When hiring a family lawyer you probably have a goal in mind. Working with a lawyer can help determine the legal steps to achieve that objective. It may relate to financial matters, parenting, answering a claim by your former spouse, or perhaps some other objective.
What is the Separation Date? Whether married or common-law, there is no such thing as “filing” for legal separation in Ontario. Rather, “separation” describes the point in time when spouses begin to live separate and apart. If the parties don’t agree when separation took place, a judge may have to use evidence to determine the issue, just like any other fact. Either agreement, or a decision of the judge can decide the “legal separation” date.
In Ontario, the simplest way to obtain a divorce is to proceed “Uncontested”. This refers to a procedure where one party files the Divorce Application with the court and serves it on the other party. The receiving party allows a 30 day filing deadline to expire without filing an Answer.
A separation agreement is a contract that marks the conclusion of the issues that arise at the end of a marriage or common law relationship. It allows a great deal of flexibility in customizing the arrangements for future dealings with the other party.
To divide property, the parties must establish their assets and debts on the date of marriage and the date of separation. Subject to some exceptions, the parties split any change in the value of this property.
If spouses jointly own the home, then half of its net value goes into each spouse's net family property. When only one spouse holds title to the home, this can mean a different method of calculating the outcome.
When it comes to property division, common law couples do not have the same rights as married couples. The courts take a different approach to common law property issues.
Financial disclosure is mandatory in family law. We help clients to identify and disclose documents required to support their legal position. This should happen at an early stage, preferably by agreement.
When court is necessary, we help clients navigate the complexity of the family court procedure. Where the parties cannot agree on the rights and obligations that follow the breakdown of their relationship, they will likely end up in court.
Be it married or common law, if you sacrificed your job for a child or domestic responsibilities, you deserve spousal support (sometimes called "alimony"). This type of support seeks to fairly balance the relationship’s impact on the income generating capacity of the partners.
Ontario stopped using the terms “Custody” and “Access”. Now courts say “Parenting Time” and “Decision Making” for children. Although the terminology has changed, the legal standard has not.
Generally, the Child Support Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) establish an amount of support. The Guidelines use income to determine this amount. For this reason, income disclosure is a critical component of calculating support obligations. Click here to determine potential support obligations.