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

Post-separation, parents are legally obligated to financially support their dependent children, and are required to comply with support orders pursuant to a written agreement or court order.

If and when a parent fails to make support payments, the Family Responsibility Office (FRO) may take action and use one of the following enforcement mechanisms: more

Here is a selection of books that may help you and your family through the complicated process of divorce. more

1. Legal Requirements

A separation agreement is a contract drafted between two spouses or common law partners, upon dissolution of or at the end of their relationship. In order for two persons to enter into a separation agreement, they must have previously cohabited and must now be living separate and apart (either no long living under the same roof, or found to be living independent lives). The two parties must also be mentally capable, possessing the requisite capacity to enter into a contract, and 18 years of age of older. To be legally valid, the separation agreement must be in writing, signed by both parties and witnessed. more

Myth: You have to settle a divorce in court

Going to court to resolve your matrimonial disputes is not your only option. In fact, very few family law cases go to trial. Couples are increasingly using alternative dispute resolution methods (i.e. mediation, arbitration or collaborative practice) to reach mutually acceptable agreements, often in a more time effective and less costly manner. more

Divorce can be a complex and stressful legal process, and signing a separation agreement or similar contract can alter or nullify one’s legal rights to property, support, and custody of or access to children. This can all have a significant and lasting effect on one’s life and financial stability. In order to protect yourself and your interests, it is advisable to seek independent legal advice. more

With domestic violence or assault allegations we largely leave the area of Family Law and enter the area of Criminal Law. In relation to Family Law, domestic abuse can affect divorce proceedings as follows: more

Where children will spend the holidays can be a common source of conflict between former spouses. It is important to make a parenting plan, a written document that outlines how parents will raise their child after separation or divorce. Within the plan, you can set a schedule of times each parent will spend with the child, including how the regular schedule will change when there is a holiday or special day. You can specify arrangements for statutory holidays, religious holidays, school holidays, summer vacations and other significant days. more

Divorce can be confusing, stressful, and sad for children. The following are some pointers for fathers as they break the news to their children and help them adjust and cope: more

The matrimonial home, or family home, is afforded special treatment under Ontario’s Family Law Act. If married, both parties to the marriage have the right to possess or live in the matrimonial home. Regardless of whether one spouse or both spouses jointly own the matrimonial home, neither party can sell nor dispose of the property without the express written consent of the other or a court order. As such, when separating or divorcing, the legal owner of the matrimonial home cannot force the other party to move out. The legal owner also cannot change the locks, sublet, rent, mortgage, or sell the home without the other party’s permission. more

Litigated divorces can often be lengthy, costly and full of conflict. There are many alternatives to litigation during a divorce that are less costly and often quicker than family law litigation. The three most common forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution in family law are Meditation, Arbitration, and Collaborative Family Law. more