When seeking an Order for spousal support (alimony as it is sometimes referred to), it is important to know in what court you will be asking for the relief.
For example, if you have already gotten a divorce outside of Canada, you cannot bring a claim for spousal support in a Superior Court as the Superior Court does not have the jurisdiction to order spousal support when the parties have already received a divorce outside Canada.
Also, the Ontario Court of Justice does not have the jurisdiction to hear a proceeding where a party is asking for spousal support under the Divorce Act, if the parties have obtained a divorce outside of Canada. The case of Okmyansky v. Okmyansky, 2007 ONCA 427 is the binding authority on this subject.
While a person may seek spousal support under the Family Law Act, it also cannot be done if the parties obtain a divorce outside Canada. Section 30 of the Family Law Act (FLA) provides that:
“Every spouse has an obligation to provide support for himself or herself and for the other spouse, in accordance with need, to the extent that he or she is capable of doing so. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 30; 1999, c. 6, s. 25 (3); 2005, c. 5, s. 27 (7).”
This section refers only to spouses and not to former spouses. A Spouse under Part III of the FLA is defined as follows:
“spouse” means a spouse as defined in subsection 1 (1), and in addition includes either of two persons who are not married to each other and have cohabited,
(a) continuously for a period of not less than three years, or
(b) in a relationship of some permanence, if they are the parents of a child as set out in section 4 of the Children’s Law Reform Act. (“conjoint”) R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 29; 1999, c. 6, s. 25 (2); 2005, c. 5, s. 27 (4-6); 2009, c. 11, s. 30; 2016, c. 23, s. 47 (1).”
Therefore, former spouses are not entitled to claim support under the FLA.
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What was the condition P.R. card holders had?
The old condition was introduced to citizens wishing to sponsor their partners in 2012. This condition stated you had to live with one another at least two years if, at the time you applied your relationship was less than two years and if you had no children together. This meant that if the couple realized before 2 years of living in Canada together, that they were not meant for each other the sponsored spouse may be forced to give up their residency or would be subject to a removal order. Now, upon arrival you will hold full permanent residency without conditions.
Why was the condition put in place?
This condition was put into place in efforts to eliminate marriage fraud and persons seeking to immigrate to Canada through marriage. However, by putting so much focus on these issues the government acknowledged that not only did it lack trust in Canadians- but issues may arise by forcing couples to cohabit for 2 years. A sponsored spouse may feel obligated to stay in a relationship with their sponsor to protect their residency even if they are experiencing feelings of unhappiness and at times abuse.
Couples that hold the same citizenship go through rough times in their relationship where it causes them to separate– so why shouldn’t two people that happen to have different citizenship be able to? With this condition being lifted it will allow the relationship between you and your significant other to grow naturally. Sometimes the pressure of making a relationship work because of all the legality behind it diminishes the reason two people decide to be with one another.
Transcript – Blog Video – Partition & Sale of the Family Home
My name is Angela Princewill and I would like to talk to you about partition and sale of the matrimonial home.
You might be experiencing a situation where your partner is not agreeing to buy out your interest in the home and is also not agreeing to the home being put up for sale.
It might seem like there is no way out and today we want to talk to you about an option that is available to you under the Partitions Act which can compel your partner to put up that home for sale or otherwise buyout your interest in the property.
According to the Partitions Act, so long as you have an interest in a property, whether it is a legal or equitable interest, you have a right to seek that that property be partitioned and sold. The partition is so that your interest in the property can be divided—separated so to speak—from your partner’s and you can get whatever value that you seek for your portion of the property.
The key factors to know is that the property has to be situated in Ontario; it also does not matter whether or not you have legal title to the property. In other words, you may not be on title to the home and you would still have this remedy available to you.
If all options for negotiation have been exhausted, you need to bring an Application to court and make sure to check the box that you are asking for the sale of the matrimonial home. The court will grant that order except where there are compelling reasons why the home should not be partitioned and your share sold off.
