Creighton Law LLP
Call Us Today For Personalized Service 1-800-216-4970

Oshawa Family Law Blog

Family law: New tool will enable courts to help women in danger

Victims of domestic violence may get some relief, thanks to a new project on the horizon. Many women who decide to separate from their partners may find themselves in dire straits and potentially dangerous situations. As much as Ontario family law rules try to protect victims of domestic violence, added programs and education is always needed. Giving family law professionals the tools to help these victims is a step in the right direction.

A Toronto clinic for women facing violence is working on a new risk assessment tool that would allow family court staff to determine how much danger women are in to be able to help them quickly. The project has received funding from the Law Foundation of Ontario. The gist is to accommodate law professionals with standardized questionnaires, which would allow them to make assessments of individual situations and then provide resources to help victimized women and their children.

Family law: What to do when spousal support isn't being paid

When a former spouse agrees to pay spousal support and then reneges, it can be frustrating and may create financial hardship. But family law rules in Ontario dictate that there are things that can be done to try to enforce an order, but only under certain conditions. It can be rather tricky if either party has moved out of the area in which the order was granted.

The payee is pretty much in a no-win situation if the area to which the payor moves doesn't enforce the court order issued in another area. In hindsight, a divorce settlement should make mention of such a possibility and perhaps the payee may even agree to a one-time sum. By getting the money up front, there will be no worries about the payor not making good on his or her court-ordered spousal support payments.

Ontario family law: Common law couples and sharing of pensions

People work hard to establish a solid pension. In the event of divorce, however, family law in Ontario has certain rules when it comes to the sharing of those pension funds. When it comes to federal pension plan funds, much depends on whether the couple was married or in a common law union. Common law couples can apply to have Canada Pension Plan (CPP) funds divided as long as the couple had been living together for at least a year.

Married couples actually have the right to share pensions, unlike their common law counterparts. In a common law relationship, the holder of the pension fund usually gets to keep those funds in the event of separation. If there is a cohabitation agreement in existence, that may not hold true. If such an agreement makes mention of pension funds or if one partner has a court order or if the matter has gone through arbitration with the decision that pension funds should be shared, then by law, they must be.

Co-parenting may be challenging after divorce

There are many reasons a marriage breaks down, but chances are, by the time things get to that point, the individuals may not be too fond of each other. When children are a part of divorce in Ontario, their best interests must always be at the forefront, and that means reigning in the desire to badmouth the other parent in front of them. Co-parenting can be challenging, but when parents agree on one fundamental issue -- that their kids' feelings come first -- the likelihood of saying disparaging things in front of them may dissipate.

It may be easier said than done since divorce can be filled with anxiety, anger, sadness and disbelief, depending upon the issues that were instrumental in causing the divorce. It may take some time, but when parents can find a way to communicate positively when it comes to their children, everyone will be better for it. It will not only be better for the adults' mental health, but for the children's as well.

When there's a need for a child custody assessment in Ontario

One possible contentious issue in a divorce case for couples who have kids is determining who will become their primary guardian. If parents can't agree on child custody, they may need to get the help of an assessor who will provide an Ontario family court judge with a report after his or her findings. Assessors are usually those in helping professions such as social workers, psychologists or psychiatrists, or other mental health experts. 

A family court judge will always make decisions from the standpoint of what is in the best interests of any children involved. So, he or she will take an assessor's opinion to heart when deciding on custody matters. A couple can agree to have an assessor evaluate the situation or a court may appoint an assessor. An assessment can take place before or during a family court case.

Marriage agreements: Will a prenuptial agreement kill romance?

When a relationship is new, a couple is starry-eyed in love. Everything is going so well, they get engaged and then ... bam ... one of the partners brings up a prenuptial agreement. When it comes to marriage agreements in Ontario, the prenup, as it is usually called, has a bad rap of being a killer of romance. But many couples are realizing that doesn't have to be the case and that a marriage contract can benefit both individuals. 

The bottom line is that a prenuptial agreement stipulates who gets what should a marriage end in divorce. Seeing that in many cases, a divorce can wreak financial havoc in the lives of the couple, it makes sense to have a marital agreement in place before saying I do. The document has yet to catch on, however, since only about 8 per cent of married Canadians have one.

Family law in Ontario: Leaving an abusive relationship

No one deserves to be abused, nor should they be expected to stay in an abusive relationship. There are steps to take under family law in Ontario to leave such a relationship and get a court order to allow a judge to make some decisions about the situation. If abuse is part of the problem, getting a temporary order for protection of self, children and financial rights may be the first place to begin.

The situation might call for a restraining order to keep an abusive partner away from an estranged spouse and children. A supervised access order may also be needed so that a parent can only see his or her children when someone else is present. A non-removal order stipulates that a parent can't take a child out of a designated area within Ontario. These orders all serve to protect the safety of an abused partner and children.

Family law: Preparing for a continuing record

Getting divorced involves a lot of paperwork. Family law rules in Ontario stipulate that every document connected to individual cases have to be kept in a continuing record for that case. It allows the judge to get easy access to any information he or she may need in making any decisions. 

A continuing record consists of two parts, the first of which consists of any rulings a family court judge may have made in a case and any written directions a judge recommends. The second part is a documents volume which contains all papers filed by the two divorcing individuals. The applicant starts the continuing record, while the respondent can add files to it.

Ontario family law: FOMO is a new feeling fuelled by social media

FOMO parenting is apparently a real thing. FOMO or fear of missing out, is impacted by social media sites like Facebook. Parents begin to track the familial photos of their friends and family members on such social media sites and try to keep up. Although family law in Ontario always has the best interests of children at heart, this kind of social media frenzy becomes like a parental competition as to who is the best parent, who spends the most time with their kids, and ultimately someone begins to have that new FOMO feeling. 

Social media can make a person feel like he or she is under a magnifying glass. The ironic thing is that a parent who fears missing out is doing exactly that by spending too much time on social media and not enough with his or her kids. An Ontario mother has said that she bases her idea of what a good parent should be by what is posted on social media sites by way of photos, comments, links and news feeds that flood her own feed. Some parents have even decided not to engage in discussion on social media sites because they end up feeling inferior.

Wise Moves To Take After Deciding On Divorce

Chances are the signs that something is very amiss in a marriage have been lingering for months, if not years. It could be that a couple has done everything to try to mend the relationship until finally one or both partners mentions divorce. There are a few things Ontario couples should do after making a final decision that their marriages aren't worth continuing the fight.


Creighton Law LLP

235 King St. E.
Oshawa, ON L1H 1C5

Toll Free: 800-216-4970
Fax: 905-432-2323
Map & Directions

Google Map