Court of Appeal Upholds Cohabitation Agreement Waiving Spousal Support

The Ontario Court of Appeal has upheld a cohabitation agreement that a woman signed decades ago without obtaining independent legal advice, finding no reason to overturn the agreement. What Happened? The parties in question began to live together in 1997. The husband had previously had an acrimonious separation and wanted to avoid a similar situation …

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Requesting Changes to Spousal Support After Retirement

A recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision explored how courts address requests made by a spousal support payor who wishes to eliminate their support obligations towards their ex-spouse following retirement. What Happened? The parties in question were married for more than 24 years, and separated in 1990. They had one child together who, at the …

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Does Spousal Support Terminate When the Payor Retires?

Retirement and a Consequent Income Reduction In Schulstad v. Schulstad, the Court of Appeal for Ontario rendered a decision on an appeal of an order terminating the husband’s obligations to continue to pay spousal support and maintain life insurance for the wife’s benefit past the husband’s retirement date. Prior to his retirement, Mr. Schulstad worked as a general surgeon …

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Challenging the Validity of a Separation Agreement

What is a Separation Agreement? A separation agreement is a legally binding contract created between two partners, subsequent to their separation.  It sets out each party’s rights on issues such as: child custody and access; division of property; debts; child support; and spousal support It’s possible for parties to draw up a separation agreement on …

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Spousal Support Awards – Compensatory and Non-Compensatory Claims

In a recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Noel v. Noel), the Court awarded spousal support to Mr. Noel, finding that he was entitled to this award on both a compensatory and non-compensatory basis. Spousal Support Awards:  Divorce Act and Guidance from the Supreme Court of Canada When making an order requiring …

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“First-Family-First”: When Might a Second Family Impact a Support Obligation?

It’s not uncommon for an individual who is obligated to pay spousal support to want to reduce or eliminate that obligation after he or she has entered into a new relationship.  This is especially true if financial responsibility for that new, or “second” family arises. Does a Second Family Impact Entitlement or Quantum of Support …

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The Basics of An Annulment

Question: I don’t want to get divorced. Can I get an annulment instead? Answer: Annulments are different from divorces. A divorce is the legal end to a marriage, granted by a Judge. In Canada, you can obtain a divorce if there is a breakdown in the marriage, based on one of three grounds: living separate …

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False Allegations During Divorce Proceedings

False Allegations During Divorce Proceedings Unfortunately, from time to time, when a marriage breaks down, some spouses take the dramatic step of making false allegations during divorce proceedings against the other spouse. Particularly during highly contested custody battles. To be sure, domestic violence is a terrible crime and continues to be a significant societal concern …

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