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Today, let's dive into a topic that's as complex as it is emotionally challenging: divorce, especially when you're a business owner. We all know that divorce is no walk in the park, but when you add a thriving business into the mix, things can get even trickier. So, grab a cup of coffee and let's talk about the most difficult aspects of divorcing when you own a business, and some tips on how to tackle them.

1. Juggling Business and Emotional Turmoil

Running a business is demanding enough, but when you're going through a divorce, the emotional roller coaster can be overwhelming. Balancing the needs of your business while dealing with personal emotions can feel like walking on a tightrope. It's crucial to set aside time to focus on both aspects separately. Consider seeking therapy or talking to a counselor to help manage the emotional side.

2. Valuing and Dividing Business Assets

Figuring out how much your business is worth and how to divide its assets can be a headache. Business valuation involves a mix of financial analysis, market assessment, and projection of future earnings. This process can be contentious, especially when your ex-partner's interests are involved. Consulting financial experts who specialize in business valuations can help ensure a fair assessment.

3. Maintaining Business Continuity

Your business is like your baby, and divorcing while keeping the business afloat might seem impossible. One challenge is ensuring the company's operations don't suffer during the turmoil. Having a clear succession plan or temporary management strategy can help maintain continuity while you navigate the divorce process.

4. Spousal Support and Business Income

Determining spousal support can be complicated when a significant portion of your income comes from the business. Your ex-partner might argue that your business income isn't accurately reflected, potentially leading to disputes. Seeking legal advice to establish a fair calculation method that considers the business's financial intricacies is crucial.

5. Protecting Intellectual Property and Confidentiality

If your business thrives on intellectual property, trade secrets, or proprietary information, ensuring that these assets remain protected during the divorce process can be challenging. Drafting legally sound agreements or seeking confidentiality orders from the court can safeguard your business's sensitive information.

6. Coping with Changes in Ownership

Sometimes, divorcing means that your ex-partner becomes a co-owner of the business or gains a share of its value. This can be particularly difficult if you're not on amicable terms. Drafting a clear buy-sell agreement or considering a gradual buyout over time can help ease the transition while minimizing disruption to your business.

In a nutshell, divorcing when you own a business is like juggling multiple plates – challenging but not impossible. Surrounding yourself with a support system of legal experts, financial advisors, and counselors can make a world of difference. Remember, you're not alone in this journey, and with the right strategies, you can come out the other side stronger and ready to embrace new beginnings – both personally and professionally.

Divorce is a challenging chapter that affects not only the individuals involved but often extends to beloved family members – including our furry friends. If you're a pet owner in Alberta going through a divorce, you're probably wondering about the fate of your loyal companion. Let's shed light on what happens to animals during a divorce in Alberta and how you can ensure the best outcome for your beloved pet.

Understanding Alberta's Legal Perspective

As of my last update in September 2021, the law treats pets as property in Alberta, similar to any other asset subject to division during divorce proceedings. While this might seem impersonal for a beloved pet, it's essential to remember that the law aims to ensure fairness and clarity during a divorce process.

Factors Considered in Pet Custody

When it comes to pet custody, courts in Alberta consider various factors to determine who gets custody of the animal:

  1. Primary Caregiver: The court might consider which spouse was the primary caregiver, responsible for the daily needs and well-being of the pet.

  2. Ownership Documentation: If one spouse has official ownership documentation, such as adoption papers or purchase receipts, it could influence the decision.

  3. Best Interests of the Pet: Courts may prioritize the best interests of the pet, considering factors such as living conditions, work schedules, and financial ability to care for the animal.

  4. Agreement Between Parties: If you and your ex-spouse can reach a mutual agreement regarding pet custody, the court is likely to respect your decision.

Negotiating Pet Custody Amicably

The emotional bond between humans and their pets is undeniable. To ensure a smoother process and protect your pet's well-being, consider the following steps:

  1. Open Communication: Discuss pet custody with your ex-spouse and consider what arrangement would be best for the pet's comfort and routine.

  2. Mediation: If possible, opt for mediation to reach an agreement outside of court. This can lead to a more flexible and personalized solution for your pet's care.

  3. Joint Custody: Some divorcing couples opt for joint custody of their pets, allowing the animal to spend time with both individuals.

  4. Care Schedule: Create a clear care schedule detailing feeding times, walks, vet appointments, and any special needs the pet might have.

  5. Pet's Well-Being: Always prioritize your pet's well-being over personal emotions. Determine what living arrangement and routine would be least disruptive to their life.

Moving Forward with Compassion

Divorce is undoubtedly a challenging time, and adding pet custody considerations can heighten emotions. Remember that your pet's happiness and stability matter most. By approaching the situation with empathy and open communication, you can make the transition smoother for both you and your furry friend.

As laws and regulations can change, it's crucial to consult with a legal professional who specializes in family law in Alberta to understand the most up-to-date information regarding pet custody during divorce. Ultimately, your commitment to your pet's well-being will guide you in making the best decisions during this trying time.

Updated: Sep 10, 2019

If you are thinking about getting separated or divorced in Alberta and you're not sure where to start, check out the list of links below.

The volume of information you find online can be overwhelming. Here is a list of websites that provide meaningful and accurate content to help you navigate the legal process of separation and divorce in Alberta.


​The Provincial Court of Alberta oversees matters relating to criminal law, family law, youth law, civil law and traffic laws.

​Alberta Government family court counselors to get help with preparing for court, accessing the court system and resolving your parenting dispute.

​Law Society of Alberta - Online Legal Dictionary

Get familiar with your CRA assessed income, you need an accurate account of your income an expenses for calculations in your divorce settlement. Be aware of you line 120 income number, for most people this is the income that is used for calculating child support and spousal support.

This course is for parents or guardians who are separating or getting a divorce.

It’s required:

1. before you file a divorce application & if a judge directs you to take it

The Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) collects court-ordered child support, spousal and partner support, and enforces as needed.

Wondering how much child support you will pay/receive?

Enter your income, number of children and the province and this child support table look-up will help you find the base amount of child support.

The Recalculation Program (RP) is an administrative service that annually recalculates court-ordered child support based on current income tax information.

​The Canadian Department of Justice has created easy-to-use tools to determine basic child support amounts. These tools are based on the official tables in the Federal Child Support Guidelines.

Your original marriage certificate is required for Alberta divorce proceedings, if you don't have it, you can get one from the link above.

The ADR Institute of Alberta (ADRIA) is the professional membership body for mediators, arbitrators, and other Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practitioners in Alberta.

Family mediation is about helping families grappling with unresolved conflict find ways to a solution.

Alberta Family Mediation Society (AFMS) advocates resolution of family conflict through the use of mediation by qualified professionals.

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