Inheritances and Gifts: How to protect your assets

Not all property is treated equally in family law. Inheritances and gifts from third parties receive special treatment when determining the division of property for married spouses.

The regime governing property division for married couples in Ontario is found in section 1 of the Family Law Act. Equalization is determined by having the spouse with the higher net property (the higher net worth accumulated over the marriage) pay half the difference of the parties’

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3 mins read

Retroactive Child Support: How Far Back Can You Go?

Generally speaking, child support can be awarded retroactively to the date when the recipient can prove he or she first asked for child support. You must be able to prove that you asked for child support, an increase in child support, or at least disclosure of financial information. This is another reason why it is a good idea to communicate with your former spouse via email and to keep good records.

If you are unable to prove that you requested child support or financial disclosure,

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3 mins read

Mobility Rights – What’s the Test?

The issue of mobility arises when the parent having primary residency of the child(ren), or the custodial parent, decides to move or relocate with the child(ren) to a location that would result in affecting the access rights of the other parent. This occurs when the proposed location would, as a result of the distance, interfere with the non-custodial parent’s parenting schedule, contact with the child or participation in events with the child(ren).

If you are the custodial parent wanting to relocate you may want to advise the non-custodial parent well in advance to determine if they will consent to the relocation.

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6 mins read

When Does Child Support End?

There is a common misconception that the right to pay child support automatically ends when a child reaches 18 years of age.  However, the law in Canada provides that child support can continue past the child reaching 18 years of age if he or she is enrolled in a full-time program of education, or is unable to withdraw from parental control, or obtain the necessaries of life as a result of illness, disability or other cause.

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4 mins read

Grandparent Rights vs. Parental Autonomy

The seminal case regarding grandparent access is Chapman v. Chapman (2001), 15 R.F.L. (5th) 46.   In that case, the Ontario Court of Appeal held that parents’ rights to make decisions and judgments on their children’s behalf, including decisions about access, should be respected, unless the parents have demonstrated an inability to act in accordance with their children’s best interests.

The courts in Canada have recognized that, “in the case of a non-parent,

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4 mins read

Common Misconceptions: Principle Differences Between Common-law Relationships and Marriage

Rights arising under a common law relationship differ significantly from those afforded to married spouses.

In a common law relationship, one becomes a spouse after three years of continuous cohabitation or upon becoming the natural or adopted parents of a child, in a relationship of some permanence. For married couples, one automatically becomes a spouse after marriage, regardless of the duration of the relationship. A married spouse could be entitled to spousal support after one year of marriage;

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3 mins read

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