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Oshawa Family Law Blog

A separation agreement can protect in the time leading to divorce

When married couples in Ontario develop marital problems, they have different options, one of which is to end the marriage. However, a divorce is not a process that is completed overnight; in fact, some divorce procedures can take months or even years to finalize. That will bring about a period of separation for which to prepare.

One way to deal with this issue is to draft a separation agreement. With the help of a divorce lawyer, such an agreement can be done as a legal contract, signed by both spouses. The details of how they have settled issues can be included, and if it works during the separation, it might even be used to finalize the divorce decree when the time comes, thereby saving both time and money.

Family law advice also valuable before marriage

When a person in Ontario marries another person, there are several financial changes to which each party will have to adjust. Each one will most likely have to adopt a new financial role and get used to the adjusted pattern. Most couples enter marriages with individual ideas about spending versus saving, and they will have to decide whether they will pool their incomes or keep it separate. When it comes to family law, there are many sources of advice on how best to handle marital finances, and many people believe adjusting to a new spouse's financial personality is even more challenging in a second or subsequent marriage.

For individuals to change set ideas about debts and investments, it is not easy to adjust without giving it some time. In the case of a second marriage, additional problems that may arise include one spouse having other responsibilities such as alimony and child support. He or she may also have to pay property buy-out installments to a former spouse. Furthermore, they may be concerned about how their pension funds will be affected.

ADR – The Benefits Of Out-Of-Court Divorce Solutions

Family law cases are difficult at the best of times and more so when partners can’t agree on what should happen next. Luckily, you can get help from a family law professional that will help you and your partner work through issues or make a decision for you.

You can ask for help at any point whether trying to resolve issues on your own, creating a separation agreement, or going through family court.

Divorce and property division can give rise to many questions

Ending a marriage requires meticulous planning, and it is not typically a process to be rushed. It is only natural for most people who are in the throes of divorce to want to hold on to as many assets as possible. Understanding family laws that are applicable in Ontario can ease the process.

In Ontario's property division laws, there is a clear distinction between assets owned before the marriage and those accumulated during the marriage. Although certain exceptions exist, all assets acquired in the years of marriage belongs to both parties. If one spouse enters the marriage already owning assets valued at $1 million, he or she will not have to share that in the event of a divorce.

Marriage agreements by any name must be valid legal contracts

You and your partner have decided to marry. In an age when divorce rates compete with marriage as a lifestyle choice, your families and friends rush to advise that some kind of customized agreement between you be written up. Whether known as prenuptial, postnuptial or marriage agreements, Ontario courts recognize them as contracts under the law, specifically domestic or marriage contracts.

The evolution of the cultural and legal language surrounding marriage contracts came about in the era that saw the emergence of new legal arguments such as "palimony" and the sudden rise in the numbers of women, primarily, in self-sustaining or high-paying jobs. The original legal principle governing prenuptial agreements had been largely based on financial protection, in cases where one spouse's assets were disproportionately higher than the other's. With people marrying later in life or delaying formal marriage, such cases became less prevalent, and marriage agreements were drawn up for reasons other than finances.

Are hockey tickets shared property under Ontario divorce law?

Long before the internet coined the term, "gaming fever," Canadians, past and present, were known for their fervent attachment to ice hockey. Love for this quintessential Canadian sport extends from province to province, its wins and losses discussed interminably wherever fans meet up -- in pubs, workplaces and even in the home. When Ontario couples decide to separate or divorce, the court's decisions about what constitutes shared property may be completely unexpected.

In a recent case, that's just what happened. All seemed reasonably settled when a couple formally separated after 35 years of marriage. Both ardent hockey fans, one partner suddenly realized that the separation agreement didn't cover the season hockey tickets. Hard to come by, season tickets included playoff games which had been enjoyed by both spouses for 11 years.

Does Ontario family law allow a divorced parent to relocate?

Following a divorce in Ontario, life goes on and typically has many twists and turns -- many of which are not anticipated. Regardless of carefully drafted parenting plans, divorced parents may have to make choices that might involve relocation. While this happens to countless other parents, when divorced parents want to relocate with their children, navigation of plans must comply with family law.

There are various possible reasons for moving to another location, including better job prospects, improved housing, a new love or remarriage, and more. If the move is not a great distance away, meaning that the child needs no change in school or child care arrangements, it may be an easy process. However, if the relocation will adversely affect the other parent's access to the child -- or others with court-ordered access -- it might be more challenging. If the other parent will not give consent to the move and mediation is not an option, the court may have to decide.

Ontario family law and the debatable influence of science

Deciding to separate or divorce is challenging enough. When children are involved, the gravity of that decision is rendered even more agonizing by current socio-cultural views that either applaud or disparage the effects on children. Longstanding science studies maintain that the dissolution of a marriage can create an unhealthy living environment for a child, while more recent research points to the opposite. The presence of an experienced Ontario lawyer may provide reassurance that any family law adjudications do not rest on mercurial scientific recommendations.

Nonetheless, with an ear tuned to a vast information stream, a parent may come upon research studies that appear to denigrate his or her choices by subtly attributing fault. In one such study, researchers raised the decades-old "nature versus nurture" argument to consider whether the child of divorced parents is more likely to opt for divorce as an adult. The study parameters extended to children adopted by parents who eventually divorced and those raised by their biological parents who also divorced.

Family law and special expenses for children of divorce

When Ontario couples divorce, clean breaks from each other are typically only possible when there are no children involved. Family law will keep divorced parents linked through their children for as long as the children are minors. Although child support is typically a court-ordered amount, as children grow older, there will always be special expenses that must be considered.

Expenses that might not have been included in the calculation of child support at the time of the divorce can consist of tuition at a private school and sports and school uniforms. There may also be medical fees, orthodontic bills and various extracurricular activities. Any of these that were excluded from the court-ordered child support must be treated as special expenses.

Offers to settle in Ontario family law may have costs attached

It is not part of the traditional marriage vow but the word "compromise" may figure significantly in the dissolution of a marriage. Unfortunately, compromise is laden with connotations that do not at all describe how it can promote mutually satisfactory, progressive solutions to issues which arise during formal divorce proceedings. In Ontario family law matters, reaching agreement toward the settlement of any one mutual concern can help create a conciliatory pathway forward.

However, a working dialogue may be backlit by perceptions which militate against agreement. In a recent study covering 10-year-old marriages, fact-based realities of one spouse's spending habits were pitted against the misperceptions of the other spouse. The researchers extrapolated an unwillingness on both sides to shift perceptions, despite evidence to the contrary. Dramatically high percentages of fixed and disparaging perceptions persisted, thwarting progress and dead-ending possible fixes.

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