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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
No matter whether a divorce case is being litigated in Ontario or otherwise, the parties to the case will come into the process, most likely, full of raw emotions. After all, we are talking about one of the bedrock relationships for people: marriage. To see a marriage end can leave many people searching for answers, and not just to their legal questions about the divorce process. They also need to try to search through the various emotions that can become intertwined with the legal process. So, how can our readers prepare for the emotional toll of a divorce?
The decision to pursue an Ontario divorce is often the hardest decision anyone will make. After all, no one gets married thinking that the union will end in divorce. When it comes time to consider whether or not filing for divorce is the best option though, there will probably be a lot of soul-searching.
There are many Ontarians who go into a divorce knowing that there will be a myriad of issues to address, but who are still surprised at how complex these cases can become. Sure, one knows more about their family, spouse and personal finances than anyone else, but once they become involved in the family law process, they will be exposed to other people -- judges and attorneys, for starters -- who oftentimes have decades of experience with divorce cases and the associated issues. During the divorce process, one area in which many people are somewhat surprised is when they learn the full extent of their assets and debts.