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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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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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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Divorce and Real Estate

Divorce and Real Estate

One of the most significant decisions after a separation is where each person will live, and whether that new home will be purchased or rented.  If the couple owns the home they live in, there are also questions about whether it will be sold or if one spouse will keep it, and how the price and sharing of the proceeds is determined. There are a number of things to keep in mind when deciding whether to buy, sell, or rent during a separation.

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Marriage vs. Common-Law Relationships: Lottery Winnings

Marriage vs. Common-Law Relationships: Lottery Winnings

This topic has likely been on the minds of many people in Ontario lately, due to an ongoing legal battle over a jackpot of roughly $6.1 million between a woman and her ex-boyfriend with whom she was cohabiting. In this post, we discuss how a cohabitation agreement could have ensured the woman received half the winnings or, likewise, protected the man from the claim she is making now.

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Stay At Home Parents: What are my rights when we separate?

Stay At Home Parents: What are my rights when we separate?

When one spouse is able to build up savings, work experience, assets, and other benefits from working, the law recognizes that the other spouse may have contributed to these things.  If you were married, the division of your property is based in part on this assumption.  The law does differ if you were married or living together, but in either case you will be requesting similar things - a share of property, and support for you and your children.

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