Ontario Family Law Blog Articles

A Cautionary Tale

By Valerie L. Brown of Brown Law Firm Professional Corporation

aggreementI recently had a client meet with me to discuss a letter she received from her ex-common law partner’s lawyer. It was a general letter indicating that he wanted to hear from her regarding a comprehensive settlement on all issues within 10 days, or he would start a court application.

Such letters are unhelpful (what did he consider to be the issues? What was his proposal?), especially in the absence of any financial disclosure, and it was clearly an effort to shake the money tree and see what fruit might fall. Needless to say, receiving such letters is stressful and upsetting, and often that is exactly the intent. Continue reading

Alternatives to an Unequal Division of Property

By Valerie L. Brown of Brown Law Firm Professional Corporation

Usually, when married spouses separate, or die, they (or the survivor) is entitled to equalize the value of their net assets acquired during the marriage.  This will include any assets owned on the date of separation (or death), subject to a few exceptions.

In some cases, married spouses seek an unequal division of assets.  However, this remedy is usually reserved for those cases that are considered to be “shocking to the conscience” and can be hard to prove.  More to the point of this article, an unequal division is still limited to the value of the net assets that exist on the date of separation. Continue reading

Is there such a thing as a “Simple” Divorce?

By Valerie L. Brown of Brown Law Firm Professional Corporation

Yes and no. I often tell clients, “Divorce is easy, it’s everything else that is hard”. If you have already resolved your family issues through a Separation Agreement or a Court Order, then a Divorce can be a simple process, no more than paperwork.

What isn’t simple are the other issues that often accompany the dissolution of a marriage, the most legally significant being issues of child support. In order for you to obtain a divorce, even if you and your ex-spouse agree on support, the Court must assure itself that the appropriate amount of child support is, in fact, being paid. In the simplest of cases, this involves an inquiry into: Continue reading

A Must Read for Unmarried Spouses

By Valerie L. Brown of Brown Law Firm Professional Corporation

Unlike married spouses who have property rights under the Family Law Act, unmarried spouses have no automatic rights. In this legislative void, it is advisable for unmarried spouses to enter into a Cohabitation Agreement to create the rules which will govern their property, both during their relationship and upon separation. The terms could mirror the rights of married spouses, or provide for something different. It is up to the parties. Continue reading

Grandparents’ Rights

By Valerie L. Brown of Brown Law Firm Professional Corporation

Grandparents will usually have a relationship with their grandchildren arranged through the children’s parents. It is not uncommon to see Grandparents involved in the daily care of their grandchildren. They often play an important role that enhances the stability and security of grandchildren, and provides some necessary relief to parents. Continue reading

If I go back to school, what effect will it have on my support?

By Valerie L. Brown of Brown Law Firm Professional Corporation

If someone who is paying or receiving support makes a decision that leads to a reduction of their income, such as quitting a job, becoming self-employed, taking a lower income position, or going back to school, they may still be required to pay support based on their higher previous income.

Whether support is based on the higher previous income, or current reduced income, depends on whether the person is “unreasonably underemployed” taking into consideration the support obligations. The court will consider a wide variety of factors, including age, education, experience, skills, health, availability of job opportunities, number of hours that could be worked in light of parent’s overall obligations, and hourly rate a parent could reasonably be expected to obtain.

If a parent goes back to school, they must establish what they can reasonably earn while in their course of studies through part-time or other employment, and indeed whether their educational goals are reasonable and will benefit them financially.

Contact us for a half price consultation to discuss the particulars of your case, and how your employment and educational decisions can affect you.

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