Family Law Tools
Developing a comprehensive domestic agreement includes defining its scope, purpose, substantive provisions, and what rights and obligations will be included or waived. The factual foundation must be accurate and the language comprehensible to the parties who will be referencing the document from time to time until all obligations under the agreement are satisfied.
Each cohabitation agreement, marriage contract, and separation agreement has essentially the same purpose: an orderly disposition of property, care for the children of the relationship, and provision of child and / or spousal financial support. Property is a very broad concept and children’s needs may vary considerably within one family.
The right family law tools aid in the successful negotiation of a durable agreement. These family law tools, like pieces of a puzzle, link various types of financial knowledge together to support calculations for financial assistance, property sharing, and understanding the long term consequences of decisions made today. Having accurate knowledge of the net worth of the other spouse, the implications for the family business, to the cost of children’s expenses including their care and education facilitates financial planning beyond on an individual level.
Today’s family law tools include the
- Child Support Guidelines http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/fl-df/child-enfant/ft-tf.html ,
- the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/fl-df/spousal-epoux/ssag-ldfpae.html and
- the financial statement for married spouses edited for out of court negotiation http://ontariocourtforms.on.ca/static/media/uploads/courtforms/family/13_1/flr-13-1-e.pdf
- and for common law partners edited for out of court negotiation http://ontariocourtforms.on.ca/static/media/uploads/courtforms/family/13/flr-13-e.pdf
Learn more about these family law tools on the website using the search function. Lorisa will assist you to complete the financial forms explaining the interplay of the parts of the form and how they correspond to support calculations and equalization of net family property calculations for married spouses.
A Separation Agreement is a roadmap designed and negotiated with their legal advisors by spouses, partners, and parents for an orderly winding up of their relationship. The agreement entrenches each parties’ respective rights they are entitled to receive from and obligations they may owe to the other. Timelines triggering and concluding these events bring certainty and clarity to the process. The terms of the agreement may describe a single event or may events unfolding over time
As time passes, certain terms negotiated in a separation agreement may prove to no longer be applicable and need to be updated or revised. An amending or subsequent separation agreement should incorporate the new changes to ensure they will be understood and enforceable.
Any domestic contract may be updated, revised, or new terms added through the operation of an Amending Agreement. Typical uses for this form of contract are the annual adjustment to child support monthly payments and the adding of new shared expenses such as post secondary education program for the children. The parents can only seek enforcement of the payment of a new expense if it is explicitly set out in a domestic contract. As children mature, their needs and the sharing of the cost of those needs should be kept current by entering into an Amending Agreement kept with the original domestic contract. Another example of the use of an Amending Agreement is when the family business ownership expands with new classes of shareholders or with subsidiaries in a new market. Updating the original contract is handled with the negotiation of an Amending Agreement.
Best practices are those actions or processes which generally offers the most effective and well received outcome for their clients. Not a rule or enforceable law, best practices are essentially practice guidelines which over time have proven a superior course of action.
For those partners who are planning a wedding and want to negotiate a Cohabitation Agreement before their wedding, a family law lawyer knows that the best practice is to commence those negotiations no later than four months prior to the date of marriage. The closer to that wedding date, the more likely attention will be split between focusing on legal terminology and concepts and ensuring that there are no spelling errors on the invitations. As the date grows closer emotions elevate and interfere with the need for clear headed decision-making. Being overwhelmed is not the state of mind for a wedding or for entering into a legally binding contract.
Divorce concludes a marriage and can feel like an emotional punch unexpected by many who face the journey. For those who have experienced the process, they become aware of the deeply personal, social, spiritual, and psychological impact on their lives.
A court-granted divorce order terminates a marriage. A “divorce” proclaimed only by the spouses is not good enough. An annulment granted by your church or religious institution is not a divorce under the laws of Canada.