Family Lawyer Ontario | Family Law Firm Oshawa & Whitby | TMB Law
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Family Law

FAMILY LAW

Separation and/or Divorce can be a very overwhelming process. Issues regarding custody, parenting time and property division are not only complex legal matters, they are also emotionally draining.

We see the impact of relationship breakdowns daily. We advise clients on how best to minimize the inevitable upheaval of the process and stress, and avoid costly litigation. We work closely with all our clients to devise strategies to address all their concerns and matters by either formal Separation Agreements, Cohabitation/Marriage Contracts, Mediation/Arbitration or Litigation.

If you are considering separation and need to understand your legal rights and options on what might lie ahead, please call us.

AGREEMENTS

Separation Agreements:

A separation agreement is a legally binding contract between two people who were living together, or have children together, and they have decided to separate. An accurately drafted separation agreement is equivalent to a court order and equally enforceable. 

The agreement will deal with division of property, including matrimonial home; equalization of assets; child and spousal support; custody and parenting time as well as all necessary estate and property releases. Full financial disclosure is exchanged between the parties to ensure that the agreement is solid and protects your rights.

Cohabitation Agreements/ Marriage Contracts:

Cohabitation Agreements and Marriage Contracts are binding agreements that will essentially protect your assets in the unfortunate event of a separation from your partner in the future. It allows you to retain your property and investments on the date of cohabitation and/or marriage and not be divided equally upon separation. The Agreements include thorough and complete financial disclosure to ensure that the Agreement cannot be set aside if contested during a separation at Court. Cohabitation/ Marriage contracts can be very complex depending on the clients’ assets. 

We strongly recommend that people have a lawyer draft any agreements, whether it be for separation or a marriage. A lawyer will not only give you legal advice but ensure all the necessary financial disclosure has been exchanged to maintain the validity of the Agreements.  A lawyer is familiar with all the necessary releases in the Agreements to protect your future assets and/or estate.

Ontario has a no-fault approach when it comes to Divorce. As long as the parties have been separated for a minimum of one year (some exceptions apply), either party can proceed with a Divorce. Courts are extremely reluctant in granting divorces if custody, support and property issues are not resolved between the parties, particularly issues in relation to custody/parenting time and child support. You can either resolve the above issues by way of a separation agreement and proceed with an uncontested divorce or litigate your matter in Ontario Family Court.   

Our office specializes in assisting clients with uncontested divorces when one party is residing out of the country. For simple divorces (uncontested) our office generally completes the entire divorce under a flat fee (not including HST and Disbursements).

CUSTODY/ PARENTING TIME

“Custody” is a general term describing who has the responsibility for a child’s care, who makes the decisions about the child’s medical, educational and religious needs, and where the children will reside.

CHILD AND SPOUSAL SUPPORT

Child Support:

Child Support is the legal responsibility of parents or guardians to provide financial support for all dependent children. When there is an arrangement in which a child lives primarily with one of the parents or guardians they are assumed to have “custody” of that child. The general rule of thumb is that the custodial parent is entitled to child support from the other parent or guardian, provided the child is in full time education. This entitlement to child support continues even if the custodial parent remarries or starts to live with someone else.

The amount of child support is usually set according to the Child Support Guidelines. More than one parent can have a legal duty to pay child support for the same child. For example, if a parent with custody of a child separates from their marriage or common-law spouse who is not the child’s birth parent, both the child’s other birth parent and the step-parent may have a legal duty to pay child support.

TMB Law have child support lawyers to assist you with navigating this process. Does your spouse owe arrears of child support? Contact TMB law for a free consultation and find out your rights and entitlement to child support.

Spousal Support:

Section 33 of the Family Law Act (FLA) and Section 15 of the Divorce Act (DA) give the court the authority to order a person to provide support for his or her dependents and determine the amount of spousal support in Ontario, Canada.

The DA only applies to married spouses. However, the FLA gives the court the authority to order support for common law spouses and married spouses.

Section 20 of the FLA defines spouses (married and / or common law)

  • Two persons who are married to each other;
  • Two persons who have entered into a marriage that is voidable or void, in good faith on the part of the person relying on the clause to assert any right;
  • Two persons who are not married to each other and have cohabited continuously for a period of not less than three years; or
  • Two persons who are not married to each other and have cohabited in a relationship of some permanence, if they are the natural or adoptive parents of a child.

TMB Law’s spousal support lawyers can assist you in determining your right to spousal support and how much you are entitled to. Book yourself in for a free consultation and find out your rights and entitlements. Our lawyers are trained in every aspect of separation and can assist you though the separation process from start to finish.

PROPERTY DIVISION

Property Division

When you are separating or getting divorced in Ontario, the property that you acquired during your marriage must be divided equally. If one spouse owns property or assets that are worth more than the other spouses’ property or the assets, they must pay their spouse half of the difference in value between their property and the other spouses lower property/assets. The bottom line is  each spouse should leave the marriage on equal footing with equal assets.

it does not matter who is paying the bills or whose name the assets or matrimonial home is in. All assets must be divided equally pursuant to Ontario law. The value of the matrimonial home is equally divided between spouses even if one spouse owned the matrimonial home before marrying their spouse.

TMB property division lawyers will help you through this often-complex calculation.

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