It is very fact based and the court will look at each case based on its merit. There have been different reasons that we have seen in our practice as to why people have raised the issue of why it is not appropriate for the home to be sold or partitioned.
If it is not going to affect the other person’s interest negatively—when we say negatively, we do not simply mean there will be no negative impact at all, the other side may have an interest in holding on to the property for whatever reason and a partition and sale might negatively affect them—the court will likely grant the order. But it will be very fact based.
At the end of the day, your job is to make sure that you present it to a judge to see that whatever factors or reasons that the other side is presenting for not putting up the home for sale, that they are not good reasons and are not sufficient reasons to block you being able to get value for your interest in the property.
The partition and sale of a matrimonial home can get quite technical. It is generally not requested under the Family Law Act, even though there are some provisions there that speak to this. It generally can only be compelled under the Partitions Act.
But the take away from this video is to know that there are options. You do not always have to wait for the other side to consent and as always it is best to approach things from a negotiation perspective.
But if those are falling through, do not feel all hope is lost and that perhaps because you are not on title to this property that you do not have any remedy.
Realize that so long as that property is in Ontario that you do have an interest in the property, whether it is a legal interest or an equitable interest, that there is a remedy to you to be able to get value for that interest.
I hope this is helpful to you. You can refer to the Partitions Act as well as the Family Law Act of Ontario, or you can give us a call or send us an email.
We would be happy to show you how those specific provisions of the Act may be applicable in your case.
www.aprincewill.com | 905-492-7662 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The processing time of many Canadian work permits is set to be dramatically cut by Immigration Citizenship and Immigration Canada (IRCC) with the introduction of its ‘Global Talent Stream’. Launching on June 12, 2017, this fast-track application stream will see IRCC process many temporary work permits within two weeks, down from the current processing period of up to 6 months.
This new Global Talent Stream forms part of the Canadian Government’s Global Skills Strategy announced last year to assist Canadian companies acquire the unique skills sets needed to help grow existing businesses and start-ups. A Global Talent List of eligible occupations for fast-tracked processing is currently being developed by IRCC in consultation with labour market experts and key stakeholders. As part of the Government’s broader Global Skills Strategy, skilled foreign nationals will also be able to work in Canada on a short-term basis (such as 30 days or less in a year) without first applying for a work permit, with the same concession being extended to brief stays for visiting academics.
The Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains, in announcing the upcoming fast-track application stream, declared “[w]e want to be open to ideas, open to people, open to trade, open to investment.” This openness will ultimately see Canadian companies being able to employ the skilled temporary workers they need much faster than previously has been the case. Also in attendance at the announcement, the Canadian Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Patty Hajdu, confirmed this adding, “[o]ur government’s Global Skills Strategy will give employers a faster and more predictable process for bringing in top talent and new skills to Canada.”
Many of these temporary workers may though not be temporary for long, as explained by Faith St-John from CIC. “As workers with in-demand skills and Canadian work experience, they will be well-positioned to successfully apply for permanent status through Express Entry if they choose to do so.” For ultimately as she notes, “with an aging population and a relatively low birth rate, Canada’s economy relies on a robust immigration system to help keep our workforce strong.”
With March Break just around the corner, you might be getting ready to plan trips outside of Canada. When traveling with children, you should be aware of what you might need. Although not a legal requirement, if children are traveling alone, with relatives, or with one parent, then the Government of Canada strongly recommends that you have a consent letter.
A consent letter is a document signed by parents or guardians who are not accompanying the child stating that the child has permission to travel abroad. A consent letter does not guarantee entry into or exit from a country, as every country has its own entry and exit requirements, the letter protects your child’s safety.
If you are a parent of separation or divorce with shared custody or access, and you are traveling alone with your child, the other parent should sign the consent form. If you have sole custody of your child, you should carry any agreements or court orders indicating you have sole custody. If your child is adopted or you are the guardian, you should carry the legal documents indicating such.
If your parenting arrangements have special terms governing international travel, the Government of Canada recommends you seek legal guidance to ensure you are compliant with your agreement.
