Last week, we discussed various digital options that can help make life a bit more manageable for couples facing divorce or separation. When a couple is in a situation where communication is challenging, the tasks necessary to facilitate a mutually-beneficial separation can seem insurmountable. This can include the ongoing responsibilities of shared parenting, which requires collaboration even if a couple is unable to talk to each other. However, even if there are no children in the picture, couples must work together, even if just through their lawyers, to determine other issues in a divorce, including financial matters. This, in fact, is often one of the biggest challenges in a family dispute, as so much is dependent on accurate financial disclosure and reporting.
A key factor that must be dealt with when determining obligations around spousal or child support is to accurately determine each party’s annual income. This allows a court to properly asses the needs and financial positions of each person and make calculations relating to support based on federal guidelines.
However, income reporting is rife with controversy in many family disputes. Parties often disagree and make accusations with respect to under-reporting or under-earning specifically to skirt financial support obligations. The need to communicate anything affecting one’s income, from a job change to a demotion to an annual bonus to one’s lawyer adds further complication. It can be difficult to remember which documentation has been sent and for lawyers to maintain an eye to the big picture when information is received in piecemeal.
To address this, Mincher Koeman has implemented a digital income log for clients, allowing them to send all updates related to income, missed payments, job changes and more to one location. This allows both the client and their lawyer to easily track which information has been received, and how it affects the bigger picture at a glance.
Another key aspect of divorce is accounting for and tracking marital property, including the matrimonial home. As with income, this is important to ensure a fair division of property after a split and it can also have an effect on support obligations.
Documenting property, particularly in a high-conflict situation, can be difficult if one or both parties makes attempts to hide or otherwise fail to disclose accurate information. To make the process of reporting property and other assets to our family lawyers, Mincher Koeman has created a tool that allows clients to provide information and updates in one place, giving both the client and lawyer a birds-eye view of the property records. This enables your lawyer to see an overview of the property log at a glance and quickly assess and incorporate any changes.
The tool will allow a client to provide realtor estimates on the value of the matrimonial home, changes to bank accounts or expenses, business dealings of either party or undocumented assets, as needed.
As mentioned last week, we also have tools in place to make co-parenting easier, via a portal that allows clients to access a parenting calendar where issues, questions and events can be documented for our team to access and provide advice as issues arise. It allows a client to track all shared parenting arrangements and make note of any difficulties for their file. Further, it allows them to communicate any issues directly with their lawyer, saving the expense and time of a visit or phone call.
The family law lawyers at Mincher Koeman are exceptionally experienced with respect to assisting clients facing the breakdown of a relationship. We will work with you to ensure that your voice is represented in any dispute and will make the process as painless and efficient as possible. We are dedicated to finding proactive methods to simplify our clients’ lives and make the business of divorce easier and more accessible for everyone involved. Contact our office today by calling us at 403-910-3000 or contact us online.
707 7 Ave SW #1300,
Calgary, AB T2P 3H6
102 512 Bow Valley Trail,
Canmore, AB T1W 1N9
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