What is a prenuptial agreement?
The Family Law Act permits parties to enter into “prenuptial agreements” or marriage contracts as they are called in Canada, that protect their assets and finances should their marriage end.
A marriage contract can deal with all issues relating to property division and financial support in the event of a marital breakdown, or it can be more narrowly focused. For example, a marriage contract may be limited to identifying certain assets which are to be exempted from…
Similar to the treatment of any other asset, businesses that are owned by a spouse are assets which must be included in their net family property to calculate the equalization payment / property division required when spouses separate. However, unlike assets such as automobiles, bank accounts, or investments, businesses often have to be formally valued by accounting professionals to determine their accurate fair market value.
If the business is owned solely by one spouse, the value of the business represents an asset for that spouse, which will have to be factored into any…
What happens to my home if I separate from my spouse?
Parties (or the Court) will most frequently sell the home and split the proceeds equally. However, if one spouse owes the other a payment to finalize their separation it will often be paid out of their share of the equity.
Selling the matrimonial home allows spouses to establish a clean break and allows them to acquire housing that is consistent with their post-separation financial reality. Another approach is for one spouse to purchase the interest of the…
The Ontario Court of Appeal in the decision of Gray vs. Gray, 2014 CarswellOnt 13066 (ONT. C.A.) has issued yet another ruling which clarifies the applicability of the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines within the context of a spousal support variation proceeding.
As a result of this decision, it is clearly no longer appropriate for counsel or the Court to disregard or downplay the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines in variation proceedings, and there is now a requirement to undertake a careful analysis in every case to determine whether applying the…
I received a gift during my marriage. Do I have to share it with my spouse now that we are separated?
Under the Family Law Act, married parties each calculate the growth in their net worth over the course of the marriage and equalize the amounts so that each benefit equally from the marriage as it relates to property.
However, if one party received a gift or an inheritance from a third party during the marriage, the Family Law Act allows certain property to be excluded from the calculation of…
I have been paying child support for years and my child is turning eighteen. Can I stop paying child support?
A child’s entitlement to support from his parents does not automatically end when that child turns eighteen. That entitlement continues as long as the child relies on his parents because of illness, disability, or “other cause.”
The most common case for continued payment of child support after the age of eighteen is where a child is attending college or university. Post-secondary education is an…
What is the difference between custody and access?
Custody and access both refer to children in a separation or divorce, and the two are often confused.
Custody refers to who makes the decisions about a child’s school, medical and dental needs, and general well-being. Parents may have joint custody following separation, which means they make decisions together about what is in the best interests of their children, or in other cases, one parent may have sole custody, permitting that parent to make decisions for…
I am self-represented and the trial is soon approaching. Why should I retain Jaskot Family Law Barristers to do my family law trial?
Although family law proceedings are case managed by the Court from an early stage in the proceedings to help parties narrow issues and come to a resolution, failing a resolution the final step of the process is trial. A family law trial will deal with significant aspects of your life, including parenting issues, child support, spousal support and/or property division. You are leaving all…
If my matter ends up in Court, how long will it take before it is completed?
The length of time your case will take from start to finish depends on a number of factors, including the relationship you have with your spouse, the lawyers involved, the issues involved and the jurisdiction in which your matter is being heard.
If you are separated and there are no children, property or support issues, an uncontested divorce can usually be obtained in three to four months.
If there are relatively…
Are there alternatives to the court process to resolve the issues from the breakdown of a marriage?
The court process is just one method to determine issues arising from the breakdown of a marriage. There are several alternate methods which can effectively resolve family law disputes.
One option is mediation, which involves a neutral, third party (a mediator) who is trained to isolate and narrow the issues between the separated couple to help them reach an agreement. Depending on the complexity of the issues…