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Why Choose Visionary Law For Your Contested Divorce
We are a well-regarded legal team that provides assertive advocacy when cooperate channels have failed to clients in Manitoba and surrounding communities.
If you are looking for a legal team with effective and solution-focussed advocacy skills to represent your divorce in court, the lawyers at Visionary Law can assist with our extensive experience advocating for clients in a wide variety of matters. Family law files represent about 85% of our practice and we have a legal service delivery model that is unique. Want to know more about what makes us unique? Click Why Us
- Transparency by providing you access to your file 24/7 and regular updates on your file’s activity in real time
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What is a contested divorce in Manitoba?
A contested divorce in Manitoba refers to a legal process where the spouses involved are unable to reach an agreement on essential issues related to the dissolution of their marriage. In such cases, critical matters like division of property, child custody, spousal support, and other significant aspects remain unresolved, leading to a dispute that requires intervention by the court.
Unlike an uncontested divorce where both parties mutually agree on the terms and conditions of the separation, a contested divorce involves conflicting perspectives and often necessitates legal proceedings to resolve the disagreements. The court’s role in a contested divorce in Manitoba is to carefully assess the evidence presented by both parties, make informed decisions on matters in contention, and ultimately provide a resolution that aligns with the relevant legal principles and the best interests of all parties involved.
What are the grounds for a contested divorce in Manitoba?
In Manitoba, like the rest of Canada, the grounds for divorce are based on the concept of a “breakdown of the marriage.” This breakdown can be established through one of three main factors: separation, adultery, or cruelty. Firstly, separation occurs when spouses have lived separately for at least one year and one or both of them believes that the marriage is over. Adultery refers to one spouse engaging in a voluntary sexual relationship with someone other than their spouse, which has led to a loss of trust and a breakdown of the marriage. Lastly, cruelty encompasses physical or mental cruelty that makes living together unbearable, endangering the emotional or physical well-being of the spouse seeking the divorce.
In a contested divorce scenario, one spouse might assert that the marriage has broken down due to adultery or cruelty, while the other spouse may contest these claims. The court then becomes responsible for evaluating the evidence and arguments presented by both parties to determine if the grounds for divorce have indeed been met. It’s crucial to note that contested divorces can involve intricate legal proceedings and emotional complexities, often requiring the expertise of legal professionals to navigate the intricacies of the legal system and ensure fair and just outcomes.
How is property divided in a contested divorce in Manitoba?
In a contested divorce within Manitoba, the division of property becomes a pivotal issue that requires careful consideration. Manitoba follows a principle of “equalization of net family property,” which means that the assets and debts acquired during the course of the marriage are generally subject to equal division between the spouses. This includes properties, investments, savings, pensions, and other assets, along with debts accumulated during the marriage. However, it’s essential to understand that equal division doesn’t necessarily mean each asset is split precisely in half. Instead, the goal is to achieve an equitable distribution that takes into account various factors, including the length of the marriage, contributions of each spouse, and individual financial circumstances.
In a contested divorce, when the spouses cannot agree on how to divide their property, the court steps in to make a determination based on these factors. The court will evaluate the value of the assets and liabilities, consider each spouse’s contribution to the marriage, and assess their respective needs and abilities to support themselves post-divorce. While the court strives for fairness, the final outcome can vary based on the unique circumstances of the case. Engaging legal representation can be crucial during a contested divorce involving property division, as skilled lawyers can advocate for their client’s interests and ensure that all relevant financial information is properly presented and evaluated by the court.
How does child custody work in a contested divorce?
Child custody is a central concern in contested divorces within Manitoba, with the primary focus being the best interests of the child or children involved. When parents cannot come to an agreement on custody arrangements, the court becomes responsible for determining the most suitable arrangement.
The courts in Manitoba operate under the principle that both parents are equally entitled to custody and are encouraged to cooperate in decisions regarding their children’s upbringing. However, the ultimate goal is to create a custody arrangement that promotes the child’s well-being, safety, and stability.
In a contested divorce, the court considers several factors when making decisions about child custody. These include the child’s emotional and physical needs, the ability of each parent to meet those needs, the child’s relationship with each parent, and any history of abuse or neglect. The court may also take into account the child’s preferences if they are of an appropriate age to express their views.
The resulting custody arrangement can range from sole custody to joint custody, and it may involve legal custody (decision-making authority) and physical custody (where the child lives). The court’s priority is to establish a custody arrangement that fosters the child’s best interests and maintains their relationships with both parents whenever possible.
What is the process for filing for a contested divorce in Manitoba?
Initiating a contested divorce in Manitoba involves a structured series of steps within the legal framework. The procedure commences with the “applicant,” usually one spouse, filing a crucial document known as the “Petition for Divorce” with the Court of Queen’s Bench Family Division. This comprehensive petition outlines the specific grounds for divorce and delineates the unresolved issues at hand, encompassing pivotal matters like property division, child custody, and financial support. This initiates the legal process that allows for the formal dissolution of the marriage.
Upon the serving of the petition to the other spouse, the “respondent,” a defined timeframe is provided for response. This response can take the form of a “Statement of Defence” or a “Counter-Petition” if the respondent has their own claims to present. Subsequently, a sequence of pre-trial procedures ensues, often involving the disclosure of pertinent financial and other essential information, along with attempts at negotiation or mediation aimed at finding resolutions to the contentious matters. In certain instances, interim court orders might be sought to address urgent concerns, such as child custody or financial support arrangements while the divorce proceedings are underway.
Should negotiations and mediations prove unsuccessful, the case advances to trial, where both parties present their arguments and evidence before a presiding judge. The judge then renders a verdict on the contested issues, providing a resolution that aligns with the legal framework and the best interests of all parties involved. It’s important to acknowledge that the trajectory and duration of a contested divorce can vary based on the complexity of the case, the court’s availability, and the willingness of the involved parties to collaborate.
What do we do?
The lawyers at Visionary Law get to know your unique circumstances by collecting details from you regarding your assets, debts and income, and by asking pertinent questions to better understand your needs and the needs of your family.The more information we have about you the more effectively we can advocate on your behalf because we can then ensure that whatever result we are trying to achieve is in line with what you need to move forward with life.
Litigation is costly, emotionally, mentally and financially.We make sure you understand the legal framework within which you have found yourself, and take the time to explain your options and the associated pros, cons and costs so that you are always making a fully informed decision.We do not take a paternalistic attitude towards our clients; it is your life and so you are the best person to decide what to do, fully supported by our advice and expertise.
We offer a consultation where we will listen to your scenario and discuss possible action and the time and costs involved in resolving the issues you describe through a separation agreement. There is no obligation to retain our services. The goal of the consultation is to give you an option to check whether our people and processes fit your expectations as a client.
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