Family traditions endure as special memories. These memories reflect a parent’s role of bringing stability, predictability, and security which anchor a child’s sense of self-worth and confidence, and encourage appropriate development. These anchors are reflected in the life decisions—the big ones and the small ones—that parents make for their children.
Property Sharing for Common Law Partners
For spouses and partners who are not married, there is no legislated property-sharing regime in Ontario.
Understanding what common-law spouses may be entitled to claim from the other upon separation is important for clients before they plan to cohabit.
Property Division for Married Couples
Often new clients become panicked about having to give up their grandmother’s dining table or a set of classic vinyl records. Gentle probing elicits their belief that married spouses have to share their all property with their spouse in a 50/50 split. Breathe deeply. It doesn’t work that way in Ontario. There are exemptions for certain kinds of property and credits for the value of assets brought into the marriage.
The family whose economic stability is tied to the family business can face unique challenges when the founding generation owners face a breakdown in their marriage. The intertwining of family ownership, entrepreneurial, management, and operational interests with new generational involvement provides an opportunity to review succession plans, roles, and members on the governance boards. Expressing and reiterating common family values and working together through this difficult transition period helps keep the dream goal of a successful family enterprise on track.
Children matter. To put significant weight behind that principle, legislation has established child support as the right of children. It cannot be waived by a parent to make a better deal with a former spouse. It takes priority over spousal support.
The foundation for resolving family law disputes is the full and open sharing of the financial circumstances of each spouse or partner and of the children. This disclosure provides the factual basis from which the children’s expenses today and in the future can be accommodated. It entitles a spouse to negotiate an appropriate amount and duration of financial support.