If you need a consent letter template, you can download it here.
Have a great March Break with your children.
All persons below the age of 18 are considered minors under Canadian immigration law. Minors entering Canada who lack the proper documentation outlined below will be closely checked by Canadian Border Services Agency officials and may potentially be denied entry into Canada. Firstly, all minors need to possess their own valid passport as a parent’s passport is insufficient, even if the child’s details are included in it. If a child is arriving without both parents or their legal guardian, a copy of their birth certificate and a letter of authorization (preferably in English or French) are also required.
The required contents of such a letter differ depending on who the child is entering Canada with. If arriving alone, the letter of authorization should be signed by both parents (or legal guardian) and list the parents’ (or guardian’s) address and telephone number and the name, address and telephone number of the adult who will be looking after the child in Canada.
If the minor is entering with only one parent, the letter of authorization should be signed by the other parent and list their address and telephone number, as well as have attached a photocopy of this non-accompanying parent’s passport. Where the accompanying parent is separated or divorced and shares custody of the child, a copy of the legal custody documents is also required. If the parent traveling with the child enjoys sole custody, then the letter can be signed solely by this accompanying parent but a copy of the custody documents must be presented. If however, a child is entering Canada with only one parent because the other is deceased, the traveling parent should carry a copy of the relevant death certificate.
Children arriving in Canada with a legal guardian or adoptive parents should have copies of their relevant guardianship or adoption papers. In the case where minors are traveling with adults that are neither their parents or guardians, a letter of authorization is required permitting the child to enter Canada which is signed by their parents or legal guardian along with the address and telephone numbers where they can be reached. Although this letter need not be certified, a photocopy of the parents’ or legal guardian’s passport must be attached.
To make sure children traveling to Canada to spend time with family during the March school holidays period are permitted entry, obtaining the necessary supporting documents including a letter of authorization with the correct content and signatures is imperative. Although organizing this documentation may make travel here slightly more burdensome, it serves the important task of ensuring minors are able to successfully enter Canada for their visit.
Family Day is right around the corner on Monday, February 20, 2017. You’re excited to spend time with your children, and you’ve started planning your day, but what’s open?
- The Art Gallery of Ontario from 10:30a.m. – 4:00p.m. will have children’s programs
- The Royal Ontario Museum from 10:00a.m. – 5:30p.m. will be celebrating Chinese Lunar New Year
- The Toronto Zoo from 10:00a.m. – 2:00p.m. will have a wildlife exhibit
- Ripley’s Aquarium from 9:00a.m. – 11:00p.m.
- Movie theatres
- The Eaton Centre from 10:00a.m. – 6:00p.m.
- Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre from 10:00a.m. – 7:00p.m.
- Square One from 11:00a.m. – 6:00p.m.
There are even free family events all over the city.
- Free skating at Nathan Phillips Square from 1:00p.m. – 4:00p.m., the High Park Zoo
- Free to see llamas, yaks and emus at the High Park Zoo from 7:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.
- Free to see the farm animals at the Riverdale Zoo from 9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.
For more on what is happening in the city for Family Day, check out the City of Toronto website.
What is closed?
- Major grocery stores
- Yorkdale Shopping Centre
- Sherway Gardens
- Scarborough Town Centre
- Pickering Town Centre
- Public Libraries
When planning your day, keep in mind that TTC will run on the holiday schedule and GO Transit will run on the Saturday schedule.
We, at A. Princewill Law Firm, wish you and your family a Happy Family Day!
In the wake of the United States entry ban imposed upon citizens of seven Muslim nations, the Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced that those attempting to enter the US from Canada and affected by the travel ban will be issued a Canadian temporary residence permit.
As Minister, Ahmed Hussen explained, “we are offering temporary residence permits to allow them to figure out their situation and we’ve done that in the past and it’s within my powers as minister.” He also confirmed after obtaining clarification from US authorities that Canadian citizens who hold dual citizenship from the affected countries are exempted from the US ban. This likewise applies to Canadian permanent residents who are citizens of one of these seven countries.
