Life Insurance: Protecting Support Obligations after Death
by Paula Lester on April 28, 2016
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.
How Do Common-law Couples Divide Their Property?
by Alice Weatherston on April 14, 2016
Last month I wrote a blog post explaining how and when partners become common-law spouses in Ontario. That blog focused mainly on spousal support and not the division of property, because the Ontario Family Law Act only provides for property division for married spouses. In Ontario, there are no legislated provisions for property division for common-law spouses. That means, when common-law couples separate, their property is divided based on ownership; that is, each party keeps what they own at the time of separation. However, common-law spouses may be able to make claims to property in certain circumstances, which I will set out briefly below.
Common-law couples can gain an interest in their partner’s property through equitable claims and remedies (which is a discretionary remedy of the court). The most common equitable claim is unjust enrichment. Equitable remedies are not exclusive to common-law couples, but are available between any two parties.
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Parental Abduction: What Is It and What Can I Do?
by Paula Lester on March 24, 2016
Parental abduction occurs when one parent takes their child (or children) without the permission of either the other parent or the court. Parents who abduct their own children may move to a different city, a different province, or a different country.
Parental abduction is a serious issue, and it can be very difficult for the parent left behind to locate the children and to bring fast and effective legal proceedings in order to secure the return of the children.
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When Do We Become Common-law Spouses?
by Alice Weatherston on March 10, 2016
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.
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What Legal Fees Can I Deduct On My Tax Return?
by Pam MacEachern on March 3, 2016
It’s tax time!
Don’t forget that legal fees incurred with respect to the enforcement or establishment of child and/or spousal support are normally tax deductible by the support recipient.
Canada Revenue Agency’s position on when legal fees related to child and spousal support are deductible has changed from time to time. It is always best to check with your accountant or CRA’s website for up-to-date information. See below CRA’s position on deductions as of February 2016.
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