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As a family law lawyer in Ontario, I often find myself at the intersection of personal relationships and the legal framework that governs them. One of the most intriguing and challenging aspects of my practice is dealing with cases involving reconciliation. In this blog post, I will explain what happens when parties in Ontario family law decide to reconcile, and how it can impact their legal circumstances.

Understanding Ontario family law

Ontario family law legislation is designed to address various issues that arise when families go through difficult times, such as separation and divorce. These issues may include child custody and access, child and spousal support, and the division of property. Family court orders are established to provide a structured framework for resolving disputes and ensuring that parties adhere to their legal obligations.

However, the legal system in Ontario acknowledges that family dynamics are not always static and that circumstances can change. One significant change that can occur is when parties choose to reconcile.

Reconciliation: What does it mean?

Reconciliation in the context of Ontario family law refers to the process of two individuals, who may have previously separated or divorced, deciding to rekindle their relationship or marriage. It typically involves efforts to rebuild trust, communication, and work towards a more positive future together.

Impact on child custody and access

One of the most immediate impacts of reconciliation is on child custody and access arrangements, as determined by family court orders. These orders are created based on the circumstances at the time of the legal proceedings. When parties decide to reconcile, they may wish to modify their existing custody and access arrangements to reflect their changed situation.

In Ontario, the primary consideration in child custody and access matters is the best interests of the child. Reconciliation may be seen as a positive step in this direction, as it can provide a more stable and nurturing environment for the child. However, it is essential to understand that not all reconciliations lead to a stable and loving family life. Courts in Ontario will carefully assess the situation to ensure the child’s welfare remains a top priority.

Impact on financial orders

Reconciliation can also have implications for financial orders, including spousal support and property division, in Ontario family law. These orders are designed to address the financial needs of both parties following a separation or divorce. When parties decide to reconcile, their financial circumstances may change as they start living together again.

In such cases, parties involved in Ontario family law matters who wish to reconcile may need to seek legal guidance to amend their existing financial orders. This often requires court proceedings to ensure that the modified orders accurately reflect the parties’ new financial dynamics and uphold their legal rights and responsibilities.


Reconciliation can have a significant impact on Ontario family law matters, touching various aspects of personal and legal life.

Reconciliation offers individuals in Ontario a second chance to rebuild their lives together, and the law aims to accommodate these positive transformations while ensuring the rights and welfare of all parties involved are protected.

If you’re considering reconciliation and its potential impact on your family law situation, seeking legal advice is advisable. If you have any questions about how reconciliation may impact your Court Order or Separation Agreement, contact Jessica Bonnema for assistance at [email protected].

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