Publications

Common Law Divorce: Division of Property

By | Blog

When relationships break down, the laws regarding division of property do not apply to common-law couples as they do to married spouses when they divorce. If you are in a common-law relationship, the general rule of thumb is: anything that you bring into the relationship with your own money, and in your own name, will still belong to you after separation. However, items that are jointly purchased will be divided, or shared in value, after separation. Some Examples of How Division of Property Works for Common Law Partners Matrimonial Home: Common-law partners do not have equal rights to possess the…

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Common Law Divorce: Child Custody & Access in Ontario

By | Blog

Common-law relationships in Canada are on the rise among couples. One of the main advantages of this arrangement compared to a traditional marriage is that that when the common-law couple breaks up, there is no legal action required, no divorce process. However, matters become more complicated when children are involved. In Canada, all parents—married or not—are entitled to seek custody and access of their children. What does that mean for common-law couples? The implications vary depending on jurisdiction.   In Ontario, two people are considered to be in a common-law relationship if: They have lived together as a couple for…

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Difference Between Joint Custody and Sole Custody

By | Blog

Child custody is one of the most challenging issues to cooperate on when parents separate or divorce. It is also often misunderstood. Legally, “custody” refers to a parent’s right to make decisions for his or her child on major aspects of the child’s life, such as education, health and religion. Custody is different from “access” which refers to a parent’s right to spend time with the child, to ask questions and be informed about the child’s development. In Canada, all parents have the right to seek custody and access of their children, whether or not they are married or live…

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What Happens to Frozen Embryos After Divorce?

By | Blog

In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is a common infertility treatment for couples who are trying to conceive. For older couples in particular, IVF using donor eggs or sperm has a significantly higher chance of success. In Canada, however, it is illegal to buy donor eggs. This reality has driven many desperate couples across the border, to the United States, where compensation services are permitted. The purchase and sale of embryos—created from donated sperm and eggs—is fraught with legal, social and ethical implications. One major legal issue is: what happens to frozen embryos when a couple separates or divorces? This type of “custody”…

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