Interestingly this exemption is of some relevance to Canada’s Minister of Immigration personally, given that he was born in Somalia himself as one of the countries the US ban is targeted against. As Hussen stated, “Yes, I was born in Somalia, but I took my oath of citizenship to this country 15 years ago. And I’m a Canadian. I’ve spent most of my life here and I continue to be proud of our country, our ability to be generous and to view those who seek protection.” This echoes the tweet of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in immediate response to the US ban, “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada”.
This past Wednesday evening, January 25th, Saadi Mado was finally reunited with his family at Toronto’s Pearson Airport after two years apart. A member of the Yazidi, an ethno-religious group from Northern Iraq, Saadi and his family were forced to flee after ISIS began committing acts of genocide against the Yazidi people in August 2014. Leaving their home without possessions, the family first sought refuge by escaping across the border into Turkey. Saadi and two of his siblings then continued onto Toronto, while his parents, two brothers, sister-in-law and two nephews remained behind in a Turkish refugee camp.
Last October the Government of Canada committed to assisting Yazidis escape persecution, particularly women and girls fleeing sexual slavery and torture. The new Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen, himself a former Somali refugee who arrived in Canada as a 16-year-old, this month reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to helping Yazidi refugees find sanctuary in Canada.
This was all tangibly demonstrated this Wednesday at Pearson Airport with the arrival of Saadi’s family. While holding a Canadian flag and embracing his father for the first time in two years, Saadi repeated over and over again “Thank you, Canada. Thank you, Canada. Thank you, Canada.” With his parents, remaining siblings and nephews now joining him in Canada, the Mado family will be able to make up for lost time by all residing together in Richmond Hill. Once settled the family is already considering opening a business and one of Saadi’s just arrived brothers is hoping to recommence his studies in information technology. As so tangibly demonstrated by Canada’s current Minister for Immigration, who likewise was a newly arrived refugee migrant just 24 years ago, the future is looking bright for Saadi and his family all now together safely in Canada.
In mid-December Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) released a suite of changes to its spousal sponsorship application process. This is aimed at streamlining and simplifying these applications, with IRCC expecting processing times for spousal sponsorship to fall from up to 26 months currently to 12 months. This new 12-month processing standard will apply to 80% of new and existing applications. This amounts to some 64,000 applicants who are expected to benefit from this significantly improved processing time in 2017.
A key feature of these changes is the introduction by IRCC of a new application kit designed to facilitate faster and easier spousal applications, particularly by no longer requiring certain information at the time of visa application submission. Instead, requirements such as medical examinations and police checks are to be directly requested by IRCC later in the process. This new application kit also applies to sponsorship applications lodged from anywhere in the world, replacing the two previous kits for applications lodged respectively inside and outside of Canada.
In line with this simplification process, a brand new IRCC guide for spousal sponsorships has also been released which consolidates 180 pages from previous multiple guides into one 75-page guide for the entire spousal sponsorship process. Likewise, multiple IRCC spousal application checklists detailing the necessary forms and documents have been replaced with a new single checklist. Applicants are required to closely follow this new checklist, with applications being returned by IRCC if all required forms and documents on this are not provided at the time of application.
From February 1st 2017 all spousal sponsorship applications submitted to IRCC must use the newly released application kit. A main feature of this new mandatory kit is that applicants will be asked to link their submitted paper spousal sponsorship applications to an online account. This will enable applicants to receive electronic correspondence from IRCC and provide further information and requested documentation online. While the spousal sponsorship application process is being simplified, obtaining professional legal advice about your application at the outset of the process ensures the very best prospect of application success. Getting a spousal sponsorship application right the first time is particularly important as this visa program is traditionally over subscribed, with more applications than spousal sponsorship places available each year.
Further information on these changes to spousal sponsorship and the new application kit can be found on the Government of Canada’s website at the following links:
Complete the form below to contact us today to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your spousal sponsorship application.
