Five Financial Tips Everyone Should Know Before Separating From Their Spouse

Leanne Townsend is the founding partner of Townsend Family Law. Each month, our team sends out a newsletter full of helpful tips, advice and insights to help you navigate through family law challenges.


Documentation is critical when negotiating the financial aspects of divorce: expert

Ending a marriage is never simple. Beyond the emotional toll, there are important financial issues to sort through before parties can move forward on their own.

If you are thinking about separating or going through the process now, there are proactive steps you can take to make the process go a bit smoother.

On a recent episode of Divorcing Well, Leanne spoke with Wayne Rudson, president of Rudson Valuation Group, which provides business valuations, income assessments, litigation support and forensic accounting services.

He says a good place to start is by thinking about your financial position when you got married. Did you bring any assets — home, car, money — into the marriage, and do you have the documentation to prove it?

Next, Wayne suggests summarizing all your assets and liabilities as of the date of separation. Make a list of all assets and debts, noting who owns or owes each. Again, documentation for everything is critical.

Because child support and spousal support are both based on income, you will also need to produce income information for the last three years in the form of income tax returns and notices of assessment.

Check out this episode to learn Wayne’s advice on what to do if you think your spouse is hiding assets.

Listen on Apple or Spotify.

Discussing a prenup with your partner can be a good barometer for future difficult conversations

Many female entrepreneurs don’t even think about drafting a prenup before their wedding day, but Danielle Canty thinks they should.

When she got married in her 20s, the entrepreneur didn’t consider that simply owning a business could lead to confusion — and battles — down the road, if that marriage didn’t work out.

When her marriage dissolved, Canty didn’t want other women to make the same mistake, so she dedicated a podcast episode to the subject.

In it, she outlines three things women should keep in mind when considering a prenup:

  • Prenups aren’t about planning for failure; they’re about taking safety measures to protect yourself.
  • Having a prenup conversation with your partner can be a good barometer of what your future may hold. If they’re mature and confident, they should be able to respect your point of view — and appreciate your transparency.
  • If you end up getting divorced, don’t view it as a failure or something to be ashamed of. Sometimes we outgrow relationships. It takes courage to identify when something no longer serves you.

Read the full article in Forbes here.

Study finds that divorce can adversely affect a child’s education prospects

Could parental divorce adversely impact a child’s educational future? A recent study published in Demographic Research indicates it’s possible.

Researchers set out to determine whether a decrease in familial resources — such as finances, culture and social connections — could negatively affect a child’s education.

They found that having one’s parents divorce in childhood can result in lower levels of support and decreased well-being.

The study also showed that participants whose parents divorced, or who had a parent die during childhood, tended to receive less education than participants who did not have either of these adverse events. 

Additionally, divorce had a significantly larger effect on educational attainment status than parental death.

Parental education was important for participants whose parents divorced, with children of higher-educated parents displaying more negative outcomes.

Highlights from Divorce Explained

Every week, Leanne Townsend co-hosts an Instagram Live show with family lawyer Steve Benmor, where they discuss issues on the minds of those who are divorced or divorcing. Here are the topics from a couple of recent shows. Click on the photo to check out the full episode.

Back to school can bring conflict for divorced parents

Back to school can be a tricky time for divorced parents. In this episode, we review some common issues that can ignite conflict between ex-spouses when it comes to daycare, pickups and drop-offs.

Non-lawyers providing family law advice and support

Professionals such as divorce coaches and financial advisors can be incredibly helpful to people navigating divorce, but it’s important to check their credentials as we discuss in this episode.

Looking for more information?

Looking for more information on what to expect during a divorce, abusive relationships, love and money, life after divorce or other family law topics?

Check out the In the News and Blog sections of my website where there’s a wealth of great content to get you up to speed on everything you need to know.

Leanne Townsend, Family Lawyer

Partner, Brauti Thorning LLP
Brookfield Place161 Bay Street,
Suite 2900,
Toronto, ON M5J 2S1

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Leanne Townsend Lawyer and Divorce Coach
Leanne Townsend is a multifaceted entrepreneur and attorney experienced in the areas of family law and domestic violence. She provides a full range of family law legal services in addition to running workshops and other programs to support people as they go through divorce.

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