Family is comprised of some of the most important people in our lives. However, relationships within a family can be complicated. Family law governs the relationships between spouses, domestic partners as well as parents and their children. Issues within family relationships can impact the well-being of all family members, either now or in the future. Family law involves the well-being, responsibilities, and rights of all the members of the family.

There are a wide range of circumstances the fall under family law, the most common family law issues include, but are not limited to:

Separation Agreements:

A separation agreement specifies a change in marital status that allows spouses to live “apart” from each other (even if they are still living in the same home) and outlines the obligations and rights of each person involved. A separation agreement is not a divorce, which means the marriage has not been legally dissolved. However, with a separation agreement the parties can address issues such as property division, child custody and both child and spousal support.

Divorce:

In Ontario, married couples looking for a divorce, fall under the Federal Divorce Act. This means that only a court can grant a divorce to spouses that have faced a breakdown of their marriage. Not until a divorce order is granted by the courts, can a marriage be legally undone.

Child Custody:

Custody describes the legal relationship between a parent and their child or children. In Ontario there two types of child custody:

Joint Custody – Both of the parents have input into the major decisions affecting the children and ensure the children’s best interest is the priority.
Sole Custody – One parent has the legal right to make the major decisions affecting the children. The other parent may have access or visitation rights.

Child Access:

Refers to the right of the non-custodial parent to spend time with their children. It outlines when and how your time will be spent with the children. It also includes the right to have access to information and inquire about the well-being of your children.

Child Support:

Both parents are responsible for financially supporting their children. When Parents separate, usually the parent that sees the child less time pays child support to the other. If both parents have equal time with the children then the one who earns more may pay some child support to the other. Child support payments are intended to help cover the costs related to your children’s basic needs. In Ontario, calculating the child support amounts is based on the Child Support Guidelines set out by the federal government.

Spousal Support:

A spouse may have an obligation to provide support for their former spouse or partner after a separation or divorce. Spousal support is not guaranteed or automatic such as child support. Your former spouse must show to be legally entitled to it. The legal requirement to pay spousal support is based on both individual’s financial position and to the extent that the payor is capable of doing so among other factors.

Division of Property:

For married individuals The Family Law Act provides a framework as to how to divide property post separation. Basically, any increase in value of property that a spouse individual owned, should be shared. Although this may sound quite easy, the calculation is actually quite convoluted and complicated especially the more people own and top in their possession. We strongly recommend that you consult with us to explain to you and support you through the property division process so that you do not lose out.

Family Law issues can involve complicated procedures or can become a complicated process, having an experienced family law firm protecting your rights and best interests is always advised. At AGS Law we offer comprehensive family law services in Barrie and South Eastern Ontario. If you need support with or have questions regarding any family law issues, call us at 705-735-0003 and let us help you.