Court Procedure: Service by Facebook

Court Procedure: Service by Facebook

Social media is beginning to change the traditional practices of the legal system. Some uses of social media in legal system may be obvious: for example, using Facebook to collect evidence, or how oversharing on social media can have legal consequences. In recent Ontario court cases, however, social media has been used for a less obvious purpose: serving documents.  In this post,  Olivia Giacobbi, a Fresh Legal intern from the University of Ottawa law school, discusses service by social media.

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Court Procedure: Family Court vs. Small Claims

Court Procedure: Family Court vs. Small Claims

When starting a court proceeding related to an issue that stems from the breakdown of a relationship, most people will assume that they must bring their matter to the family courts. Sometimes, however, the matter can be brought as a civil claim in small claims court.  In this post, we will discuss the 2016 case of Pilon v. Lavigne 2016 ONSC 1965 and examine when matters should properly be brought in family court and when they should be brought in small claims court.

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Finances: Tips for Completing Your Financial Statement

Finances: Tips for Completing Your Financial Statement

The Financial Statement can be overwhelming when you first look at it, but is not as hard to fill out as it seems on first glance.  Before you start, find your latest paystub, your income tax returns and Notices of Assessment, and your bank statements and other financial documents from around the time of your separation.  Take a deep breath and tackle one part at a time. As you fill it out, here are some tips and answers to common questions.

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Finances: Disclosure From New Partners

Finances: Disclosure From New Partners

Your spouse may move in with someone new, and their partner may contribute to the overall costs/expenses of the household.  This might impact the amount of spousal support payable based on that contribution. In order to assess what impact re-partnering has on spousal support, some financial disclosure from the new partner may be necessary. In this post we will discuss the limits on how much disclosure you can request from your ex’s new partner with reference to a recent court decision dealing specifically with this issue.

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Court Procedure: The Office of the Children's Lawyer

Court Procedure: The Office of the Children's Lawyer

When deciding custody and access, the court must consider the best interests of the child. One of the factors is "the views and preferences of the child". One of the many ways of bringing your child's wishes to the attention of a judge is the Office of the Children's Lawyer (OCL). In this post, we discuss in more detail how the OCL assists in custody/access disputes. This post reviews what the OCL is, how you can get them involved in your case, and how they help.

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The Mandatory Information Program

The Mandatory Information Program

The MIP provides information related to the family court system, local community resources, and various options outside of the court system that are available to couples that are separating. The MIP will also go over the legal issues related to custody and access, child/spousal support, property division, net family property, and the matrimonial home. Parties are obligated to attend this session unless their case is exempt. You must attend the MIP before your first court appearance, with some exceptions for urgent and emergency motions.

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Court Procedure: Grounds for Divorce

Court Procedure: Grounds for Divorce

In Canada, a divorce can be obtained by proving to the court that there has been a breakdown of the marriage.  According to the Divorce Act, the breakdown of a marriage can happen in one of three ways: living separate and apart for one year; adultery; or cruelty. If any one of them occurs, you are entitled to apply for a divorce. In this post we will discuss the various grounds for divorce in Canada, and how each one is applied by the courts.

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Court Procedure: Security for Costs

Court Procedure: Security for Costs

In some higher conflict cases, it sometimes happens that one party will bring numerous frivolous motions in an attempt to delay and frustrate the litigation process. When this happens, the other party is often placed at a disadvantage, as they are forced to incur legal fees and other costs associated with preparing for and attending unnecessary court appearances.  When situations like these happen, you can bring a Motion for what is known as Security for Costs.

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