Category Archives: Divorce

Dads Must Go On!

The Divorce Dads Group successfully concluded leaving us with the very strong message that there is a dire need for such resources!

The Divorced Dads Group was motivated by the notable lack of supports for dads experiencing divorce or separation, especially in the Durham Region. Its premise is that dads are equally important in their children’s lives and, just like moms or anyone experiencing divorce, dads also need help navigating through all challenges that separation comes with.

When asked “What was your favourite part of the program?”, dads said:

“Open discussion regarding emotional turmoil concerns, and the varied experiences pros/cons of particular ways to address challenges. How to keep hope, and future value to child, amid a parental-alienation scenario”

“Learning about my options for divorce. I realized I have been misinformed by my lawyer probably on purpose.”

“Knowing that I’m not alone and my experiences are not uncommon.”

“The information I got was excellent. It helped me find the right lawyer and work with her outside of court”

“Camaraderie of guys. Place to unload frustration without feeling judged or weak.”

When asked “What have you learned throughout the program?”, dads said:

“That it is normal to feel angry and upset but that it will get better over time. Also the best thing I can do for my kids is to try get along with my ex.”

“Too much to write here. thank you so much to whoever organized this is a life saver.”

“That its good to get my feelings out despite being stressed. I felt so much better after each session”

“There are other men struggling with issues and sometimes worse off than me.”

What We Learned and What We Need to Change in Our Community:

Men feel without a shred of a doubt that they are on the outside looking in when it comes to services for them. There is a lack of quality agenda-free information/resources about divorce and separation available in the public sphere; and it’s harming separating dads and their families! We are committed to change this: one dad at a time!

Thank you!

Many thanks to these men, dads, facilitators, volunteers: Mike LeFave, Anthony Goldstein and Edward Cunningham! Your support, knowledge and dedication offered the group with positive insight and invaluable resources!

Thank you Town of Ajax for supporting the establishing of the group, first of its kind in Durham Region!

Thank you Ajax Library for offering the group with space and resources all throughout!

This community rocks!


If you’re interested in this group, send us a quick email at fmrcentre@gmail.com and we’ll make sure to notify you when it restarts!

Divorce & Holidays: 5 Tips on How Not To Let Divorce Ruin Your Holidays

The winter holidays can be stressful for many and it can feel especially overwhelming for families who have recently separated. So, Eva and I put together some tips on how to support your children, co-parent with your ex and still enjoy the holidays!


1.  Feeling Pissed-off or Hurt is Normal! But, You Can Still Be Merry!

The best way to manage your stress and actually enjoy the holidays is to acknowledge how you’re feeling at the outset. Sweeping your anxiety, frustration, hurt and other feelings “under the rug” won’t make them go away! In fact, they are more likely to bubble to the surface during the holidays, ruining your good-times. Identifying and accepting of emotions is one of those things that we all should always practice, not just around the holidays but throughout the entire life. Easier said than done, so start with truly giving yourself permission to be upset, angry, hurt, lonely or even relieved!

Once you recognize how you feel, then you can start exploring ways to successfully manage these emotions. Some parents find it helpful to “talk things through” with a friend or take on a new hobby or enroll in a boxing class! Attending support groups or meet-ups also helps in connecting with others who are in the same boat. Trust me, you are not alone and isolating yourself is not going to make things better!

2.  Avoid the Need to Compete with Your Ex!

Post-separation/divorce you may be in a different financial position than before and, you may even be in a different financial position than your ex. Contain the urge to compete in buying gifts and loading up your kids with goodies and material items. It’s normal to want to give them everything you can, but you also need to be realistic in terms of your budget and the message you’re sending them!

The best gift you can give your kids is quality time with you! And it doesn’t even cost you money! Plan a movie day in, go tobogganing, build a snowman or arrange for a family snowball fight! These are the things that will mean the most to your children and help them develop positive coping skills in their own lives. Bottom line: your kids won’t remember the things you bought them, but they will always remember the way you made them feel when they were with you!

3.  Plan Early and Remain Flexible

Post-separation holiday planning can be extra stressful, especially with blended families in the mix. Approach your ex about scheduling as early as possible so that you’re not scrambling last minute. Flexibility is key to working out a shared holiday schedule; don’t be positional about certain dates or times, rather focus on the children’s needs!

Acknowledge that there are many people in your children’s lives who love them and want to be with them during the holidays – and this is a good thing! Give your children the gift of being with as many loved ones as possible during the holiday, even if you have to sacrifice a little of your time to make it happen.

4.  Practice Self-Care When the Children are Away

It can be really tough not having the children around during the holidays, especially if this the first year! The easiest way to get through this times is to practice self-care, that is – do something just for you. What brings you joy? Maybe it’s having alone time with a new book or scheduling time with old friends. Maybe it’s a trip to the mall or the movies. Carving out this time won’t bring the kids back, but it will help you unwind and relax during an otherwise stressful time.

While the tips above offer a good head start to tackle holiday stress, they are in no way exhaustive. The takeaway for readers, however, should be that while holiday stress is normal, you do not have to suffer through it. With some mindfulness and a little planning, both parents and kids can enjoy the holidays alike!

5.  Out With the Old, In With the New: Start New Traditions!

Instead of arguing over old traditions, use the separation as an opportunity to start new ones! Your kids will benefit from a peaceful and fun time, not who’s winning Christmas Day. What’s really great about creating new traditions is that you have full control over how you spend the time and saves your kids from being caught in the middle! You win, your kids win and your family wins! Win-Win-Win!

We’re not married. What happens to Canada Pension Plan benefits after we separate or one of us dies?

ANSWER

“The Canada Pension Plan(link is external) (CPP) is a type of pension plan that most workers and employers contribute to. You earn CPP credits as you work. When you retire or can’t work because of a disability, you can apply to get pension payments.

This is different from a pension plan your employer may have.

After separation

If you lived with your partner for at least one year, you can apply to Service Canada to have the CPP credits that you and your partner earned while living together added up and then divided evenly. This is sometimes called “dividing CPP credits”, a “credit split”, or a “Division of Unadjusted Pensionable Earnings”.

If you earned less than your partner, a credit split may help you qualify for a pension. If you already qualify for a pension, it might increase the amount of your pension.

You don’t need your partner’s permission to apply for a credit split. You have a right to split their CPP credits even if they don’t agree to it as long as you have lived together for at least one year. This is different from how you and your partner would divide other property and debts after you separate.

Time limits

You must apply for a credit split within 4 years after you and your common-law partner separate.

If your partner dies less than a year after you separated, a credit split can still be done as long as you apply within 4 years of your partner’s death.

Partners who are married and have lived together for at least one year can also apply for a credit split, but there are some different rules about when they can apply.

Survivor’s pension

If your partner made enough contributions to the CPP pension plan, you may be able to get another benefit called a CPP survivor’s pension. You may qualify if, at the time of your partner’s death:

  • you were married or had been living together for at least one year, and
  • you are at least 35 years old at the time of your partner’s death, or you are younger but have a disability or have dependent children living with you

If you were separated at the time of your partner’s death, you may still qualify if your partner did not live with a different common-law partner.

There is no time limit to apply. CPP gives you benefits for the months dating back to your partner’s death, but they won’t go back more than one year before the date you apply. ”

Source of Article: Steps to Justice