When divorcing Ontario couples try to hash out their issues, some primary concerns include:
— Custody of minor children
— Access to their children
— Parenting plans
It is always better when two parents can reach accord between themselves, but inevitably, some couples cannot, and those major decisions are left up to the court.
Sometimes, the courts rule that parents have an equal share in the decisions made regarding their children’s schooling, religious instruction and other major issues; other times, one parent will be deemed the decision-maker.
Courts also can determine the amount of time that each parent gets to spend with the kids, and under what terms. If one parent has demonstrated poor parenting skills that could potentially endanger a child, he or she could be restricted to supervised visitation, These components form a comprehensive parenting plan that is implemented by the court.
Another concern is the amount of child support a parent is responsible for paying. Usually, the parent who has the child living with him or her the most is entitled to a specific sum from the other parent based on income and number of kids in the family.
Spousal support might be ordered paid to the spouse who earns less by the one with the higher income. Often these payments are ordered only for a limited time to help one spouse get back on his or her feet again.
Property division splits up the money and property acquired during the marriage. Both spouses have equal rights to reside in the family home no matter if it’s the husband’s or wife’s name on the lease or deed, so this can be hotly contested.
Unmarried, common-law couples have fewer rights in a split, with each keeping his or her own property and money and splitting the jointly owned resources. It’s more difficult for an Ontario common-law spouse to claim a portion of the other’s assets.
When you are contemplating a divorce, it’s wise to seek legal counsel to protect your rights.
Source: Community Legal Education Ontario, “An Introduction to Family Law in Ontario,” accessed Jan. 15, 2016