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Family

The Importance of Good Lawyer Advice in Family Law

Written by on March 21, 2017.

“Common sense seems to have gone out the window”  Lately there seems to be a trend in which judges have been rendering decisions where they are censoring litigants, counsel and government bodies such as Legal Aid of Ontario. In a recent decision the court found fault with the parties and Legal Aid of Ontario. In Abdulaali and Salihi, 2017 ONSC 1609, both parties were being assisted by Legal Aid.  The wife by Duty Counsel on her day at Court and the husband had a lawyer funded by a...

How To Legally Change Your Child’s Name In Ontario

Written by on February 07, 2017.

Periodically a client will ask if it is possible to change their child’s last name, from their former spouses’ name to their own, for example changing the child’s last name to their maiden name so the child and parent have the same last name. Firstly to apply to change a child’s name you must have legal custody the child. Further there cannot be a Court Order or Agreement that prohibits the change of the child’s name. So carefully review your Court Order or Agreement to see if this ...

Where Can I Bring My Family Law Application?

Written by on December 21, 2016.

Before you issue an Application for relief in family law, you first need to determine the appropriate municipality in which to bring your Application. This article deals with choosing the appropriate municipality within Ontario.  For a determination of whether or not Ontario should assume jurisdiction over a case (i.e. where there is a competition over jurisdiction between Ontario and another province, or country), you would need to refer to section 22 of the Children’s Law Reform Act or s...

What Is A Custody And Access Assessment?

Written by on December 20, 2016.

In a custody and access dispute, the judge is given the important task of deciding what is in the best interests of a child, including who should have decision-making authority and how much time the child should spend in the care of each parent.  A judge, however, is limited by the evidence presented to him or her in court.  He or she does not get the opportunity to meet with the parties in a natural setting, conduct interviews with them, interview the child, and observe how the child interact...

How to Change Your Last Name After Marriage

Written by on November 06, 2015.

Introduction Name changes in Ontario are governed by the Change of Name Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. 7.  As a newly-married spouse, there are two different options if you wish to change your last name:  (1) You can simply “assume” your spouse’s last name, or a hyphenated combination of the two, which does not involve changing the name on your birth certificate; or (2) You can apply for a legal name change, which involves changing your birth certificate as well as all of your other identificatio...

Dividend Income: Should It Be Grossed Up When Calculating Child Support?

Written by on December 17, 2014.

Siskinds Partner Marie Tukara recently argued a motion on how dividend income should be included when calculating income for child support purposes. In this article she outlines the decision and looks at other recent cases on this matter. In Rawluk-Harness v Harness, 2014 ONSC 2531, which I argued before Justice Mitrow, Justice Mitrow made an Order grossing up the dividend income when determining the income for child support. This issue arose when I was arguing a motion for interim suppo...

Matrimonial Home: Should I stay or should I go?

Written by and on June 02, 2014.

Clients who are going through a separation often ask me whether it is OK to move out of the matrimonial home before all the issues arising out of their separation have been resolved.  Sometimes tensions are high and the client believes some physical distance is required in order to keep the peace.  Sometimes the client is emotionally hurt and cannot stand to continue living in the same house as his or her former spouse.  Sometimes the client is simply anxious to begin a “fresh start” away...

Common Law Rights Are Not The Same As Rights Of Married Spouses

Written by on January 27, 2014.

There are many misunderstandings about who is a “common law spouse” in Ontario, and what exactly this means. Many people believe that if they are in a common law relationship they have all the same rights that a married spouse has, when in reality they do not. The purpose of this article is to set out some basic information about what it means to be in a common law relationship in Ontario, in two areas of family law: (1) Division of property; and (2) Spousal support, as well as information a...

Step-parents Pay Child Support Too

Written by on January 09, 2014.

If you are a step-father or step-mother and your spousal relationship breaks down, you may be obligated to pay child support to your former spouse for the support of your step-child. In this article Nadine Russell looks at some of the factors the courts will consider when deciding whether or not a step-parent is required to pay child support if the relationship ends.If you are a step-father or step-mother and your spousal relationship breaks down, you may be obligated to pay child support to you...

Think before you text!

Written by on February 27, 2013.

It is increasingly common in family law litigation for text messages to be introduced as evidence.  This can happen when two parties have had a relationship breakdown and the conversations have taken a negative tone. In this article Nadine Russell takes a look at the recent Ontario Superior Court decision Menchella v Menchella and how angry texts can have a negative impact on your litigation. In Menchella the court found that text messages can be evidence of violence and this can have a serious...