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I’ve Been Served Court Papers: What Do I Do Now?

March 25, 2019

If you’ve been served with court papers, it may have come as a complete shock, or it may have been something you knew was coming. Either way, you may have no idea what you need to do next and responding to the lawsuit may seem like a daunting task. Here are a few quick “do’s” and “don’t’s” if you’ve recently been served, or expect that you might be in the near future.   Do Talk to a Lawyer Even if you are thinking of representing yourself, it is a good…

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Things to Consider in Preparing a Parenting Agreement

February 13, 2019

Children are the most important consideration for parents in their separation and divorce. In negotiating a settlement with your spouse on parenting issues, the following is a non-exhaustive list of some of the issues you and your spouse should discuss and agree upon which can help your lawyers draft a Separation Agreement: Who will make decisions regarding the children’s education, medical decisions, religious upbringing and major extra-curricular activities? Will these decisions be made by one parent, or jointly? Where will the children primarily reside? What type of parenting schedule will…

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Guidelines vs Guidelines: Comparing Child and Spousal Support

January 11, 2019

We normally think of “guidelines” as recommendations or informal rules that fall short of being mandatory. In this sense, the Child Support Guidelines are not really “guidelines” at all. They are regulations under both the federal Divorce Act and Ontario’s Family Law Act, and judges have to follow them, except in limited, specified circumstances. The Table set out in the Guidelines shows what amount of child support is payable based on a parent’s income and the number of children, and, in general, what the Table says goes. So, if, for…

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Kitchen Table Agreements and Mediation – Cost-Effective Resolution Options

December 31, 2018

In resolving a family law separation matter outside of Court, there are typically three stages: Financial Disclosure – spouses and lawyers exchange financial disclosure including income tax returns and notices of assessment, and proof of assets and debts on date of marriage and date of separation; Negotiation of Basic Terms – spouses and lawyers go back and forth on the various issues (e.g., custody, access, child support, spousal support, equalization/property division) trying to negotiate a final settlement of those issues; and Drafting the Agreement- lawyers draft the final comprehensive separation…

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