Amazon Founder’s Divorce Makes Headlines

High profile divorces make for great headline fodder, but when one of the wealthiest couples in the world announce they are divorcing, discussions around the couple can really heat up. Last week, Jeff Bezos, the founder of retail giant Amazon, announced he and his wife MacKenzie were divorcing after 25 years of marriage. The couple …

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An Annulment vs. a Divorce: Which One is Appropriate?

An Ontario court recently considered the interesting question of when it may grant a party’s application to annul their marriage (instead of getting a divorce).   The Parties’ Story The parties got married on August 16, 2016. They separated on January 10, 2017. On March 9, 2018, the wife commenced an application, seeking an annulment …

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Court Asked To Determine If A Divorce Overseas Is Valid, If It Occurred At All

Canada recognized marriages and divorces in the performed in other parts of the world. However, determining whether a couple has been properly married, or in the case we are about to discuss, properly divorced, is not always an easy task. In a recent case before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the court was tasked …

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Ontario Court Considers When Imprisonment is Appropriate for Non-Payment of Support Arrears

A recent Ontario decision examined both default hearings as well as how and when a jail committal order is appropriate to enforce spousal support and child support arrears. A History of the Parties The parties divorced in 2008, after approximately 21 years of marriage. They had two children (adults at the time of the hearing …

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Court Awards Woman Ownership of Embryo Deemed Property in Acrimonious Divorce

In a precedent-setting decision, a Superior Court judge in Sudbury has found that a woman can use a frozen embryo purchased with her husband, while married, despite the man’s objections following their divorce. What Happened? The parties were childhood friends who, in 2009, decided to get married and have children. In February 2012, they purchased …

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Court Finds Severance of Divorce Would Not Result in Disadvantage for Ex-Husband Who Will Lose Health Benefits  

An Ontario court recently ruled on a motion filed by a wife who wanted to sever her claim for divorce from her claims for collateral remedies. The husband in question opposed the motion, arguing that he would no longer receive medical benefits from the wife’s insurer once they were divorced and wanting all outstanding issues …

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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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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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