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Divorce is a growing epidemic in Canada and the United States. It affects both parties involved, being the spouses, and also has a profound affect on children of the marriage. Recently our government has been revising the old divorce act. It was apparent that it was time to revise the act because it did not properly protect the children from being caught in the middle of things.
Divorce is defined as follows: to dissolve legally a marriage between; separate (one of a married couple) from the other by divorce . The Canadian constitution allows only the federal government to set divorce law. The government of Canada has a divorce act, and because it is a federal law, it applies fully and equally in all parts of Canada and to all Canadian citizens.
Divorces begin with an application to the court asking it to declare that there has been a breakdown of the marriage. This application must include paragraphs which refer to where and when the marriage took place, who the children were, who should have custody and why, if there is to be support for one of the spouses paid for by the other, and what is to become of the family property. Certified copies of the marriage certificate and any birth certificates are attached. The claim for support is known as "Corollary relief" and may be for the spouses and/or the children (claims for custody also fall under corollary relief claims). When corollary relief is requested, a financial statement which sets out your families monthly expenses in detail is required.
The divorce act requires the court to verify weather there seems to be any chance of reconciliation between the parties. The court may even ask for a marriage councilor to attempt a reconciliation.
The divorce act demands the sole grounds for divorce as breakdown of marriage, and provides for three basic ways of proving it:
 You and your spouse have been separated for one year.
 Your spouse has committed adultery.
 Your spouse has treated you with intolerable mental or physical cruelty.
The most common grounds for divorce is certainly a one year separation for it is the easiest to prove. There is no such thing as a "legal separation" however while living apart you should be protected by a separation agreement. A separation agreement is a domestic agreement between a separated couple outlining the distribution of the property and other obligations to each other .
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Divorce Financial Statement Growing Epidemic Federal Government Paragraphs Spouse Grounds Detail Custody Certificate
My question here is, why in the proceedings is there nothing mentioned about the well being of the children that are innocently caught in the middle of their two parents at war with each other.
Because it is felt that not enough emphasis is made on the interests of our voiceless children throughout the process of divorce and follow in a divorce the government has proposed a number of recommendations to hopefully improve the divorce act.
It's recommendations include:
 Replacing the words custody and access to "shared parenting".
 Improving the act to state that divorced parents are entitled to a close and continuing relationship.
 Giving children a chance to be heard when custody decisions are being made.
 A review of the federal Child Support Guidelines to reflect social developments such as greater equality between sexes.
 Changes to provincial and territorial family laws so a child's relationships with grandparents and other relatives aren't disrupted without good cause.
The report was named "For the Sake of the Children". It also recommended both parents receive their children's school, medical and other records, and that parents wanting to move far away from the child give the other parent ninety days notice. For the Sake of Children makes 48 recommendations that suggest not only the legal changes but also a cultural shift in how parents must share the impact of divorce on children.
The changes to the divorce act are currently being drafted by a parliamentary committee in Ottawa. As you can see most of the changes are to ensure that both parents are involved as closely as possible in the lives of children, as opposed to the winner/loser approach and the child as an afterthought. In my opinion the children are affected the most in the case of a divorce and me must take special care in assuring that the lives of the children and their relationships with parents and relatives go as undisturbed as possible.
If implemented, the proposals would represent one of the largest changes to the thirty-year-old law since Canada adopted the no-fault divorce in 1985. Potentially, it would affect the lives of millions of Canadians.
Surveys show that in 1994 and 1995 alone, more than 4700 children were the subject of custody orders when parents at war could not settle their disagreements. This just doesn't seem very fair. The children of divorce deserve the love and support of both their parents. Post divorce hostility often causes loss of contact with grandparents and other relatives. This definitely needs to stop. There is no need for these relationships to be in danger.
The divorce act has been mentioned several times and has thus far been undefined. It was created by the government in attempt to simplify the law, reduce the numerous grounds for divorce, and respond to social changes and pressure for reform. The act came into effect on June 1st, 1986.
The term marriage breakdown is the origin of the term no-fault divorce. This allows that neither party is totally at fault or to blame for the divorce, the marriage has simply broken down.
Here is something to ponder, what affects are all these broken marriages having on children? Well, among young teenage populations of females, parental divorce has been associated with lower self-esteem, precocious sexual activity, greater "delinquent-like" behavior, a harder time developing gratifying, healthy adult relationships.
When the divorce act came into effect, the number of divorces granted by Canadian courts increased quite noticeably. This jump in the rate is due mainly to couples that had been separated for some time and could file for divorce immediately. This being the resultant of the waiting period being dropped for three years down to one. The new law also simplified the process, so some applicants chose to wait for it to come into effect.
In today's National Post there was an article about the proposed changes to the divorce act. It seems that Anne McLellan, the justice minister has decided to postpone the "controversial amendments" to the act for another three years. Now the introduction of legislation is expected in May, 2002. It seems our politicians are more worried about being re-elected then taking care of the interests of all the children affected by divorce. The government claims to be pushing to do away with old concepts like child ownership but does not fully endorse "shared parenting". The government is not willing to talk about rights, they claim to wish to talk about concepts like shared responsibility.