So you’ve finally found the love of your life and you’re ready to tie the knot, but what should you do before you say “I do?” A prenup.
What is a prenup?
We hear about it in celebrity gossip or even at the dinner table when someone has just gotten engaged, but we may not know exactly what it entails. One thing we do know, you should get one.
A “prenup” is referred to as a “marriage contract” in Canada. It is a legal document for individuals getting married to protect their finances and assets should their marriage dissolve. It can even include parenting arrangements for children, EXCEPT custody and child support.
Couples often don’t discuss prenups because simultaneously planning the beginning and end of your marriage is not pleasant.
If prenups cause so much distress, why would anyone want one? Because, unfortunately, divorce can happen. Statistics Canada states that 4 in 10 marriages end in divorce. In fact, finances are one of the top 10 reasons marriages dissolve.
Without a prenup in Ontario, the Family Law Act governs the division of your assets and finances, and the division may not be in your favour.
What will the Family Law Act do?
Subject to some exceptions, the Family Law Act provides a calculation that equalizes the net worth of each spouse as acquired during the marriage. The split is often fifty-fifty and may pose a problem for some spouses.
For example, imagine that you own a home prior to marriage, and upon marriage, you and your spouse decide to live there. Your home becomes the matrimonial home. This means, if the marriage ends, the Family Law Act may entitle your spouse to half of the property. With a prenup, you can determine the property distribution.
Further, consider if your spouse has an enormous debt. Upon the dissolution of marriage, the Family Law Act would allow them deduct it and significantly reduce their net family property. Again, with a prenup, you can state how your debt would be apportioned.
These are just some examples, but is a prenup right for you?
- There is a significant difference in your assets or debt
- Even if you have little to no assets at the time of marriage, it is still important to get a prenup as your income and assets can grow while you are married
- You are receiving a home as an inheritance and you will be living in it during the marriage
- You want to protect your business
- You want to avoid extending court involvement
- You have children and want to make a smooth transition for the future
- You have children and want to protect assets you have for them
A prenup is a secure financial planning option, but the conversation of a prenup can be difficult. We, at A. Princewill Law Firm as your family law lawyers, can help you and your partner understand how a prenup protects your interests, while you still prepare for a beautiful future together. Contact us today!
A major question on everyone’s mind following Angelina Jolie filing for divorce from Brad Pitt is, what would happen with their six children?
Angelina has asked for joint legal custody but sole physical custody. What this means is she wants to make important decisions regarding the children jointly with Brad, but she wants the children’s main residence to be with her. Brad will have visitation rights (called access in Ontario).
In Ontario, such custody and access disputes are settled on the basis of the best interest of the children. The best interest of the child test is the ONLY relevant test in custody and access matters.
Given that Brad and Angelina have made themselves out as the models for success co-parenting, Angelina’s legal team have their work cut out for them, especially given reports that have surfaced showing that primary residence of the children with Angelina is unacceptable to Brad. Pitt has even been quoted as saying “there’s no chance that’s going to happen”. These sources say Pitt wants to co-parent the children with Jolie.
In a custody dispute in Ontario, this would weigh positively in Brad’s favor. The Divorce Act in Canada, deals with this maximum contact principle as follows: In making an order under this section, the court shall give effect to the principle that a child of the marriage should have as much contact with each spouse as is consistent with the best interests of the child and, for that purpose, shall take into consideration the willingness of the person for whom custody is sought to facilitate such contact.
(s.16(10) Divorce Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 3 (2nd Supp.))
Therefore, where a parent (Party A) tries to alienate the other parent (Party B) from a child’s life, the court may award custody to the other parent (Party B).
The story is only starting to unfold, and thousands of miles away from Ontario. We can only wish the children the best and hope that their best interest remains the central focus of any resolution of the custody and access issue.
We may not realize it, but children are more observant than they seem. When children start to see their parents fighting, it has a major impact on their mental health, as well as long term and how they perceive relationships to be. One thing parents need to make sure about when going through a separation or divorce is that the children are away from the conflict and do not become messengers or therapists for the parents.
