Did you know that if you have been separated for more than 90 days because of a breakdown in your relationship you need to inform the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)? Actually, you need to inform CRA whenever there is a change to your marital status such as:
- You get married.
- You enter into a common law relationship.
- Your spouse or common-law partner dies.
- You have been separated for over 90 days due to a breakdown in your relationship, not simply because you are physically unable to live with your partner because they are away for work or school for example.
When you update your status with the CRA, you avoid missing out on benefits you may be entitled to or avoid receiving incorrect payments.
CRA offers various options for updating them on your marital status. For more information, visit the CRA website on www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/child-family-benefits/update-your-marital-status-canada-revenue-agency.html
Angelina Jolie Brad Pitt and kids
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.
Reduce costs of divorce
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.