Common Law Spouses and Property Division in Ontario

Common law couples do not have the right to seek an equalization of family property under current Ontario legislation – this fact cannot be overstated.  As discussed in a previous post by my colleagues: Division of property is dealt with in Part I of the Family Law Act. When married couples separate, generally speaking they…

Spousal Support Formulas: The Basics

Determining Factors for Spousal Support Entitlemen The Supreme Court of Canada in Bracklow v. Bracklow identified three bases for spousal support entitlement: contractual, compensatory, and non-compensatory, Contractual support would be support based on any agreement that existed between the parties. Compensatory support is meant to reimburse the spouse for choice’s they made during the marriage…

Equalization Claim by a Surviving Spouse

The Family Law Act (the Act) makes provision for an equalization claim by a surviving spouse. Section 6(2) of the Act allows a surviving married spouse (i.e. not a common law spouse) to elect between his or her succession rights under a will and his or her equalization claim under the Act. For example, a…

Wills & Estates: Dual Wills

It is becoming increasingly common for lawyers to discuss or recommend to clients to have two wills prepared if the testator has a substantial investment in one or more private companies . This plan involves having one will to govern the estate assets that require probate and a second will to govern those estate assets…

Executor’s Compensation

What is it? Executor’s compensation is the money that is paid by an Estate to the trustee(s) or executor(s) who manage the Estate. A trustee or executor is the person appointed in a will to manage the affairs of the deceased’s estate. Although those terms refer to different roles they are often used together because…

Understanding Separation & Divorce

The term “divorce” has a very distinct legal meaning, yet many people fail to understand the difference between separation and divorce. Often the meanings of the two concepts are blurred together. To illustrate, a conversation around a water cooler somewhere in Ontario might go as follows: MAURICE:   Did you hear the news? Moe from marketing and…

Support for Common Law Spouses under the Succession Law Reform Act

When a person dies, his or her common law spouse is usually entitled to make a claim for support against the estate of the deceased partner, much like the situation between living spouses after a separation. Where the true nature of the relationship is in dispute, whether or not a person qualifies as a common…

Grandparent Rights in Custody Cases

When we talk about access, which includes the right to see a child, we tend to think only in terms of the rights of the child’s parents. However, as the number of families affected by divorce increases, extended family members, including grandparents, begin to worry about their relationship with their grandchildren and whether or not…

Construction Liens: The Basics for Homeowners

As a homeowner undertaking a renovation project on your property, you may or may not be aware that the title to your property could become encumbered by a construction lien. Construction liens can create serious problems when you want to sell or mortgage your property. They also can affect your credit rating. Construction liens are…

Mediation and its Benefits

When a client thinks of hiring legal counsel to work on his or her behalf, thoughts of a lawyer in court objecting with conviction to everything said by the opposing party may come to mind. Hollywood movies such as The Rainmaker, A Few Good Men and many others would lead one to believe that this…

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