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.
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.
As life progresses after a separation or divorce, Ontario parents who are responsible for paying child support may find it necessary to end or change that obligation. Under family law, changes to court-ordered child support are allowed. Although an income change is not typically regarded as legal grounds for such an adjustment, several other reasons may justify a motion for child support modification.
When Ontario couples with children file for divorce, the parents may have questions about child support laws. They may not understand when federal or provincial family law applies to their situation. In Canada, family law responsibility is shared by provincial and federal governments with some guidelines for child support being governed by federal law, and others by provincial law.
Until 2016, when Bill 34 became effective in Ontario, grandparents were not explicitly mentioned with relation to access or visitation. Family law advocates worked to strengthen grandparents' rights for years before the Children's Law Reform Amendment Act (Relationship with Grandparents) was finally passed. While this did not significantly change existing laws, the act now specifically mentions grandparents.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.