Well-intentioned prospective clients are eager to share of all the information they learned from the Internet with their lawyer. Without a critical eye to assess their personal circumstances objectively and without any formal education in the law, much of the ‘research’ can be misguided. Many clients don’t understand why a lawyer redirects their enthusiasm away from an unrelated area of law to gather facts and documents to prove different aspects of their case. These facts and papers form the backbone of what‘s likely to gain support from the other spouse to settle a stubborn issue and which aspects won’t carry an argument. In every family law matter, the path moving matter forward should be one that is best-suited to the client and their family’s situation, needs, financial resources as well as other unique factors. Once decided, the chosen path, be it mediation, collaborative, litigation or negotiation brings order and direction towards resolution. Family businesses, complex property holdings, and special children’s needs require other trained professionals to assist the family effectively and efficiently. Supporting each family member through this emotional transition requires a different expertise from the specialist who is experienced in valuing a business enterprise. Here’s a list of common assertions plied by prospective clients which ought to signal a conversation with their family law lawyer to set the record straight. Reading the contradictory legal news sites informs you about the latest trends so you know all about the children’s legal rights, entitlement to spousal support, recent court decisions applicable to your circumstances, and a lot more. Being self- represented you plod along in your divorce following exactly as your gym mate explains how it worked in their situation. Not being able to distinguish a property asset requiring professional valuation which may affect an equalization payment and an income asset which may impact child and spousal support. If neither spouse knows then that’s OK. Agreeing to a pro rata allocation of private family business for your minority interest. It’s simple and it seems fair. Following last year’s tax provisions for child benefits without reference to the current year’s government budgets eliminating some or all of those programs. Just receiving a quick text about annual income without any documentary proof will suffice for the calculation of child support. Being satisfied with receiving any amount up to the proper monthly support for the child’s benefit prevents any further unwanted turbulence in the post-separation relationship. Calculating the proper equalization payment you may owe to your spouse can be a quick and painless arithmetic exercise on the back of the serviette while you wait for your meal to be served. You’re certain you know the numbers by heart so exchanging documents aren’t necessary in this paperless society. Emotionally drained. Harbouring a grieving soul. There is no freedom to take risks, no knowledge to forge new perspectives with experienced professionals. No patience to set goals for the future and the welfare of the children. No need to obtain independent legal advice. Your cash stays in your pocket where it belongs. When you go to the dentist and they poke around in your mouth, you know something was done so that account gets paid. Lawyers, on the other hand, do a lot of work in their head. How do you determine the value of that work? As long as both spouses don’t retain lawyers, the deal will work itself out. For sure. At least that’s what you read in the internet. To be fully-informed with the correct and appropriate legal advice, consult an experienced family law or matrimonial law lawyer or attorney in your area. For spouses in the Greater Toronto Area, contact Lorisa Stein on her direct line 416 596-8081 or send a confidential email to Lorisa@LorisaStein.com.