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.
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.
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.
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.