Indefinite vs. Time-Limited Spousal Support

In a recent Ontario decision, the court grappled with the interesting question of when it might be appropriate to terminate a prior order for indefinite spousal support. What Happened? The parties were married in May 1986 and separated in July 2004, resulting in an 18-year marriage. After separation, the husband was ordered to pay the …

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Terminating Spousal Support: What Constitutes a Material Change in Circumstances?

An Ontario court recently considered a case where one party sought to terminate spousal support upon retiring. This decision looks at the various factors judges must weigh when determining whether or not there has been a material change in circumstances to justify varying an agreement for spousal support. What Happened? The parties began cohabiting in …

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Liberal Government Investigating Paternity Leave Policy Options

Last December, the federal government implemented major changes to parental leave. As of December 3, 2017, eligible new parents planning to take parental leave can spread 12 months of employment insurance (EI) benefits over 18 months following the birth of a child. The changes are intended to provide parents with more flexibility for family responsibilities. …

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Granting Adjournments in Family Law Arbitrations

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently dealt with the interesting issue of what an arbitrator must consider when making a determination about a party’s request to adjourn an arbitration hearing, so as to ensure that all parties are treated equally and fairly. What Happened? The parties signed their minutes of settlement in September 2011, …

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Judge Rules Against Indigenous Man Who Argued that Ontario Law Had No Jurisdiction Over His Family Dispute

In a recent child support and spousal support dispute, an Ontario judge ruled against an Indigenous businessman who argued that Haudenosaunee laws should apply in lieu of Ontario family laws in disputes involving Indigenous families. What Happened? The parents in question had been in a five-year relationship, beginning in 2008 and ending in November 2013. …

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A Cautionary Tale: How Electronic Communications May Influence a Family Law Proceeding

A recent Ontario decision serves as a reminder that emails, text messages and other forms of social media can be introduced as evidence in family law proceedings. Judges may consider – and rely on – the content of these communications when determining important matters before them. What happened? The parties were married in June 2004, …

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The Importance of Obtaining Independent Legal Advice in a Family Law Dispute

A recent Ontario decision highlights the importance of obtaining independent legal advice prior to signing any legal documents in a family law dispute. Failure to do so can have a significant impact on your legal rights and on your finances post-separation or divorce. What Happened? The parties separated in 2005, after eight years of marriage, …

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