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October 2019 Archives

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.

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.

BAD FAITH + BAD BEHAVIOUR = COSTS PENALTIES!

Goldstein v Walsh (27 May 2019) cautions family law litigants -  If you take unreasonable and obstructive positions throughout proceedings, this will amount to "bad faith".  Result?  You may be ordered to pay a devastating costs award.  Madam Justice J. Kristjanson of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ordered the father to pay his ex-spouse's costs on a substantial indemnity basis - $420,000. This huge award was based on:

Men, fathers' rights and divorce

For several decades, there were certain presumptions about how mothers, fathers and children would be treated in an Ontario divorce. In essence, mothers were expected to be awarded primary custody of minor children, while fathers were expected to be awarded visitation rights. However, times are changing, and so are the perceptions of what is in the best interests of children -- as well as mothers and fathers -- when a divorce ends a marriage.

Child custody access cases and Maximum Parenting Time (MPT)

Rigillo v. Rigillo was a child custody/access appeal decision. At trial the judge limited the father's parenting time to the minimal amount that he had secured under a without prejudice temporary order where the mother was the primary caregiver.  The Ontario Court of Appeal held that it is mandatory for a court to consider the MPT principle. 

How to get what is "fair" in a family law dispute

The notion of what, exactly, is a "fair" result in a family law case can be different for any given person and based on the facts of any given case. Family law is very different from many other areas of the law because of the deeply personal issues at stake and the resultant emotional reactions that can be involved. It is through that lens that individuals and families view whether or not they received a fair result.

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

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