Written by Eernesto T Felder | February 24, 2020
Nothing is more romantic than the Canadian Rockies, the beautiful Canadian lakes or Niagara Falls. As Canada is rife with beauty, it is a nation where people fall in love. As it is a place with humans, Canada is also a nation where that love sometimes deteriorates. When that happens in Toronto, you should seek out a lawyer to make sure you do not lose more than your relationship. The best Family Lawyer In Toronto will have the expertise and skills to ensure that your rights—and property—are best protected.
Mathematically, it would be easier if all assets were divided in half. Such a split is not, however, always equitable. A Family Lawyer In Toronto will inform you that if money or an asset is jointly owned by both parties, each may be entitled to half, but not all property will be distributed as such.
While each Canadian province has its own rules, Ontario uses a process called “equalization,” where a monetary payment is paid by one spouse to the other with the goal of “making life equal.” To determine this, each party’s net worth (total assets minus total liabilities) is calculated twice—on the date of marriage and then on the date of separation (known as the “valuation date”). After comparing the change for each party, the one that has a higher increase in net worth will usually be required to pay money the other spouse to make the equivalent of the increase.
Other important factors used in making this calculation are “deductions.” These items that people already owned at the date of marriage may be deducted from the net worth at the date of separation. There are also “exclusions,” which are items included at the date of separation but not factored into the calculation including, but not limited to, items such as life insurance proceeds, gifts a party received from a third person during the marriage, or an inheritance or the part of an inheritance that you can trace.
When it comes to children, there are certain important considerations that make a family doctor important to have on your side.
The rules regarding custody and access in Toronto include (i) where the child will live, (ii) how decisions for any children will be made, (iii) how much time each parent will spend with the children and (iv) the role each parent will have in caring for the children, all of which will be incorporated into a “parenting plan.”
Children of divorcing and divorced parents can either live primarily with one parent or divide their time between both, to be determined by what is in their best interests. This standard often considers school schedules and other time obligations of both children and parents.
Custody is categorized as a parent’s right to make important decisions about how to care for a child, with issues such as education, religion, and health care. In Toronto, this does not include the amount of time to be spent with a parent.
In situations where parents can co-operate, there may be “joint custody,” where both parents have to agree on major decisions affecting children. On the contrary, if parents cannot agree, there may be “sole custody,” where one parent makes all of the vital decisions about a child. In such a case, the parent with sole custody may be ordered to discuss such issues with the other parent, but the decision remains in one parent, regardless of whether or not there is disagreement.
The term for time spent by a parent with a child is called “access.” When one parent has sole residential custody, the other is usually granted access. Similar to custody, when the parents are able to co-operate, there is usually “reasonable access” or “liberal and generous access,” where access is typically agreed to and may be open and flexible.
In situations where parents are less agreeable, “fixed access” or “specified access” may be ordered, where a specific plan covering holidays, long weekends, children and parent birthdays, religious occasions, and the like is created to prevent disagreement. Sometimes, such a plan may provide where access will take place, who is responsible for pick up and drop off, and other items.
Access may be limited in cases where for example, a parent (1) suffers from a drug problem, (2) has previously abused the child or (3) previously threatened or actually tried to take the child away. In order to maintain a parental relationship, there may be “supervised access,” where a friend, relative, social worker, a worker at a supervised access center, or Children’s Aid worker is present to ensure that the parent with access acts appropriately.
There are extreme cases, however, when one parent might be deemed unfit to have access to the children. Again, this is always viewed in the best interests of the children so, if it is deemed unsafe for a child to be present with one parent, it may be denied entirely.
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