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

Staying organized can be a huge asset in your divorce proceeding, as it can help you communicate information, expectations and needs to your lawyer effectively. This allows your lawyer to pick up on details that can improve your case. more

What is the best that a bad situation can be? Well, the answer can be summed up in two words: uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses agree that the marriage is going to come to an end, and they can come to a mutually satisfying settlement agreement.

Even if you are not happy that your spouse wants out, recognizing that you cannot control someone else and acting with maturity can make the process way less painful for you. Similarly, you can engage in a joint divorce. The difference is that in an uncontested divorce, you serve your spouse with a divorce application and your spouse does not contest or raise any issues regarding the divorce. Alternatively, in a joint divorce, you do not initiate any action against each other. Rather, both spouses inform the court of their intention to divorce through the same application. more

On the Fence About Your Marriage

 Relationships have their ups and downs, and it’s normal to want some space at times. If you are on the fence about your marriage, the best thing to do is communicate with your spouse. Tell them what is bothering you, your concerns, and try to find common ground. If your spouse is unwilling to work on things, you might benefit from visiting a marriage counsellor together. Speaking with a professional third party about your marital problems might provide you both with a sense of clarity, and can promote communication, understanding, and compromise. You might also want to visit a counsellor independently. This can give you the opportunity to discuss your concerns and receive professional advice. more

Most stalking cases involve a previous relationship between the stalker and the victim. In fact, divorced or separated spouse are more likely to be stalked by former spouses than others. Female victims are most often stalked by former intimate partners, whereas male victims are most often stalked by casual acquaintances. If your ex is stalking you, it may be best to alert the police to ensure your safety. It may also be a good idea to let your family, friends, and other people close to you know so that they can help you devise a safety plan. more

What happens when you mix business with pleasure? People often think starting a family business is a good idea until things get rough and meetings with lawyers begin. A family business is a complicated area of asset division, especially if there is no shareholder agreement in place. This asset division can become even more complicated when there are obligations to employees, clients, shareholders, and creditors. more

Not Understanding Child and Spousal Support “Ceilings”

Child support is determined using the legislated Child Support Guidelines (CSG) and the payor’s income affects the support amount owed. The CSG has a specific calculation for when the income of the spouse against whom an order for the support of a child is sought is over $150,000. The court can use the Table formula for calculating the additional amount or if the court considers that amount inappropriate, they can use their discretion to set a different amount based on the condition, means, needs and other circumstances of the children and the financial ability of each parent to contribute to the support of the children. Judges rarely use their discretion to lower the amount of support owed. more

The Children’s Law Reform Act states that the father and the mother of a child are equally entitled to custody of the child. The legislation tells us as a general rule, both parents are equally entitled to custody until separation. However, the parent who throughout the couple’s relationship acted as the primary caregiver to the children is commonly awarded custody. more

The Divorce Act contemplates that divorcing (and/or separated) parties may reconcile. It thereby allows and encourages parties to resume cohabitation, with reconciliation as their primary purpose, and engage in normal marital relations for a period of up to (but not exceeding) 90 days.

Regardless of whether you are attempting to reconcile or not, it is unwise to make unrealistic or grandiose promises to your former spouse. Offers like “she can have everything” may ease your guilt or otherwise prove your love/goodwill, but such promises often manifest into overly generous settlements or agreements that are rarely kept or enforced. more

Child support obligations will generally end when a child has reached the provincial age of majority but can extend to when the child has obtained some form of post-secondary education. The obligation also continues past the age of majority for children who are incapable of supporting themselves due to illness or disability. more

Often, people planning to get married do not think about how to best protect themselves financially before the marriage. Marriage is intended to be lifelong but the reality is approximately 40% of marriages in Canada end in separation and divorce. You may not want to think of the possibility of the upcoming marriage ending in the future but you should be prudent in planning ahead of time to minimize risk and protect your finances. more