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How Does the Court Determine a Child’s “Habitual Residence”?

In a recent Ontario case, the court considered the interesting question of how to determine a child’s “habitual residence” for the purpose of an application under the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the Hague Convention). The Background The parties began dating in May 2017, started living together in June 2017, and …

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Costs Awards in Family Law Proceedings

In a recent case, an Ontario court expressed its concern about the manner in which two parties had engaged in a protracted 9-day trial to determine their property issues. What happens when, as the court stated, the process “has taken over, to the detriment of both parties”? The Background The parties were married for four …

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Court Refuses Wife’s Request to Set Aside a Marriage Contract

Can parties really rely on contracts they sign with respect to spousal support? In a recent case, an Ontario court considered a wife’s request to set aside a marriage contract she and her husband had signed approximately nine years before they separated. The Background The parties signed a marriage contract in May 2007, one day …

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Contempt of Court for Breaching Access Orders

In a recent case, an Ontario court heard a father’s motions to find the mother in contempt of court for failing to facilitate access in accordance with court orders. In considering the motions, the court had to consider the interesting question of when, and in what circumstances, it would be appropriate to find a party …

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Considerations Regarding Interim Custody

In a recent case, an Ontario court considered both the mother and father’s requests for interim custody of their child. This case highlights the kinds of questions a court must grapple with in determining what custodial and residential arrangements are in a child’s best interests. The Background The parties began living together in May 2014 …

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Stepparents and Access to Children

In today’s world, families are becoming more diverse than ever before. What happens when a stepparent wants access to a child? In a recent case, an Ontario court considered this interesting question when it heard a stepmother’s request for access to a nine-year-old boy. The Parties’ Story The mother and father had one child together. …

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Contempt in Family Law Proceedings

In a recent decision, an Ontario court grappled with the interesting question of when it may be appropriate to find a party in contempt in the context of family law proceedings. The Parties’ Story The parties separated in January 2016. They had two children together, ages seven and three. Since separation, the parties had been …

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Wealthy Husband Ordered to Pay Wife Spousal Support of $30,000 per Month

In a recent case, an Ontario court considered the interesting question of how much spousal support should be awarded to a wife whose husband earned approximately $2,090,000 per year. The Parties’ Story The parties began to cohabit in December 2001, married in June 2006 and separated in May 2017. While the husband was a very …

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Court Finds Mother in Contempt

Court orders cannot be ignored or disobeyed, and complying with a court order is not optional. In a recent case, an Ontario court considered whether or not the mother of a young child was in contempt for refusing to grant access to the child’s paternal grandmother in accordance with a previous order. What Happened? The …

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Court Orders Father to Pay Exorbitant Costs Award

The mother in a recent Ontario case sought her costs of litigation, which amounted to $456,411.14, inclusive of disbursements and HST. The court had to determine whether the father’s conduct had been so unreasonable that it warranted ordering him to pay those costs. The Parties’ Story The parties were involved in acrimonious litigation for two …

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