As the number of divorces in Canada increases and our awareness on it's affects on Canada's youth, we must come to the realization that something as to be done. In the process of a divorce there is nothing to protect the children. They are simply treated as material objects and fought over like that grand father clock in the living room that both mommy and daddy wish to take out of the marriage for themselves. The proposed changes to the divorce act seem to be the right answer. They concentrate on keeping family ties as strong as possible, on making the divorce less traumatizing to the children involved. How could someone sleep at night knowing the affect there "custody wars" were having on their own flesh and blood. I know I couldn't. We all need to take the steps to make this easier for children. To think that there would never have been a problem if when you got married it was to a person who you loved undividingly, your soul mate. Make the right decisions in your life because you never know what a profound affect they might have on the people nearest and dearest to you.
How is DivorceHelp123 different from other online divorce services I have found?
1. DivorceHelp123 is the only truly web application that not only accepts your information — dynamically changing the questions asked based upon your state and your matter — but also generates the documents programmatically. Other “Online Divorce” services are not actually online divorce software services… they are divorce legal services offered via an online website. Or they are simple forms posted online — no better than the forms provided by your Court — and certainly not dynamic web applications. Or they are actually archaic desktop software that you have to download and decipher their old fashioned spreadsheets.
2. DivorceHelp123 can be used for contested divorces. Contested divorces do not qualify for most online divorce services. In reality, not many divorces are uncontested. You are getting a divorce for a reason, and often you will feel as though your spouse will not be fair. Also, children, divisions of assets, and support can be very complicated and you may not know all the ins-and-outs and it is usually wise to at least have a qualified Family Law professional review and give some guidance on these issues. We have seen many people simply want to stop the fighting and get the divorce over with; and they may settle for less than to what the law says they should be entitled.
3. DivorceHelp123 is the only service that can be used with an attorney, collaborating online with your data and documents. Most online divorce services are only for pro se, “Do-It-Yourself” divorces. Or a desktop application requiring complicated importing, overwriting changes, version problems, and no effective way to collaborate on the information. DivorceHelp123 provide THE MOST EFFICIENT, EASY AND ACCURATE way to collaborate with your attorney.
4. You can try DivorceHelp123 for free before buying. Most online divorce services require you to buy the service before even looking at it. Do you wonder what their spreadsheets look like that they do not even include a demo video or screenshot so you can see what you are getting?
5. With DivorceHelp123, you generate your own forms. Most online divorce services accept the forms you complete and then they enter your data into your state’s forms, all at once. This means that, with DivorceHelp123 you can print and see what your documents look like and modify them as many times as you want until they are how you want them. It also means that you can update the data as it changes (Got a property appraised and now you have a value? Changed your mind on parenting time? New child care expense now that you have gone back to work?). It also means that you can have a divorce professional review your agreements to see if they line up with your state’s statutes say are an equitable settlement.
6. With DivorceHelp123, you can try various scenarios and see how it affects child support and/or spousal support and compare them side-by-side in a Scenario Comparison Report. No other divorce software offers this helpful functionality.
7. DivorceHelp123 provides specialized calculations, functionalities, and documents that no other divorce software or service provide, and some that are rarely provided, such as:
No Other Service Offers these DivorceHelp123 Features
Scenario Comparison Report
BOTH Spousal Maintenance AND Child Support exact calculation
Multiple Children Different Parenting Plans with Different Primary Parent Offset Report
12 language translations
Separate Property Calculations
Data linking — optional and defaulted according to statutes — between different documents
Grouping or itemizing of utilities, housing and transportation expenses, and income deductions
Income QuickHelp written by licensed divorce financial planner
To Do tracking
Show Formulas functionality
The Sworn Financial Statement with user-defined options including page breaks
Show Intermediary Calculations
Certificate of Compliance with detailed disclosure information
Multiple Children Different Parenting Plans with Same Primary Parent Overnights Calculation QuickHelp
Marriage Duration Calculation according to statute
Frequency conversion calculations for income detail
Add and define multiple “Other” categories
Asset Summary and Detail view
Calculate from detail functionality
Next, Tab, and Right Menu navigations
Optional Extrapolate functionality for very high incomes
Print as exhibit
Financial Summary Report
8. Since DivorceHelp123 is online, you can access it anywhere you have an internet connection, on any type of device including mobile phones and tablets. Most “online” divorce services are actually only online for the website and initial questions but require you to download applications or forms to fill out on a local device.
9. Since DivorceHelp123 is online, you don’t have to worry about your partner finding any of your confidential information. With other services, forms on your local machine or papers you print are easy to stumble upon during the transition of separating.
10. Since DivorceHelp123 is online, your information is secure. It is nearly impossible for an individual to provide the amount of security that DivorceHelp123 provides for your confidential data.
11. Since DivorceHelp123 is online, you get to benefit from many helpful web services such as: LiveChat and Google translations. Other services that are not online cannot provide this value. DivorceHelp123 is adding more and more web services that help you.
12. DivorceHelp123 has the best user experience. We are constantly updating the user interface: when we get feedback for improvements or get the same question over and over again, we make improvements to make it more intuitive; we utilize the best and latest technologies to give you the best user experience, updating constantly to always stay current and cutting edge.
13. Since DivorceHelp123 is online, we can update the software with fixes and new functionality easily and any time. With divorce software that is not online you have to worry about having an old version with bugs or out-dated forms, and old fashioned update programs.
14. DivorceHelp123 securely stores your data online so that when it is time to modify child support or spousal support you only need to modify what has changed. With other services, if they even offer post-decree modifications, you must start over from scratch.
15. DivorceHelp123’s mission is a paperless, efficient divorce, so that you can spend more time on more important things. While we haven’t gotten everything off of paper yet, we are moving in that direction. How many trees do other divorce services chop down to do what they do?