The difference between a marriage and a common-law union

A marriage is a formal and legally recognized union of two people who are in an intimate relationship. This union establishes the rights and obligations between the individuals. On the other hand, a common-law relationship is one in which two people live together in a conjugal relationship for a period of time without formalizing the union.

In Canada, common-law relationships legally fall under provincial jurisdiction. That is why the definition of a common-law relationship differs from province to province.

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7 mins read

Do you need a divorce lawyer?

Going through a divorce is not easy. Among the many things that you need to consider, you may be wondering if you must hire a divorce lawyer. While you are not required by law to have a divorce lawyer in order to file for a divorce, depending on your situation, you may need one to ensure the process runs smoothly.

Here are some cases in which you should definitely hire a divorce lawyer:

A divorce lawyer makes the process easier

In many cases,

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6 mins read

Putting Children First: Proposed Changes to the Divorce Act

In May 2018 the Canadian Justice Minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould tabled Bill C-78, which seeks to vary the Federal Divorce Act with the aim of putting the best interests of the children first. The Divorce Act is the governing legislation for parties ending their marriage and has not had any significant changes since it was drafted in 1985. Over the past 20 years the family law bar has seen a shift in parenting roles and it is important that the legislation adapt to reflect this.

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7 mins read

Imputing Income to the Intentionally Unemployed or Under-employed

Separating spouses and parents and family lawyers often encounter situations where a parent or spouse alleges that the other party has “quit” their job to avoid child and/or spousal support obligations, or where the other party is working in a position that pays less than they ought to be making. In some cases, spouses may be earning income from undisclosed and untraceable sources.

Under s. 19 of the Child Support Guidelines,

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2 mins read

Post-Separation Increases of Income for Spousal Support Purposes

There is no automatic presumption that a spouse is entitled to an increase in spousal support when a spouse’s post-separation income increases.  By the same token, a spouse is not necessarily not entitled to share in post-separation increases of income enjoyed by a spouse.

The Honourable Court in Kirvan. v. Kirvan, recently addressed the issue of post-separation increases in income and outlined principles to be considered which include the following:

(a) A spouse is not automatically entitled to increased spousal support when a spouse’s post-separation income increases.

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9 mins read

Definite Indefinite Spousal Support: Termination of Long Term Spousal Support Pursuant to the Divorce Act

Section 15.2 of the Divorce Act sets out the law in relation to spousal support and subsection (6) outlines the objectives of a spousal support order, namely:

  1. Recognize the economic advantages or disadvantages to the spouses arising from the marriage or its breakdown;
  2. Apportion between the spouses any financial consequences arising from the care of any child of the marriage over and above any obligation for the support of any child of the marriage;
 » Read more about: Definite Indefinite Spousal Support: Termination of Long Term Spousal Support Pursuant to the Divorce Act  »

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5 mins read

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