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Family Law Archives

Security for Support

If you are a parent going through a separation, child support is likely going to be an issue you have to resolve with your spouse. If you have an obligation to pay child support, you will also have an obligation to ensure that you have security in place should you pass away while you child or children are still minors.
Similarly, if you are required to pay support to your spouse or former spouse, you will be required to maintain security for that support. Check out our blog post on how spousal support is calculated here

How is support enforced in Ontario?

In Ontario, child support is usually determined according to the Child Support Guidelines, which can be found online. (To see our blog on child support that varies from the Guideline amount click here).
Similarly, spouses may have the right to receive support payments for some period of time after a separation. Our blog on the variables that go into a spousal support calculation is here. In the vast majority of cases, parents and spouses recognize their obligations and support is paid on time and in full by cheque or bank transfer. Sometimes, unfortunately, it can be difficult to get payors paying. 

Costs in Family Law Matters

Retaining legal counsel is expensive. Although some legal fees are tax deductible (see our blog on tax deductible fees here), clients can expect to find the fees substantial.In some cases, the Family Law Rules allow parties to recover costs of particular steps in litigation. The entireOntario Family Law Rules can be found here.
If you are required to bring a motion, or defend one, and you are successful, you may be entitled to recover some of your legal costs of the motion directly from the other party. If you are unsuccessful, you might end up having to pay some of the other party's legal fees. Costs awards can be thousands of dollars, and vary dramatically from one case to another, and one type of appearance to another, but the risk is always there. 

Child Support in Shared Parenting Scenarios

THE GUIDELINES AND TABLES

The Federal and Ontario Child Support Guidelines are meant to be simple, easy to work with, and to result in a fair and standard way of ensuring children in similar circumstances are treated in a similar way.
For many parents the calculation is quick and easy. By knowing simply how much money the payor parent makes and how many children are entitled to monthly support, the Guidelines give users a hard and fast number in the form of the Tables (available here).
However, the standard Table amounts may not be appropriate in all circumstances. There are three main situations in which the Table amounts may not be awarded: shared parenting, very high incomes and undue hardship. This post will address shared parenting scenarios, sometimes also referred to as "shared custody" or "joint custody" arrangements.

Variation of Child Support Payments

Calculation

Generally, if children are living primarily with one parent the amount of child support payable to the other parent is determined by looking to the correct table in the Child Support Guidelines (available here). Simply by entering the payor's income, province of residence, and number of children to whom the order applies, the parties can determine what the appropriate monthly payment will be.

With This Ring...

With This Ring...

Jenny Johnston
On marriage breakdown, spouses typically retain property owned solely by him or her prior to the wedding. In cases where the couple never married, property negotiations may relate to jointly owned assets, or contributions made by one spouse to an asset owned by the other. Counsel faced with these disputes, should not ignore one emotional sticking point: the engagement ring. Potentially valuable to the heart and pocketbook, engagement rings in case law straddle notions of unconditional gifts, conditional gifts, and contracts that must be executed or undone.
Although substantial solitaires can be objectively valuable enough to trigger argument between separating couples, it is also important to consider cases in which the engagement ring in question is a family heirloom. Even when these family antiques are melted down or modified to please the modern bride, they can hold an added degree of significance that makes passionately arguing for their return that much easier for clients to imagine and undertake.

The Matrimonial Home

In Ontario, the Family Law Act is the legislative source of matrimonial property laws. That is to say, when a marriage breaks down and the couple is deciding how to divide up the assets and the debts that they accumulated over the course of that marriage, their lawyers look to the Family Law Act. One issue that the Family Law Act deals with explicitly is the rights and obligations on marriage breakdown in relation to the matrimonial home.