Should You Tell Your Lawyer if You Get Back Together With Your Ex?

Should you tell your lawyer if you get back together with your ex?

Short answer: YES

Your lawyer is your advocate. If you do not feel comfortable keeping your lawyer in the loop about a big decision like reconciliation with your ex, then you hired the wrong lawyer. Not sharing this type of information can breakdown your client-solicitor relationship. First, it shows that you do not fully trust your lawyer or value the advice of your lawyer. Your lawyer is hired to advocate for you and look for out for your best interest. Second, your lawyer has to sign a certificate acknowledging that he or she will have the “section 7.7 talk” with you about your options if you want to work things out with your spouse.

What is the “Section 7.7” Talk?

The Divorce Act (Canada) states at 7.7 the following:

7.7 (1) Unless the circumstances of the case are of such a nature that it would clearly not be appropriate to do so, it is the duty of every legal adviser who undertakes to act on a spouse’s behalf in a divorce proceeding

(a) to draw to the attention of the spouse the provisions of this Act that have as their object the reconciliation of spouses; and,

(b) to discuss with the spouse the possibility of the reconciliation of the spouses and to inform the spouse of the marriage counselling or guidance facilities known to the legal adviser that might be able to assist the spouses to achieve a reconciliation.

If you fail to keep your lawyer in the loop, you’re taking away your lawyers ability to keep that promise and to share resources with you that could potentially help you.

What if you ghost your lawyer?

If you chose to ghost your lawyer, you might be leaving your lawyer in limbo waiting on your instructions. You might be billed for your lawyers effort to try and reach you, and your lawyer might take steps to withdrawal as your counsel as a consequence of the lack of contact.

There is no good reason to shut down all communication with your lawyer while you give your ex another shot. You have a 90-day window to see how it goes with your ex and only after that it could change how things play out in your divorce action. You can keep your lawyer in the loop and waiting on the side lines during that 90-day window.

What if reconciliation works?

If it works out between you and your ex, your lawyer can close your file at any time. Your lawyer might even give you advice about entering into a Post-Nuptial Agreement to create a plan for parenting, support and family property in case things ever fall apart again in the future.

What if reconciliation failed?

If it doesn’t work out and you break up within that 90-day window, you can pick things up on your divorce action where they left off. Your lawyer can continue to proceed on your action for a divorce as if you had never tried to get back together with your ex at all. To get a divorce in Canada, there are three grounds to file for one:

a.) The parties are now separated and will have been separated for at least one (1) year at the deterioration of the divorce proceeding.

b.) The Defendant has, since the celebration of the marriage, committed adultery; or,

c.) The Defendant has, since the celebration of the marriage, treated the Plaintiff with physical or mental cruelty of such a kind as to render intolerable the continued cohabitation of the spouses.

For more information on how this applies to your situation, we encourage you to speak with your lawyer. Only a lawyer can give you legal advice. Your lawyer can tell you which options are best for you based on the facts in your situation because this falls into the realm of legal advice. If you are paying a lawyer for legal representation, you may as well benefit from having their guidance through the good and the bad.

Edmonton Family Network has connections to legal professionals and community support services. Contact us to learn more.

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