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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Marriage vs. Common Law Relationships: Moving In Together

Marriage vs. Common Law Relationships: Moving In Together

If you and your partner are cohabiting, or planning on doing so, there are some legal issues that you should consider, including whether you should get a cohabitation agreement to protect both you and your partner’s interests should one of you pass away or should the relationship end. In this post we will discuss the issues that may arise when cohabiting, and how a cohabitation agreement can assist in preventing complications before they arise.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More