The Family Connection
A blog published by the Nelligan O'Brien Payne LLP Family Law Group. We help people with all their family law issues, including child support, spousal support, divorce, property division, surrogacy, donor agreements, adoption, and much more.
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Life Insurance: Protecting Support Obligations after Death

by Paula Lester on April 28, 2016

Life Insurance: Protecting Support Obligations after Death

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.

Read more on Life Insurance: Protecting Support Obligations after Death

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2016 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

How Do Common-law Couples Divide Their Property?

by Alice Weatherston on April 14, 2016

How Do Common-law Couples Divide Their Property?

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.

Read more on How Do Common-law Couples Divide Their Property?

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2016 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

Parental Abduction: What Is It and What Can I Do?

by Paula Lester on March 24, 2016

Parental Abduction: What Is It and What Can I Do?

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.

Read more on Parental Abduction: What Is It and What Can I Do?

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2016 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

When Do We Become Common-law Spouses?

by Alice Weatherston on March 10, 2016

When Do We Become Common-law Spouses?

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.

Read more on When Do We Become Common-law Spouses?

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2016 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

What Legal Fees Can I Deduct On My Tax Return?

by Pam MacEachern on March 3, 2016

What Legal Fees Can I Deduct On My Tax Return?

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.

Read more on What Legal Fees Can I Deduct On My Tax Return?

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2016 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.