Welcome, Jenna Preston!

Blog Post
December 22, 2017
Read Time: < 1 minute

The Family Law Practice Group at Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP is pleased to announce new member of the team, associate lawyer Jenna Preston.

Marta Siemiarczuk’s Article Series in the Law Times

Blog Post
December 6, 2017
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Outside of her family law practice, Marta Siemiarczuk has also been busy this year writing a series of articles for legal newspaper Law Times. Looking at cases from the Ontario Court of Appeal, Marta explored everything from retirement to marriage contracts.

International child abduction: When custody disputes go beyond Canadian borders

Blog Post
October 12, 2017
Read Time: 3 minutes

In this era of international travel, important questions arise for families with children. Namely, what do you do if your former spouse travels internationally with your children, and decides to throw away the return tickets? Statistics show that the idea of “stranger danger” has been overstated in the media, and that children are far more likely to be abducted by one of their parents.

Can the Sale of the Family Home Impact the Best Interests of the Children?

Blog Post
October 11, 2017
Read Time: 3 minutes

A house becomes more than just four walls and a roof when you put a family in it. It becomes a home; a place where family members – especially children – can feel safe and supported. However, the family home often becomes an issue after a separation. Who gets to live there? Should it be sold so that everyone can move on?

Co-Mommas: A Historic Declaration of Parentage

Blog Post
February 23, 2017
Read Time: 2 minutes

What happens when two people who are not in a romantic relationship want to raise a child together? Does the law recognize these kinds of parents? In a Canadian first, our very own Marta Siemiarczuk assisted Natasha Bakht and Lynda Collins in asking the court to declare them as co-mothers of Natasha’s son, Elaan.

Stepping Through Family Law Procedure

Blog Post
November 17, 2016
Read Time: 3 minutes

Do you have a hard time keeping track of all the procedural steps in Family Court? The truth is family law procedure (and really, all court procedure) is complicated. As a result, this post is not meant to be a comprehensive overview of all steps in the family court process. It is meant to give readers a cursory outline of the initial steps in the process when two people need the court’s help to determine the terms of their separation, including things like property division and custody issues.

How Do I Know When I’ve Separated From My Spouse?

Blog Post
October 19, 2016
Read Time: 2 minutes

You may think it should be obvious and people should know when they have separated. However, relationships are complicated, and the timing of when they are formally over can actually be very difficult to pin down. In family law, especially for married spouses who will be equalizing their property, it’s important to have a fixed date, which becomes the date of separation. It has to be one specific day, not the month or year.

We Are Family: Legal Issues When There Are Children From Multiple Relationships

Blog Post
June 15, 2016
Read Time: 2 minutes

In family law, we are seeing an increasing number of clients with multiple ex-spouses and children from past relationships. These clients bring with them new challenges for family lawyers. For example, parents may want to have the same parenting regime with children from multiple relationships, or may wonder why their child support obligations are so much higher than if all of their children had arisen from one relationship.

Life Insurance: Protecting Support Obligations after Death

Blog Post
April 28, 2016
Read Time: 3 minutes

What are the insurance implications when one party has a spousal and/or child support obligation to the other? It is common practice to require the payor spouse to designate the recipient spouse as the irrevocable beneficiary of a life insurance policy. This is done either by agreement or by a court order. The minimum required face value of the life insurance policy is set at an amount large enough to ensure that the payor’s support obligations are fully covered in the event of the payor’s death.

When Do We Become Common-law Spouses?

Blog Post
March 10, 2016
Read Time: 2 minutes

Some of the most common questions I get asked when people find out I am a family lawyer is ‘what am I getting into by moving in with my girlfriend/boyfriend?’ or ‘when/how do we become common-law?’. They’re pretty important questions. I think one of the reasons why there is so much confusion is because this issue is legislated by the provinces, so it depends on where you live. That means my answer to these questions only applies to Ontario.