Family legal issues are not new. That said, there are shifts in how parties resolve these matters. An outcome that may have been virtually impossible or incomprehensible for our parents may now be the best option for modern families.
As such, parties going through divorce should consider whether traditional solutions are right for them or if there could be new ways to resolve age-old issues. We examine some of these options below.
For protecting assets: Marital contracts
People used to assume that marital contracts, such as a prenuptial agreement, were reserved for the most affluent couples. Many people didn’t like to talk openly about financial issues or the possibility of divorce, either.
However, in recent years, cohabitation agreements, prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements have become increasingly common. Younger couples in Canada are entering marriage later; they are cohabitating; they are perhaps more realistic about the possibility of divorce and separation. Therefore, these agreements could be valuable to modern couples.
For custody: Birdnesting
So-called birdnesting arrangements are a relatively new option for parents sharing custody of their children. Rather than have the children move between parents’ homes, the children stay in one house – the “nest.” The parents then do the moving between their respective residences and the nest, per the parenting arrangement.
This solution can work for parties who are especially cooperative and respectful of each other. It is also something that generally works better for more affluent parents who can afford to maintain the children’s home as well as their individual residences.
For emotional health: Prioritizing self-care
Talking openly about divorce and the emotional issues that go with it is not something for which older generations are known. Too often, people struggled with complicated situations in silence and without help.
Today, however, many people appreciate the importance of self-care. During a divorce, this could mean talking to a therapist and seeking healthy outlets to cope with the stress. Further, parties may embrace alternatives to litigation, including mediation, to keep the process more civil and peaceful. These steps can minimize stress and anxiety, allowing you to take better care of yourself and navigate a difficult situation more easily.
There is no one way to resolve matters related to divorce. The approach and outcome depend wholly on the individuals involved. However, you can examine whether these or other options will work best for you with your lawyer.