Family Law

Ask an Expert: My wife and I are separating and we have come to an agreement dividing all of our property. Why do we need to provide so much financial information to our lawyers to get a legal Separation Agreement drawn and signed?

Your lawyer and your wife’s lawyer must certify that they have given their clients, separate and apart from the other, independent legal advice. To do that properly, the lawyers must assess your financial situation thoroughly, much like a surgeon will not operate at your request without a complete examination prior to surgery. Like a surgeon, a lawyer can then […]

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Ask an Expert: What really are the differences between using the collaborative process rather than going to court?

There are a lot of reasons why so many people are choosing to resolve matters arising on separation outside of the court system. Some of the big ones include: 1. Confidentiality. Many personal and financial details can otherwise become part of the filed documents. 2. Creativity. Working together offers many more options regarding how to […]

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Ask an Expert: I’m getting divorced. Can I move to another province?

There are no restrictions on moving to another province. However, if you have not finalized matters and if you expect that you will need to resolve matters in court rather than through negotiation, you need to consider the residency requirements in the Divorce Act. To start a divorce action, you or your ex-spouse need to […]

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Ask an Expert: I think my marriage is over. I’m worried about all the debt we have together. What can I do?

Identify joint debts such as mortgages, personal loans, lines of credit, and credit cards. Joint debts will remain your responsibility even though your spouse may be willing to take them over. Your lender does not care about an agreement between you and your spouse when it comes to joint debt. The only way to get […]

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Ask an Expert: My ex-spouse and I do not communicate very well right now and use email to talk about our kids, but the emails seem so nasty. What can I do?

First, take a breath! Resist the temptation to respond immediately. Take the time to consider whether you need to respond at all, and if you do, consider trying a BIFF Response. This approach, developed by the High Conflict Institute, recommends being brief, informative, friendly, and firm. Keep it short and resist getting personal. Stick to […]

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Ask an Expert: My spouse and I have separated, and I have placed an offer on a new home. Do I need a separation agreement to get financing to make the purchase?

Yes. Your banker/lender will want to see a legally enforceable separation agreement so as to determine your financial obligations to your spouse or your spouse’s financial obligations to you. This may include child and spousal support payments. You will need to be patient as it may take some time for you and your spouse to […]

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Ask an Expert: When divorcing, do you really want a pit bull/barracuda lawyer?

Depending on the circumstances, a strongly aggressive approach in family matters can bring results—though you will not control the nature of those results—and there is a huge cost to families. Sometimes a perceived need to win or to see justice be done can overcome the ability to appreciate the long term effects of a court […]

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Ask an Expert: I am separating from my wife, and we have one 12-year-old child. I have heard that he can decide with which parent to live. Is this true?

There is no magic age before 18. The wishes of children should be heard, but one must be extremely careful of creating a popularity contest between two parents. However, if there is no evidence of one parent trying to exclude the other, the older the child, the more likely the court will follow the wishes […]

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Ask an Expert: How long do I have to wait after my divorce before I can remarry?

This is a common question we often hear from people who wish to finalize matters so arrangements can be made to marry again. Once your divorce judgment is granted, it becomes effective 31 days later. However, even though divorces by agreement can be relatively straightforward and can be submitted to the Court by way of desk […]

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Ask an Expert: I am separating from my children’s other parent and was told to attend the P.A.S. seminar. What is it?

The Parenting After Separation seminar is an excellent resource available to parents who are going through a separation and have children under the age of 16. This free, six-hour seminar is required to be completed before a court will grant an order dealing with parenting or supporting children. Even if you are not litigating and […]

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