Family Law

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What You Need to Know About Common-Law

How do you enter into a common-law relationships in the first place and when do various rights vest? For those of you living with a partner or considering doing so (or if you have adult children considering same), I suggest that you grab a cup of coffee, sit down and read the following paragraphs a few of times over.
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Change Divorce Law in Canada. Now.

Today, I launched an advocacy initiative called It's Time For Justice. For 20 years now, we have been talking about improving access to justice in Canada and we have made barely any progress. We need to reduce both the time and costs to get divorced.
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The "Marriage" of Estate and Family Law

The shift: divorce and other complicated family dynamics mean closer ties between the two worlds of family law and estate law. As family dynamics shift away from the previous norm of a single traditional marriage and nuclear family, and toward increasing numbers of second and subsequent marriages, blended families, and common law relationships, the need for estate planning becomes a more pressing and complex concern.

Senator Brazeau: Guilty Before Proven Innocent?

Senator Brazeau's arrest and jailing dominated the news this week. However, thousands of Canadians who have been through even the most minor domestic violence incident know that criminal law is applied with no mercy and no balance, well before anyone gets their day in court. While Senator Brazeau is the man in the spotlight, thousands of other Canadian men and women accused of a range of domestic violence have suffered the same punishments and the same obstacles to reconciliation while waiting for criminal courts to make decisions.

Advice on Surviving Family Business

There has been a colossal breakdown of the Archie family business, and it sounds like something right out of the movies; egos, lawyers, yelling matches, sexual harassment claims, defamation lawsuits and restraining orders. This one has it all. It makes me think of different measures that friends and family members can take when entering into businesses ventures

When Sperm Donors Suddenly Want to Be Dads

Rene deBlois agreed that he would just be a sperm donor for his friend and her same-sex partner, and that he would not play any kind of role in the child's life. Now deBlois says he was coerced into the latter part of this arrangement and that he believes he should be recognized as the child's father. On the surface, this may seem logical, but in reality, this is a case about the rights of the child.
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What Kind of Divorce Client Are You?

All of my clients are easily divided into two groups: magnet holders and dust collectors. Magnet holders take their newly signed separation agreement and put it on their fridge with a huge magnet. They refer to it daily. Dust collectors put their newly signed agreements in a drawer and let them collect -- you guessed it -- dust.

Ask a Divorce Lawyer

Each week I will answer questions about a particular aspect of divorce law. I'll provide a basic understanding of the law and some helpful tips. I may even spice things up with an interview with a lawyer who completed a noteworthy case or even a client who's consented to having their information in the public domain.