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The basics of an Ontario divorce

Getting divorce is never pleasant, but it can be simplified if the parties know what to expect. Removing the parties' anxiety about the process can help each of them deal with whatever anger they may feel for their soon-to-be ex-marital partner and focus on the issues that must be resolved.

The following summary assumes that the parties have reached an agreement on material issues such as child custody, child support and alimony. The only issue in these circumstances, then, is obtaining a legal end to the marriage.

Dedication to solving complex family law issues

Ontarians who have ever faced a complicated family law issue know how emotional and trying the process can be. From high asset divorce cases to child custody issues, to fighting for a father's rights, the range of family law issues that might come up in any given person's life is expansive. When dealing with these issues, some people may feel compelled to take the, "stick your head in the sand" approach because they do not want to deal with the emotions involved. However, being dedicated to addressing the issues head-on, getting the best result possible and then moving on with life can be a better approach for most people.

Divorce cases, for example, are, in essence, the division of a relationship or even an entire family. In many cases, years of animosity have led to the split or perhaps, even a single, explosive incident led to the divorce. Either way, people have hurt feelings and face uncertainty about what their lives will look like post-divorce. This is understandable at the very least, but also something to be expected.

Will "virtual" visitation be part of your visitation plan?

When Ontario couples who are parents of minor children get divorced, they oftentimes need to setup an arrangement by which each parent can spend time with the children. Sometimes, the parents will share approximately equal amounts of time with the children. However, in other situations, that simply is not possible, for any number of reasons. One creative way to maximize parent/child contact is to set up a form of  "virtual" visitation. Whether virtual visitation is part of a divorce settlement or order depends on the facts of each case.

If the parties are up for it, and the family court judge approves, including virtual visitation in the overall child parenting plan in a divorce case can help give parents access to their children, even when they are not in the same place, physically. Virtual visitation includes interaction between parents and children via cellphones, texting, video messaging apps and other modern technology that allows the parties to see each other, talk and, in general, simply stay in contact more frequently.

Understanding the basics about Canadian child custody

Child custody can be one of the most contentious issues that comes up in a divorce case. For our readers, that is probably understandable, since parents only want what is best for their children. The problem that arises in child custody disputes is that sometimes, parents disagree on what, exactly, is in their child's best interests. Understanding the basics of child custody can help parents come to terms with how their specific legal arrangement will turn out.

For starters, there are two parts of the child custody puzzle: "legal" custody and "physical" custody. Legal custody refers to which of the parents -- or both -- has the right to make important decisions about how the child will be raised, such as where the child will go to school, where the child will receive medical care and what type of medical care will be given and how the child will spend time in extracurricular activities. In essence, the parent with "legal" custody of the child gets to make the decisions that will have the biggest effect on the child's life. Most family law judges though, prefer that both parents have legal custody, thereby, having the ability to give input on these important decisions.

ANXIETY MAY INHIBIT RATIONAL DECISION MAKING... BUT WE CAN HELP!

by Jessica Cohen

Physiological consequences of anxiety: Most of us know the dreaded feelings of anxiety. Even if you don't suffer from clinical anxiety, you may recognize how certain triggers make you more aggravated or worried. These triggers may affect our performance, body temperature, or ability to concentrate or remember information. When one feels anxious, he or she might act out and become very angry and defensive or might coil up and turn in - not being able to act or react at all.

RETIRE? - CAN I? WHEN IS ENUF, ENUF (SPOUSAL SUPPORT)?

We have had the benefit of some recent post retirement spousal support cases. For some support payors, the landscape may not be quite as bleak as my previous blog post might indicate.

DIVORCE & ONTARIO PROPERTY DIVISION

Division of property: A common misconception is that divorce requires Ontario couples to equally split all their property, including the matrimonial home. Rather, what Ontario actually requires (re property division) is that separated spouses must equally share in the increased wealth that they accumulated during their marriage. (There is no provision that provides for equal sharing of financial losses.)

An app could help with a divorce case

An Ontario divorce is such a life-altering event for most people that they spend quite a bit of time, both before and during the divorce process, looking for answers to the many questions they have. From the decision to get divorced, to how to get the case started, to how to get a fair result -- the questions that can come up in any given case can seem endless.

So, like with so many other issues in our lives, there is an application or "app" that might help with a divorce case? A recent news article noted a number of online sources that might provide support or information for those who are either contemplating a divorce or who are in the middle of the divorce process.

Thinking about all possible issues in a divorce case

When our Ontario readers think about the many different legal issues in a divorce case, it can be, understandably, quite daunting. After all, not only do those who go through a divorce need to face the emotional aspect of the process, but there are the legal issues that must be addressed as well. How can ex-couples get through this? Well, like many people do, it might be best to make a list.

Making a list of all of the possible issues that might come up in a divorce case can help one focus on the step-by-step process of getting the divorce case started, working through the issues and then coming to a final resolution of the case. For those with minor children, the issues that deal with the children are probably the primary place to begin. Divorce legal issues involving the minor children can include: child custody, both legal and physical custody; child support; visitation for the non-custodial parent; and even visitation for grandparents.

TIMELY FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE IS ESSENTIAL

The Basic Obligation: The most basic obligation in family law dispute resolution is the legal requirement to comprehensively disclose financial information. If a financial claim is being made (child support, spousal support, or division of property) you must disclose your true financial position to the other party honestly, fully, and quickly. You also have an ongoing duty to update your financial disclosure throughout the proceedings.

Contact Gene C. Colman for a customized legal strategy today.

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416-635-5468

Gene C. Colman Family Law Centre
25 Bowring Walk
Toronto, Ontario M3H 5Z8

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