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Separation. Divorce. Child Custody and Access. Child Support. Spousal Support. Division of Property and Assets.

Divorce can be the most financially fragile time in your life. It is important to consider the financial implications of divorce and how your finances will change with this major transition in your life. more

What is Child Support?

In Ontario, all dependent children have a legal right to be financially supported by both (or all) of their parents.

Parents who do not live together often have an arrangement where the child or children live mostly with one parent. The parent that the child primarily lives with most often burdens the costs of raising the child. The other parent is legally obligated to help with the expenses by paying money to the parent the child resides with; this payment is referred to as “child support”. more

1. Have I Tried to Repair the Relationship?

Divorce can be an incredibly difficult and traumatizing (and expensive) experience for all parties involved. Therefore, before deciding to terminate a marriage, it is crucial that you first try to repair the relationship; practice open communication, build mutual respect, devote time and effort, balance tasks and responsibilities, and/or if needed, seek professional help from a therapist or marriage counsellor. Essentially, you want to determine whether the marriage is salvageable or if the conflict can only be fixed through a divorce. If divorce is your only option, you will need to prepare yourself for the process and be as informed as possible. more

A separation or divorce, and the consequent changing of family dynamics, can be an extremely stressful and frustrating ordeal. Whilst negotiating settlements, heated discussions and arguments are only inevitable; but losing your temper could have serious legal consequences. more

Generally, married spouses are believed to have contributed equally to a marriage; and upon dissolution, all of the assets and debts accumulated over the course of their marriage, except those which can be excluded, are equally divided between the two of them. There are a few exceptions to this process, and whether you are entitled to an equal division of property depends on your individual circumstances. more

In Ontario, parents are legally obligated to provide financial support to their dependent children. This obligation applies to all parents – even those who:

  • do not live with the child,
  • do not see the child, a
  • re not married to other parent, or
  • have not lived with the other parent.

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There is a distinction between an annulment and a divorce. A legal annulment is a court declaration that a marriage is void and there never was a valid marriage. This differs from a divorce, which is the ending of a valid marriage.

An annulment can only occur if a party can demonstrate that the marriage lacks formal validity (a legal defect in the marriage ceremony) or lacks essential validity (an issue related to capacity of one of the spouses).

A marriage lacking formal validity must have a defect in the provincial rules (i.e. defect in the rules for a valid marriage in the Ontario Marriage Act). For example, some defects that could invalidate a marriage are an irregularity in issuing the license or the person who solemnized the marriage is not authorized to do so. more

A separation or divorce can be a deeply personal or private affair, and so it is understandable that you may be reluctant to share certain information about it with your lawyer. But alas, a separation or divorce is a legal matter, and the better informed your lawyer is about your circumstances and case, the better they’ll be able to represent and serve you. more

When divorcing, both spouses are legally obligated to provide one another with full financial disclosure. This entails honest disclosure of all relevant financial information and assets, in a timely and accurate manner. Spouses cannot undervalue their assets, overvalue their debts, or otherwise misrepresent their financial situation. Assets can include businesses, property, investments, or anything else that is of significant monetary value. Although disclosure needs to be sufficiently adequate and complete, it need not be perfect. more

After a divorce, grandparents are often not able to see their grandchildren. This could be due to the fact that post-separation, the child now lives with a parent who denies access to the former spouse’s family, or because the grandparent is otherwise alienated from the family.

In Ontario, there is no legislation that explicitly defines or sets out the rights of grandparents, and so, they do not have any automatic or default post-divorce rights regarding their grandchildren. more