Not only is it unhealthy for the children and can affect their learning and development, but the courts strongly frown upon the children being involved in any conflict between parents. The adult issues that arise from separation need to be dealt with by adults and not have the children dragged into the battle and listen to what is going on.
Here are a few tips and judges rules for separated parents:
- Do not use the children to relay messages to the other parent or to deliver child support or spousal support
- Do not say bad things about the other parent or talk down about the other parent in front of or to the children
- Do not make the children feel that they have to choose one parent over the other
- Parents need to make sure that the children know they are loved by both parents and shall encourage the children’s relationship with the other parent
- Do not ask the children to keep secrets or to use the children as spies
- Do not question the children unreasonably about their time spent at the other parent’s home
One point I cannot stress enough is do not make the children feel that they have to pick one parent over the other parent. This can happen easily by saying bad things about the other parent and no child should ever hear their parent speak that way about the other. The children need to know that both parents love them equally and that they would both do anything for them.
Children, although observant, are fairly sensitive and sometimes feel that the separation or conflict is caused by them. This can happen easily with them overhearing conversations, observing the parents fighting, or simply from the parents telling them too much information about the separation. A child should never feel that they are at fault for the breakdown of the relationship and that is why it is so important not to involve the children in the conflict. Make sure to keep any conversations pertaining to the separation between adults, with no children around.
In the end, the children are not the ones who are there to be the messengers and mediators and by letting them get involved with the conflict, it only creates a more negative and unhealthy environment for all parties involved. The best way to help keep the conflict away from the children is by seeking legal advice and letting the professionals deal with the issues, rather than involving the children.
Our family law lawyers at A. Princewill Law Firm aim to keep conflict to a minimum and make the separation process as easy as possible for everyone, especially the children. Let us help you.
Looking for a travel destination for the summer? One travel hot spot that offers the most potential for fun and relaxation is the city of Toronto. Toronto has become a progressive city in its ability to offer its people a multitude of memorable experiences. Here are the top 10 reasons why Toronto should be your travel destination for the summer.
- Toronto’s temperature during the summer remains steadily warm/hot throughout the months of March to late August. Such great weather compliments the city as it allows for individuals to go out and experience all the great things that Toronto has to offer. With constant and accurate weather readings by Toronto news forecasters, it is easy to remain prepared for what the weather will be like on a day to day basis.
- Toronto is very well known for its food culture and the moderation of food choices that it provides. Spots like La Cabana, Mother India, Rasta Pasta, and Grand electric are all examples of the many different kinds of food choices offered in Toronto.
- Toronto is known for being a melting pot as the city is very inclusive in nature. People from all over the world can find a sense of comfort in the city as the promotion of peace, love, and unity is encouraged on all fronts.
- Summertime in Toronto offers plenty of different festivals catered to the many sub cultures existing within the city. Festivals like UNITY, Caribana, Pride, taste of Danforth, and PANAMANIA give opportunity for people to express themselves freely in their respective interest.
- Feel like spending a little on yourself? Well with outlet malls like Fairview, Yorkdale, Scarborough Town Center, and the Eaton Center located all through the city, everyone has the ability to purchase the latest brand products transcended within today’s popular culture.
- Looking to have a good time without spending much money? Toronto can also accommodate for this as there are many opportunities to go out and enjoy the city at little to no cost. Such things like maze running, art expos, live music, and outdoor flicks, allow for people to enjoy the city without having to constantly take out their wallets.
- Whether looking to spend a couple days or a couple months, Toronto provides some of the best hotel accommodations at reasonable prices. From the four seasons to the Soho Metropolitan, Toronto ensure that each night in a hotel is of a high quality and memorable one.
- Toronto is known for being one of the best tourist attractions in the world as the city has many different landmarks like the CN tower, Toronto waterfront, Nathan Phillips Square, and the onshore beaches, people will always have places to create memories to take back with them and keep forever.
