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Grandparents’ Rights

There are many cases where grandparents seek custody and/or access to their grandchildren. It is desirable to keep these kind of cases out of court if possible and to utilize the assistance of a family therapist or mediator who has the skills to try to maintain or repair the relationship between the parent(s) and grandparent(s). However, that […]

Canada Pension Plan Credits

Spouses may apply to equally split the Canada Pension Plan credits accumulated by both parties during the spousal relationship. This is particularly important where one spouse is not employed or otherwise does not contribute to CPP for some or all of the spousal relationship. There is a limitation period (time limit) for an application for […]

Domestic Contracts

Domestic contracts include cohabitation agreements, marriage contracts and separation agreements. According to the Family Law Act, a domestic contract and any agreement to change or rescind a domestic contract are unenforceable unless made in writing, signed by the parties and witnessed. Domestic contracts allow parties to make binding arrangements in relation to issues arising from […]


In dealing with property for married spouses, the date of separation is also known as the valuation date. Assets and debts are valued as of that date, as well as the date of marriage as part of the equalization process. With few exceptions, equalization is intended to make the financial impact to each party over […]

Matrimonial Home – Jointly Owned by Spouses

A matrimonial home or any other real property can be owned jointly or as tenants in common. An important feature of a jointly owned property is the right of survivorship. A property that is owned jointly with a right of survivorship passes to the surviving owner upon the death of the other joint owner. This […]

Matrimonial Home – Solely Owned by One Spouse

While matrimonial homes are commonly jointly owned by spouses, that is not always the case, particularly (although not exclusively) when a spouse owns the home before marriage. The matrimonial home is afforded special protection and treatment in Ontario and it can be protected by a spouse who is not a titled owner of the home […]

Family Responsibility Office

All Orders for child and/or spousal support – at least initially – must be enforced by the Family Responsibility Office, commonly referred to as “FRO”. If an order is made for child or spousal support, information about the support recipient and support payor must be provided to FRO. Parties may withdraw from FRO enforcement provided […]

Spousal Support

In order to claim spousal support, it must first be established that the person making the claim qualifies as a spouse pursuant to family law. In family law, spouses are: Two people who are legally married; Two people who have cohabited in a relationship resembling marriage for at least 3 years (common law spouses); or […]


In family law, spouses are: Two people who are legally married; Two people who have cohabited in a relationship resembling marriage for at least 3 years (common law spouses); or Two people who have cohabited for any period if they are the natural or adopted parents of a child or children (common law spouses). Family […]

Children from a Prior Relationship

It is commonly known that children in family law proceedings includes one’s natural or adopted children; however, less known is the fact that a person can be found to be standing in the place of a parent to a child who is neither his or her natural or adopted child and rights and obligations may […]

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