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Discussing Child Access and Safety Planning During Domestic Violence Cases in Ontario

Safety Planning for Survivors of Domestic Violence We asked Evan Clemence, family lawyer at Gelman & Associates, some commonly asked questions about safety planning for survivors of domestic violence in Ontario. Please be advised that these answers are not intended as legal advice, but rather as an introductory overview on a legal subject. For legal advice …

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Can Spouses Be Awarded Damages for Spousal Abuse and/or Domestic Violence During a Marriage?

Written by: Annette Nyland  The short answer is yes, but the decision allowing spouses to be awarded damages for abuse and/or domestic violence is being appealed. The Divorce Act was amended in March 2021 and the definition of family violence now includes “a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour” and conduct that “causes the plaintiff …

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New Tort of Family Violence

Family violence has not historically been recognized as a civil tort, but recently in the matter of Ahluwalia v. Ahluwalia, 2022 ONSC 1303 [Ahluwalia], Justice Mandhane of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice awarded damages in the amount of $150,000 to Ms. Ahluwalia (the “Wife”) to be paid by Mr. Ahluwalia (the “Husband”). In the …

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Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence isn’t often as clear as it appears. Domestic violence is about dominating someone’s thoughts and emotions just as much as it is about injuring them physically. Being assaulted might leave you feeling terrified and perplexed.  You may find it difficult to perceive your partner’s acts for what they are. Physical abuse isn’t often …

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How to Help a Victim of Domestic Violence

If you know or believe that someone you care about is a victim of domestic abuse, you may want to help them but are unsure of what you can do. Don’t let your fear of saying anything inappropriate keep you from reaching out. Waiting for the correct words may prevent you from taking the chance …

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Following Domestic Violence, Mother Flees Across Country With Child

When domestic violence occurs, it makes sense that the victim of the violence would want to place themselves as far away as possible from the perpetrator of the violence. However, it’s important to remember that when children are involved, taking action such as moving across the country cannot necessarily be done unilaterally. A recent decision …

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Can Income be Imputed Where a Payor Spouse is in Jail?

An Ontario court recently explored whether interim child support should be ordered when the payor spouse was incarcerated on the basis of imputing income to the jailed spouse. The Parties’ Relationship The parties separated sometime in the first half of 2017, after approximately five years together. They had never married, but had two daughters, aged …

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Emerging Technologies and Domestic Abuse

The New York Times this week reported on the alarming phenomenon of domestic abusers using smart home technologies, including Wi-fi connected locks, lights, cameras, thermostats and speakers, as a tool in harassing, watching, and controlling their spouses or partners. Smart Home Technologies Used for Abusive Aims In recent years, technologies including digital assistants such as …

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Court of Appeal: Mother’s New Partner Cannot Participate in Family Counselling Because of Restraining Order

The Court of Appeal recently ruled on a situation involving complicated family dynamics, allegations of abuse, and a restraining order. The Court removed a condition in an order requiring a father to attend family counselling meetings with his ex-wife, her new partner, and the former couple’s children. The Court did not find these terms appropriate …

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Woman Sentenced to 60 Days in Jail After Falsely Accusing Ex-Husband of Attempted Rape and Domestic Violence

An Ontario woman, who falsely accused her ex-husband of a number of violent acts including attempted rape and domestic violence, has been sentenced to jail time. The woman claimed that her ex-husband broke into her apartment, threw her onto her bed, choked her repeatedly, threatened to kill her, and attempted to rape her several times. …

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