- Traveling as a family? Toronto provides many outlets for the whole family to enjoy. With amusement venues like Canada’s wonderland, Toronto Zoo, and Ripley’s Aquarium, families can get together and enjoy each others company while engaging in fun and exciting activities throughout the city.
- Toronto helps make getting to each part of the city easier as their transportation systems are one of the most efficient ways of getting around from one place to the next. From the train and city buses, street cars/bikes, to the new Uber system, getting around Toronto has never been easier.
As an immigration firm, we know that entering Canada without the proper documents can be difficult. We handle this matter by offering the ability for immigrants to receive a Visitor Visa or an eTA. This is a great way to experience Canada and all it has to offer.
Would you love some summertime fun Toronto? Y Canada Services, the Immigration Law Section of A. Princewill Law Firm, can assist you in ensuring you have the proper visas, documentation or authorizations to enter Canada.
Call us at 905-492-7662 or send us an email at email@example.com for all your Canada immigration matters.
Written by: Kevin Iyamu
Divorces can be pretty pricey and most people do not actually know what is involved and how high the costs could end up being. Of course, when people get married, the last thing they are thinking about is ever getting a divorce. However, life happens and sometimes it is better to be prepared than not. The very first thing couples can get that would help with the costs of divorce, is a prenuptial agreement or a cohabitation agreement outlining responsibilities in the event that the relationship takes a wrong turn. Divorces are not as simple as getting a piece of paper. The process of getting the divorce can be long, hard, and definitely costly, especially if the parties are not amicable.
When getting a divorce, you have to think about what the two of you have accumulated over the years and how that is going to be divided. You also have to think about the costs of a divorce including separation agreements, court fees, and legal fees. A lot of people think they know the laws regarding divorce and what they are entitled to, when in reality it ends up being quite the opposite. That is why it is so crucial for parties to seek legal advice when getting a divorce or separation. Here are a few steps to help you keep your divorce costs low:
- Know the laws – First, get yourself familiar with the laws. Understand the process of separation and divorce and what it is you want out of it. Try to understand what you are entitled to i.e. spousal support, child support, etc., and seek legal advice to help you understand your rights. There are several Family Law Information Centres across Ontario that provide a lot of information on separation, divorce, and other family law matters and the best news is that it is FREE!
- Be organized – Once the separation or divorce process starts, there are going to be quite a few documents requested by your lawyer to determine what you are entitled to and to prove that as well. Have them organized and ready for your lawyer to review. Be a step ahead of the game and start preparing a Financial Statement with the applicable documents.
- Other alternatives – Know that there are other ways to resolve a separation or divorce that does not require a feud in court. Mediation or Arbitration are options. Try being amicable with your partner, instead of having the lawyers battle back and forth. It only costs you more money each time a phone call is made or a letter is sent.
- Division of property – One thing I cannot stress enough is really pick and choose what matters the most to you. If you are fighting over a few simple household items, is that really saving you money? The cost for the back and forth between lawyers is most likely going to exceed the cost of the items you are fighting for.
- Other resources – Most law offices have legal assistants that are trained and able to do some of the work. Ask your lawyer if there is an assistant or clerk that can help on your file to help reduce the costs.
Overall, we know the cost of the initial marriage was already expensive enough, we do not want the divorce to be just as costly. Let us help you keep your separation and divorce costs low. Here at A. Princewill Law Firm, we do our best to get our clients exactly what they deserve. We know the process is hard emotionally and the last thing we want to add to our clients is financial stress. To help alleviate that, we evaluate your situation and offer either a flat fee cost or an hourly rate to help keep the costs as low as possible depending on your situation. We are here for our clients every step of the way. If you need legal advice regarding a divorce or any family matter, please contact our office.
An annulment of your marriage in Ontario, in contrast to Divorce which represents the termination of your marriage, means that a judge can declare your marriage null and void. Bear in mind that civil annulments are rare and hard to argue in Ontario.
