Property Division: Equalization and The Family Law Act

Property Division: Equalization and The Family Law Act

All married couples in Ontario already have a “prenup” - the law in place that sets out what happens to your property when they separate. As soon as you get married, you “opt in” to this process. Under the terms of this “prenup”, you may have to share the entire value of a home you brought into your relationship, share your business, and share inheritances and gifts. You can contract out of this “prenup” by getting your own.

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Abandonment: Can my Spouse be Charged with Abandonment?

Abandonment: Can my Spouse be Charged with Abandonment?

A question that continues to come up from clients in the context of separation and divorce, “Can my spouse be charged with abandonment?”.  In this post, Jillian C. Allen, a lawyer at Fresh Legal, sheds light on the age-old question that continues to plague clients and divorce lawyers.

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Spousal Support: Post Separation Income Increases

Spousal Support: Post Separation Income Increases

When a separation occurs, sometimes the spouse with the higher income will pay spousal support based upon their income. But what happens if the payor spouse then receives a generous promotion, or their income increases for any other reason? In this post, Daniel Duyvelshoff, a Fresh Legal intern from the University of Ottawa law school, looks at how a post-separation income increase can impact a spousal support obligation.

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Tuition and Child Support: Contributing to RESPs

Tuition and Child Support: Contributing to RESPs

When a separating couple opts to use a Separation Agreement to settle their affairs, they have the freedom to agree to almost all manner of issues that could arise. One such issue is the payment of their children’s post-secondary education by way of contributions to an RESP. In this post, Daniel Duyvelshoff, a Fresh Legal intern from the University of Ottawa law school, highlights the advantages and disadvantages of including contribution requirements to RESPs in Separation Agreements.

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Business Owners and Separation, Part 2

Business Owners and Separation, Part 2

In a separation, businesses play a twofold role. First, in equalization, businesses are defined as an asset, similar to a home or a pension, to be divided equally among the spouses. And second, in spousal support where business income can help dictate the amount of support a spouse may be obligated to pay. In an earlier blog post, we looked at the concept of double dipping as it relates to pensions. But do the restrictions around double dipping apply to other assets too? This post looks at the difference between pensions and businesses.

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Spousal Support: Retirement and Pensions, Part 2

Spousal Support: Retirement and Pensions, Part 2

In this post, Daniel Duyvelshoff, a Fresh Legal intern from the University of Ottawa law school, looks at Melis v Zwanenburg to see what a court considers before allowing double dipping. After 18 years of marriage, Caroline Melis and Cornelis Zwanenburg separated in 2006. In their divorce order, Cornelis received a substantial equalization payment from Caroline’s federal pension, and also received spousal support from Caroline. The court had to consider whether the unequalized portion of Caroline’s pension should be incorporated in calculating the amount of support of which Cornelis may be entitled.

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Spousal Support: Retirement and Pension Income

Spousal Support: Retirement and Pension Income

A rising trend in family law is the phenomenon known as “grey divorces”: older couples separating after a long-term marriage. But how much support is a spouse obligated to provide when retirement is one or two chapters away and the ability to “turn over a new page” becomes significantly harder? In a previous post, we shared a primer on spousal support. In this post, Daniel Duyvelshoff, a Fresh Legal intern from the University of Ottawa law school, discusses the role of pensions in grey divorce support obligations.

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