Knowl­edge is Power

Annex Post - - ASK THE EXPERT -

All too of­ten peo­ple stay in bad re­la­tion­ships out of fear of the al­ter­na­tive. Fear of not hav­ing enough money to live. Fear of never find­ing love again. Fear of hav­ing less time with their chil­dren. Fear of the un­known. Fear based de­ci­sions are never good ones. Knowl­edge is power and while we never have a crys­tal ball, re­la­tion­ship de­ci­sions can be made a lot eas­ier if we take the steps to gain knowl­edge to em­power our­selves. This can be as sim­ple as set­ting up a con­sul­ta­tion with a fam­ily law lawyer to find out about your rights. Many fam­ily lawyers offer free 30 minute con­sul­ta­tions, but even if you have to pay for the con­sul­ta­tion, it can be money well spent. A con­sul­ta­tion can clar­ify for you, what you are likely to gain and lose both fi­nan­cially and with re­spect to your chil­dren if you walk away from a re­la­tion­ship. Ac­quir­ing this knowl­edge can bet­ter help you make a de­ci­sion about what makes the most sense for you. The con­sul­ta­tion is con­fi­den­tial, so your part­ner doesn't even need to know that you spoke to a lawyer un­less you want him or her to know. Most im­por­tantly, a con­sul­ta­tion will help al­le­vi­ate your fears, put to bed any mis­in­for­ma­tion you have heard, and if you ul­ti­mately plan to leave, it can pro­vide you will a valu­able plan or roadmap to put you in the best po­si­tion pos­si­ble after sep­a­ra­tion. In ad­di­tion, a con­sul­ta­tion doesn't ob­li­gate you to do any­thing. You are em­pow­ered by hav­ing the knowl­edge of your rights, but you don't have to make any changes un­less you choose to do so. Di­vorce is one of life's most stress­ful events, and part of what con­trib­utes to the stress is un­cer­tainty. This is what keeps so many peo­ple trapped in un­healthy re­la­tion­ships. While a fam­ily lawyer can't tell you whether you will find love again (and chances are you prob­a­bly will), a lawyer can an­swer many of the other ques­tions sur­round­ing the un­cer­tainty of di­vorce so that you can em­power your­self and live your best life.

Leanne Townsend, Fam­ily Lawyer & Life Coach B.A., B.Ed., LL.B.

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