How Old is Too Old for Child Support?

Blog Post
October 17, 2014
Read Time: 2 minutes

How long does an obligation to pay child support last? Generally, child support is payable until a child reaches the age of 18 years old, but it’s much more complicated than that. Every situation is different and so determining whether your child is still entitled to child support, and how much, is determined on a case by case basis. If your child is 18 years old and you think they may no longer be entitled to child support, you should see a lawyer.

Watch our New Family Law Videos

Blog Post
September 18, 2014
Read Time: < 1 minute

Get out your popcorn and watch four new Family Law videos by our lawyers on topics that may be of interest to you, such as child support, pensions and surrogacy agreements.

Top 5 Considerations When Drafting a Domestic Contract

Blog Post
August 28, 2014
Read Time: 2 minutes

It’s summer, which means it’s wedding season. Every weekend I see countless couples posing for pictures around Ottawa’s hot spots as they celebrate their ‘I do’s’. Whether you’re moving in with a new partner or tying the knot, many people think it’s unromantic to discuss what will happen in the event of a relationship breakdown. But if you don’t decide how your assets will be divided or how spousal support will be determined, the governing legislation will decide for you.

What Exactly IS up for Negotiation? The Family Law Edition

Blog Post
July 24, 2014
Read Time: 3 minutes

Recently, after advising a client on the amount of money that he owed his former spouse by way of an equalization payment, he responded with a question: Is this negotiable? In truth everything is negotiable in family law. Parties can agree to almost any arrangement between them, write it out in an agreement and sign on the dotted line. Whether you can force someone to comply with this kind of agreement if he or she later has a change of heart is another matter for another blog post. If we think about the negotiability of an issue as a kind of spectrum, this post sets out where the major issues of a separation would fall on such a spectrum.

Complexities When Family and Estates Law Intersect

Blog Post
June 25, 2014
Read Time: 3 minutes

A recent case, Caron v. Rowe, provides a good reminder of the issues that can arise in matters that intermingle both family and estates law. The case is a blunt reminder that your lawyer needs to truly understand your wishes when preparing your estate plan and domestic agreements, so that those wishes can be made explicit.

How Soon is Now? How and When Spousal Support Agreements or Court Orders can be Changed

Blog Post
June 11, 2014
Read Time: 3 minutes

It’s no secret that the issue of spousal support remains a constant source of complaint and controversy among family law litigants. Those made to pay it often believe they are overpaying, while those who are entitled to receive support frequently believe the payor is getting away with not paying enough. Because the quantum and duration (and arguably the entitlement) to spousal support is discretionary in nature, a spousal support award is never as predictable as an award of child support.

Can I Set Aside a Cohabitation or Separation Agreement Because it was not Witnessed?

Blog Post
May 30, 2014
Read Time: 2 minutes

The Family Law Act provides that domestic contracts (which includes cohabitation agreements and separation agreements) are unenforceable unless made in writing, signed by the parties and witnessed. Previously, I might have been tempted to compare this requirement with the requirements in the Succession Law Reform Act, which create strict rules around the witnessing of the execution of Wills. Based on these provisions, one would think that domestic contracts that are not signed by a witness who was actually there to see the party sign the agreement, would be unenforceable. Well, the Ontario Court of Appeal disagrees.

Reminder: Don’t Forget to Designate your Pension Beneficiary!

Blog Post
May 22, 2014
Read Time: 3 minutes

Have you had more than one ‘spouse’ in your lifetime? If the answer to that question is ‘yes’, then it is important that you remember to designate your pension beneficiary. The importance of doing so was highlighted in a decision from the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 2012, which interpreted the definition of ‘spouse’ under Ontario’s recently amended Pension Benefits Act.

Making Changes to Child Support

Blog Post
May 16, 2014
Read Time: < 1 minute

Last week Jane Thomson posted a blog about requirements for annual income disclosure for child support payors and recipients. What happens when you do get that income information and changes in income require a change in child support? In Ontario’s 2014 budget a new on-line service for parents to apply for changes in child support amounts without having to go to court was proposed. We’ll be keeping our eyes on this new proposal. Currently, changing child support orders is costly and time consuming.