Canadian law limits the grounds when seeking a marriage annulment. Guidance from a family law expert is essential when seeking such annulment, which may cost more and take longer than a normal uncontested divorce.
Ground for Annulment:
The grounds for annulment in Ontario are quite limited.
- one spouse was already married when the marriage took place
- one spouse was unaware that the ceremony was, in fact, a wedding
- marriage cannot be consummated. Please note that if you were to use this argument, it will only be valid if the spouse cannot consummate the marriage due to a physical inability that you were unaware of prior to your marriage
- the spouse has no mental capacity to understand what a marriage is
- the spouse was so intoxicated that his/her consent to the marriage was impossible to obtain
- one spouse was under age and lacked parental consent
- the marriage was fraudulent or under duress. Please note that in order to be granted an annulment on the basis of fraud, one or both parties to the marriage must prove:
- she/he was deceived as to the nature of the ceremony and/or
- she/he was deceived as to the true identity of the other party
- the spouses are too closely related (i.e. siblings)
- one spouse only consented to the marriage due to threats and/or duress
Process to getting an Annulment:
The first thing you must do is to make sure you meet one of the legal grounds for annulment in Ontario. Second, fill out the application form and submit same to court after seeking the legal advice from a family law expert. Next, a hearing date will be set up for you to appear before a judge. Be aware that your spouse has the option to contest the annulment in Court.
If your marriage was obtained by fraudulent means, you may be entitled to damages. However, each matter is case-specific and you will require the services of an expert lawyer that can help determine whether your case meets the threshold. Canadian courts have held some causes of action for fraudulent misrepresentation of marriage. In Raju v. Kuman, the wife successfully sued her husband on the grounds that he had “fraudulently misrepresented” his “intent to be in a permanent marriage.” The wife received damages for the cost of pursuing the defendant’s immigration to Canada and $10,000 in damages for “hurt feelings, humiliation, inconvenience and postponement of the opportunity to marry another man while she was still capable of bearing children.”
In the end, whether you opt out for an annulment rather than a divorce, the process is generally costly, painful and long. Effective communication coupled with excellent legal representation is required to ensure the process takes the shortest time possible. We, at A. Princewill Law Firm, are here to assist you with this issue. Call us today.
 For a more complex explanation of this issue of fraud and its grounds for annulment, see Iansis, supra, Torfehnejad v. Salimi, 2006, CarswellOnt 7275 (Ont S.C.J.), and Grewal v. Kaur, 2011 ONSC 1812.
 Raju v Kumar, 2006 BCSC 439.
 Ibid at para 88.
When calculating equalization of Net Family Property, it is important to put one’s mind to the question of disposition costs of certain assets. Failing to include this could lead to a loss of several thousand dollars. However, its inclusion is not necessarily always appropriate.
For the deduction to be considered appropriate, you need to show that it is more likely than not that the asset would be sold. If it is not clear that the asset will be sold in the foreseeable future, you may not be allowed to take the deduction.
You must also determine the appropriate disposition cost of each asset. For example, the disposition costs for RRSPs will differ from that for Real Estate.
The main thing is to put you mind to this issue because as mentioned earlier, it could amount to a lot of $$$.
What happens when you fail to pay support? Well, you could get thrown in jail that’s what.
In the case of Ontario (Family Responsibility Office) v. Adema, 2016 ONCJ 37, Justice Sherr committed the payor who happened to be a lawyer to jail for 75 days or until he paid $3,500 per case towards arrears (there were two cases where support was owing by the same payor).
He had been given multiple opportunities to deal with the issues but failed to follow through. He did not bring a motion to change and other measures such as suspending his licence and passport did not work. The judge was disappointed that a lawyer acted in such a manner.
Whoever you are, the message is clear. There will be consequences for non-payment of support.
Do you have support arrears? Do you believe you should be paying less support or that support should be terminated? Do you want arrears wiped out? The legal team at A .Princewill Law Firm can help you. Contact us today at 905-492-7662, firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing the contact form below.