AM640 Relationships & Money Matters Discussion with Family Lawyer Chantalle Sawision
In a perfect world, we’d all like to believe love conquers all, and that money doesn’t play a deciding role within our relationships. For decades the romanization of true love and relationships has lead us to find comfort in the idea that as long as you’ve found “the one” nothing else will matter and everything will fall into place. Unfortunately enough, we don’t live in a perfect world and sadly the idea of love I’ve just described is almost impossible to attain. When in a relationship, having strong communication on all matters, including finances, encourages honesty, trust, and vulnerability more than ever.
This week, I sat down with Chantalle Sawision, a brilliant family lawyer in the city and spoke to her about a lot of the many misconceptions and harsh realities behind relationships and money matters. From pre-nuptial agreements to the truths behind common law, we broke down the ultimate transparency couples should have in their relationship when their finances and properties are involved.
Money Matters and Prenups
When asking Chantalle about her thoughts on prenups and whether or not they could have a negative impact on a marriage, she responded feeling the complete opposite. Chantalle believes marriage contracts actually “encourage transparency from the outside and encourage you to talk to your partner and get a solid understanding of their financial footing”. She continued to enforce that leaving the floor open for conversations such as these can only foster positive communication, transparency, and accountability within a relationship. For me, I personally believe if not initiated properly, bringing up the idea of a premarital agreement may suggest to a partner that there is a lack of trust, which can inevitably lead to hostility within the relationship. Nevertheless, what most people fail to realize is the initiation of discussing money matters should show your partner that if anything you trust them enough to be open and smart about all your assets and how you’d like to share them accordingly.
We also got to discuss parenthood and finances in the case of remarriage which sparked a very interesting conversation. In the case of a single parent getting remarried, is the step-parent now liable to financially support the child? Chantalle chimed in and she supported the notion of both biological parents being financially involved in the child’s life, despite, a remarriage. But, under the circumstance that the step-parent decides to become heavily involved in the child’s life, especially as a financial supporter, if a divorce were to ever happen, legally, that step-parent would be obligated to continue to maintain the lifestyle they have let the child grow accustomed to.
Money Matters and Common Law Relationships
Like myself, I’m sure many of you are in common law relationships and being able to talk about my legal responsibilities and rights as a partner when it comes to my relationship and money matters was so empowering. For those of you who don’t know, common law is a relationship of continuous cohabitation of three years or more or if two people have a child together outside of marriage which also signifies some sort of permanence. Chantalle shared a misconception about common law relationships where it’s believed that many people get into them to go after their partner’s property when in reality that couldn’t be far from the truth. When you’re in a common law relationship you are not entitled to your partner’s property, however, you are entitled to child support and spousal support. Although their are more definite laws concerning the amount of money you should get for child support. many time common law partners will struggle finding common ground in the matters of spousal support after splitting up. This happens because there are many grey areas concerning the amount of money an individual is entitled to after comping out of common law relationship.
These topics were only a highlighted few of the many interesting debates and discussions we had on the show and having Chantalle as a trusted expert really shed light on the hidden conversations couples should be having everywhere. Remember, sometimes a problem is only as big as you make it out to be and when settling your assets and properties with your partner, both of you should enter the conversation with understanding, compassion, and honesty. This will only make you both stronger as a unit, bringing you one step closer to achieving your goals as a couple happier and healthier.
Listen to the full episode that aired on May 21. The Dating and Relationship Show airs Sunday nights at 9pm on AM640.