Court of Appeal Upholds Parents’ Agreement to Share Children’s Expenses Instead of Paying Guideline Support

The Ontario Court of Appeal, in Stevenson v. Smit, 2014 ONCA 521, upheld an agreement by parents that they would share the children's expenses instead of having Table child support paid under the Child Support Guidelines. This was not what the father wanted. At the time of separation, the father had very low income as [...]

By | September 10th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Choosing a Family Lawyer to Support Mediation

When parties enter into a mediation process, one of the first things that I usually hear is, "We don't want to use lawyers, we've heard horror stories..." There is no doubt that the legal profession has a bad reputation when it comes to family law.  However, many lawyers do work well to support clients who [...]

By | September 2nd, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Mediation for marriage contracts or cohabitation agreements

Mediation is an excellent way to have the tough talks about "what if". Let's face it, most people deciding to spend their lives together aren't planning to separate. However, we don't plan to have our house go up in flames when we buy insurance either. We plan for the worst and hope for the best. [...]

By | May 1st, 2014|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Are children’s cell phone costs to be shared by separated parents?

The Federal Child Support Guidelines allow for the sharing of "special or extraordinary" expenses for children, proportionate to their incomes.  This is in addition to basic child support calculated under the Guidelines.  The issue of what is "special or extraordinary" comes to court often.  Even more frequently, this issue is part of out-of-court discussions, negotiations, [...]

By | February 21st, 2014|children, support|1 Comment

Voluntary retirement doesn’t mean spousal support ends

Often when parties separate, they include a clause in their separation agreement that says spousal support can end or be reviewed when there is a "material change of circumstances".  What does this mean if the payor chooses to retire? In the case of Walts v. Walts, Justice Minnema of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice [...]

By | January 14th, 2014|changes, court decisions, review, support|1 Comment

New Year, New Plans – best practices for separated parenting

The new year is a time to organize, and plan forward.  We often make resolutions, trying to make this year better than the last. Separated parents can use this time to set expectations for the upcoming year, and avoid last-minute conflicts. If you already have a schedule in place for your children, you could look [...]

By | January 2nd, 2014|parenting|1 Comment

Online Dispute Resolution For Separation and Divorce

Advances in technology have brought huge opportunities for family mediation. Video and audio conferencing, and shared document and calendar programs provide options to separating couples that help them come to agreement and minimize conflict. In negotiating separation agreements, it is usually best to have the parties together in the same room, as the subtleties of [...]

By | July 17th, 2013|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Some light reading

It can be helpful when separating to consider different options and perspectives.  I've put together a library of some resources that may be helpful. These are in no particular order, and different ones will resonate with different people. Parenting After Separation The Truth About Children and Divorce: Dealing with the Emotions So You and Your [...]

By | May 24th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Civil Partnership in the UK Treated as Marriage in Ontario,

Many jurisdictions do not allow same sex couples to marry. Ontario does not differentiate between same sex and opposite sex marriage. Families are more and more mobile, and may move from one type of jurisdiction to another. This leads to interesting issues. If parties come to Ontario from a jurisdiction that does not allow them [...]

By | March 5th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Upcoming AFCC Information Night in Oakville for Family Professionals

An Evening of Film, Refreshments, Appetizers, & Discussion of Family Law Dilemmas For: SOCIAL WORKERS, JUDGES, PSYCHOLOGISTS, MEDIATORS, LAWYERS AND COUNSELLORS Wednesday November 21st, 2012 5:00pm – 7:00pm Oakville Conference Centre 2515 Wyecroft Road Oakville, Ontario L6L 6P8 NO CHARGE TO PARTICIPANTS Lawyers are eligible for 1.5 substantive hours towards CPD requirements. The Program will [...]

By | October 17th, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments