each other. The higher earning parent is required to pay the lower income parent child support (less the amount the lower income parent would need to pay). The Federal Child Support Guidelines set the amounts payable.

If one parent has a much higher than the other parent, this often leads to conflict. The lower income parent may claim spousal support from the other parent on a compensatory and/or non-compensatory basis. The parents may attack each other and the roles they played during their relationship to support their arguments.

If one parent has a company or self-employment income, allegations usually arise that the parent is “hiding income” to reduce their Guideline Income. The lower income parent may be accused of being underemployed or unemployed to try and get more financial support from the other parent. Often the lower income spouse will force both parents to spend thousands of dollars to fight for every penny they are “entitled” to although the amount is often insignificant compared to the legal fees to “fight” for it.

If property is involved, the parents may disagree on the best way to divide it. This often leads to increased lawyer involvement and quite often the equalization payment is insignificant compared to the legal fees to “fight” for it.

Unfortunately, in family law matters, spouses tend to act based on emotions instead of common sense. It often appears that parents would rather pay lawyers thousands of dollars to be “right” instead of compromising to be done with the drama.

If your relationship fails, you should get a lawyer if you have children or property. You should also be prepared to compromise and pick your battles. Whenever conflict arises, you ask yourself, “is it worth paying a lawyer $425 an hour to be right on this issue?”

Edmonton Family Network has connections to legal service providers and community support services. We help people discover great options for their situation. Email us to learn more.

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