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Oshawa Family Law Blog

Cohabitation agreements and other steps for moving in together

Setting expectations and boundaries is important for any couple, especially when they are about to take the next step in their relationship. For many couples in Ontario, living together is happening earlier and earlier in relationships, as a growing number of unmarried adults choose to live with a significant other. In these cases cohabitation agreements can be important, especially when it comes to finances.

To come up with a fair cohabitation agreement that both parties appreciate, it is a good idea to put everything on the table. This includes talking about financial history and future goals. Sharing credit scores, salaries, savings and debts may also be wise at this stage. Disclosing this information can help people manage expectations and clarify restrictions on mutual purchases.

Family lawyers prefer mediation to settle separation disputes

Family lawyers in Ontario overwhelmingly prefer to use mediation to resolve disputes between separating couples, says a Canadian Forum on Civil Justice survey. Mediation is often less expensive, faster, and less contentious for couples working their way through a separation or divorce. The Canadian Research Institute for the Law and the Family surveyed 160 lawyers in Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Ontario about family dispute resolution. They found over 89 per cent of Ontario lawyers used mediation to resolve family law disputes. This was more than in any other province.


How to deal with feelings of grief in a divorce

There are many emotions that can come with ending a marriage. One of the most common is grief. Although grief is a process typically associated with death, the loss of a marriage can be a similar emotional journey. Here are a few tips for how Ontario individuals going through a divorce can deal with this grief in a healthy way. Managing this process can help people clear their heads in order to work towards the best results personally and legally.

Denial is commonly understood as being the first step in the grieving process. That is why the first tip for healthy grieving after divorce is to work towards accepting that the marriage is over. Accepting this and not trying to fight negative feelings will allow the grieving process to proceed and give people the tools to let go.

Child custody and co-parenting issues change during school year

As children across the country prepare for a new school year, newly separated and divorced parents have a few extra things to think about. Issues like child custody and expenses can look different in the summer months than they do with the responsibilities of school involved. Here are a few things divorced or separated Ontario parents should consider when preparing for the school year.

The first thing worth considering is the extra expenses that come with attending school. While more expensive items are often discussed in a marriage agreement, issues like field trips, child care during sick days and school supplies may be up in the air. Some couples will choose to split these incidentals half and half, while others may need to come up with a more detailed way of dividing such expenses.

Common financial issues during separation and divorce

Many people know that splitting from a spouse or long-term partner can be a financial strain, but what exactly are the issues that can arise in these cases? It's a good idea for Ontario individuals and couples to consider financial issues related to separation and divorce prior to making the choice to end a marriage. This preparation can eliminate some of the difficult surprises later on when it comes to assets and money.

One of the first issues that arises in a separation is the assessment of financial assets. For families with multiple bank accounts, inheritances or businesses, this process can get complicated. Retirement accounts and pensions will also be on the table. Listing out all these assets and deciding who has a right to which amount can be stressful, especially for those who are not prepared for this process.

Considerations when negotiating kids' tuition after divorce

When two parents split up, issues of child support and custody are often top of mind. But what happens once the child graduates high school and heads off to College or University? Future tuition fees for shared children are often left out of separation agreements in Ontario. Left unresolved, this issue can lead to conflict years or even decades after a divorce is finalized.

As with most things involving shared children, tuition can either be decided through an agreement between the two parents or can be left to the courts. Ideally, this issue is handled in the separation agreement. However, since a lot of time can pass between the drafting of this agreement and a child going to school, it is important that the language is very explicit.

Once child custody is decided, how can parents help kids cope?

Separation and divorce can come with a host of challenges, especially for couples who have children. Ontario parents should take care to understand the emotional difficulties their children might face with the family shift. While issues such as child custody and child support are dealt with through family law, helping children cope is often a matter that families must broach at home. Here are some tips to do just that.

Communication is extremely important when it comes to helping children cope with a split. Children can often feel like they are missing explanations or like they don't understand what is going on around them, which can lead to anxiety and cause them to doubt themselves. Speak to them about their concerns, and consider a therapist to tackle more difficult issues.

Advice on adjusting to post-divorce life

No couple gets married thinking with the intention of divorcing, but statistics show that many of those who walk down the aisle will not stay married. Divorce can be a difficult process for people, from managing Ontario family law issues to recovering emotionally and financially. Here are a few tips for those looking to adjust to being single again.

Mourning is often necessary when dealing with a loss, and divorce certainly falls into that category. Feelings of grief over the loss of what a couple hoped their marriage would be are normal, and should be worked through the same way as any other mourning process. Many people may try to numb the pain or ignore it altogether, but understanding that grief and sadness are normal can help people to find healthy ways to cope.

Surprises women may deal with when going through divorce

In a recent online survey of 1,785 women, almost half say that breaking off a marriage brought financial surprises. The survey included women who had finalized their divorces, as well as some who said divorce was on the horizon or who were in the process of working out final paperwork. The surprises these women tend to experience may be worth considering for Ontario women looking to terminate their marriages.

Women who are less involved in marital finances may underestimate the shared debt involved in their union. This can include car loans, the mortgage, credit card debt and even student loans. On top of sharing this debt, some women are surprised by a lower amount of spousal support, or child support than they were expecting.

Understanding Ontario family law

Many people don't consider family law until they are faced with a relationship issue, such as a divorce or custody dispute. However, it is a good idea for Ontario individuals and families to have an understanding of what family law encompasses. This can help them protect themselves with pre-planning and help them ask the right questions should an issue emerge.

Ontario family law involves all issues that come from an ongoing romantic relationship or from the ending of such a relationship. For issues involving the relationship itself, family law can play a role in marriage agreements and cohabitation agreements. If the relationship breaks down, family law will be involved in resolving issues such as property division, child or spousal support and custody issues. 

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