Family Law Services:

Custody & Access

Family traditions endure as special memories. These memories reflect a parent’s role of bringing stability, predictability, and security which anchor a child’s sense of self-worth and confidence, and encourage appropriate development. These anchors are reflected in the life decisions—the big ones and the small ones—that parents make for their children.

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Child Support

Children matter. To put significant weight behind that principle, legislation has established child support as the right of children. It cannot be waived by a parent to make a better deal with a former spouse. It takes priority over spousal support.

To encourage parents to provide for their children after separation, 100 percent of the payment goes to benefit the children. None of the payment is remitted as taxable income.

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Divorce

A court-granted divorce order terminates a marriage.  A “divorce” proclaimed only by the spouses is not good enough.  An annulment granted by your church or religious institution is not a divorce under the laws of Canada.

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Spousal Support

The foundation for resolving family law disputes is the full and open sharing of the financial circumstances of each spouse or partner and of the children. This disclosure provides the factual basis from which the children’s expenses today and in the future can be accommodated. It entitles a spouse to negotiate an appropriate amount and duration of financial support.

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Cohabitation Agreements

A Cohabitation Agreement is a domestic contract for clients who plan to reside together or who are already doing so. It is also commonly known as a prenuptial (“prenup”) agreement. One or both clients wish to preserve personal ownership of property they either brought into the relationship or expect to receive, such as an inheritance or a significant gift.

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Property Sharing for Common Law Partners

For spouses and partners who are not married, there is no legislated property-sharing regime in Ontario.

Understanding what common-law spouses may be entitled to claim from the other upon separation is important for clients before they plan to cohabit.

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Marriage Contracts

A Marriage Contract is for clients who wish to enter into a domestic contract before or while they are married. The purpose of the Contract is to preserve one spouse’s ownership of property acquired prior to or during the marriage.

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Property Division for Married Couples

Often new clients become panicked about having to give up their grandmother’s dining table or a set of classic vinyl records. Gentle probing elicits their belief that married spouses have to share their all property with their spouse in a 50/50 split. Breathe deeply. It doesn’t work that way in Ontario. There are exemptions for certain kinds of property and credits for the value of assets brought into the marriage.

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Post Separation Changes

As time passes, certain terms negotiated in a separation agreement may prove to no longer be applicable and need to be updated or revised. An amending or subsequent separation agreement should incorporate the new changes to ensure they will be understood and enforceable.

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Separation Agreements

A Separation Agreement is a Domestic Contract used by common-law or married clients to confirm the agreed resolution of all issues arising from the breakdown of their relationship or marriage. The agreement covers the range of issues concerning the children, including financial support and the parenting arrangement; the division or sharing of property; and financial support for a spouse.

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