legal advice

January is International Child-Centred Divorce Month

A child psychologist wisely said that “children are like wet cement.  Everything that falls on them leaves an impression.” This reminds us that while a divorce is an ending of a marriage between two adults, it is not the end of the family relationship, nor is it possible for children to be unaffected. Divorce, like […]

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I have a Parenting Order and it says that my ex-spouse has parenting time this weekend. I don’t think COVID-19 mandatory public health measures are being followed. Do I have to send the kids to my ex-spouse’s home?

Yes. You must comply with the Parenting Order. You can apply to the Court to vary or change the Order, but the onus will be on you to show that the other parent has real plans or behaviors that are inconsistent with the current public health measures. Do not take advantage of the COVID-19 situation […]

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Should I maintain separate bank accounts or have joint bank accounts with my partner?

This is often discussed and is a really a matter of personal preference. However, before making your choice, make sure you are informed with accurate information and think about your objectives in having separate or joint accounts. If partners wish to maintain financial independence from one another, for example, simply keeping accounts in sole names […]

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What is sole custody and what is shared parenting?

In making a parenting plan, consider two things: how will the authority to make parenting decisions be shared and how will the children spend time with each parent? Sole custody is rare and refers to one parent having sole authority to make major decisions. Joint custody, the more common scenario, means both parents share that […]

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I am about to move in with someone and we want to enter into a Cohabitation Agreement in case things don’t work out. Can we do that before we move in together?

The answer is“yes”, as long as you do it before December 31,2019. Under new legislation, the Family Property Act which takes effect January 1, 2020, you will have to be married to each other or partners as defined under the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act. Under that Act, you either have to have lived with the […]

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Is a do-it-yourself Will valid? Does it need witnesses?

There seem to be two common types of do-it-yourself wills out there and both require the maker, or testator, to sign the document. The first is created using a will kit and contains a template. This one requires two witnesses to sign the will, in the testator’s presence, after the testator has signed it. The […]

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How is property divided in a divorce?

There is a presumption that all property accumulated during a marriage, whether in sole or joint names, is divisible on divorce.  However, as is so often the case, there are exceptions, including for property owned before marriage or received by gift or inheritance during the relationship. When property that is otherwise exempt from division is […]

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What is the difference between polyamory and polygamy?

As perceptions of the traditional family change and our definition of family broadens, new legal considerations arise, as these social changes often happen more quickly than legislative changes. The term polyamory, for example, generally describes a relationship structure where people engage in multiple relationships with multiple people at the same time, with full knowledge and […]

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How does independent legal advice (“ILA”) work and what does it cost?

ILA is more than a lawyer witnessing your signature; it’s necessary to meet the legal requirements for a valid agreement when couples are separating, divorcing, or starting out. Your lawyer will review your agreement and your situation with you, ask how the agreement was negotiated, and review what financial information was exchanged. Your lawyer will […]

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