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Publications

WILLS AND ESTATES PLANNING FOR SAME-SEX COUPLES

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Appropriate Wills and Estate planning is vital for people from all walks of life; however, it is essential to understand the nuances of members of different communities. We will examine some considerations for LGBTQ community members. PLANNING IN CASE OF INCAPACITY Decisions on health care Same-Sex Couples must have a mandate in times of incapacitation when family; children, parents, and siblings do not accept them. Legally, when a person who cannot make decisions about their health care, priority is given to the spouse to make those decisions on their behalf. If there is no spouse, a close relative, or a…

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CAN YOU BE CONSIDERED A SPOUSE EVEN IF YOU NEVER LIVED TOGETHER

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Today, no one wants to sacrifice his/her self and personal fulfillment on the altar of the couple ties. So you are not alone if you are living separately and apart from your spouse and you wonder if you could still be referred to as a couple. You may have also heard of couples who love each other yet choose to live separately and apart, and you do not understand how they do it. If you love someone, how do you decide to live separately and apart instead of opting to share every moment? Well, love is hard to come by,…

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CRIMINAL LAW AND THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY

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Canada is hiding a sordid history of what we can only refer to as state-sponsored homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia. For hundreds of years, a policy of oppressing and, consequently, criminalizing same-sex behavior through “hetero-normalization” has existed. Society, in general, portrayed heterosexual relationships as “normal.” In contrast, same-sex relationships were often suppressed and represented as bestial or abnormal by state-supported and criminal-law churches. Historically, the LGBT community has been the victim of police persecution and discrimination within the Canadian Armed Forces, the RCMP, and the public service. The campaign to identify and get rid of LGBT officials because of their orientation,…

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TIPS AND TRICKS FOR NEGOTIATING FAMILY LAW SETTLEMENTS

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The trial, where the court decides on the dispute, is usually the first option for resolving a family law dispute. However, there are faster, cheaper, and more profitable avenues, such as family mediation and negotiation. The process of divorce or separation is not always synonymous with a break in our privacy by the court. To do this, it is vital to employ the services of a family lawyer. Different Alternative Methods of Resolution As soon as a conflict arises, calling on an expert in family law is the best. It will allow you to evaluate the alternative methods of conflict…

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AMICABLE DIVORCES – WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS FOR GETTING A DIVORCE WITHOUT GOING TO COURT

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Divorce laws give married couples two options for divorce: amicable divorce and disputed divorce. If there is a mutual agreement that the marriage has ended, then amicable divorce without a lawyer is possible. In particular, if there are no common minor children, an amicable divorce without a lawyer is relatively straightforward. But even with children together, the spouses can already agree on how the custody and maintenance should be regulated. If there are ambiguities regarding the legal situation or if the spouses wish for competent legal advice as support, then a lawyer for family law or a mediator is recommended. Not infrequently, there are heated discussions on…

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Are we Common-Law Partners?

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Let’s be honest, most people know the meaning of the term but just as many people are not familiar with the actual requirements for common-law partners. It’s true, the court will look at many factors and circumstances before making a decision and this is especially true when no children are involved. But is a common-law partner exactly? Let’s take a look at what you need to know about common-law status in Ontario: What You Should Know About Common-Law Status in Ontario Common-law partners are those in which two people have been living together for a length of time. While this…

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Buying and Renting a House After Divorce

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Many changes happen after your divorce, and one of the most significant changes is your living situation. Before the separation, you shared a home with your family and spouse. After the divorce, many people decide it is best to sell the marital home and find new homes though sometimes a spouse retains the house in the divorce. If this is the case for you, what should your next step be? This article will help you decide whether renting or buying a house after a divorce is your best option. There are a few things to consider. One of the most…

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Anonymity in Family Law: Guide to Publication Bans and Sealing Orders

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In this article, the term anonymity or confidentiality order will be used to denote any court order, which in any way restricts access to or disclosure of any form of information or proceeding, including but not limited to sealing order, publication ban and secrecy orders. What is a Sealing Order? A Court order that restricts access to or disclosure of any record or document filed in a legal proceeding. A sealing order may be specific, relating only to specified documents or general covering all documents in a Court file. A sealing order usually applies for a time-bound period only. It…

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Spousal Support Guidelines When Your Income is Above $350,000

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It’s almost a decade into the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (“SSAG”) era, we are coming to terms with the guidelines. Courts are using SSAG fairly routinely and thereby providing more predictability to parties although the suggested support ranges are not always met with enthusiasm by recipients or payors. SSAG have seen to raised average spousal support awards in some communities and lowered them in others. Anecdotally, SSAGs have increased marginal support awards where pre SSAG no support would likely have been agreed to or, possibly, even asked for. After initial doubt in Ontario, since the Court of Appeal decision in…

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Understanding Support Payments When the Payor’s Income Is Irregular

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During a marital separation (divorce), it is just normal that the parent who doesn’t have custody of the child pay a certain amount of money to the spouse and kid(s) to help support their monthly upkeep.  Every court of law looks to justify the amount payable in support by the income of the payor. The case gets even more interesting when the payor does not have a regular income to fall back on. When such happens, how is the support payable to be calculated? Incidences of Irregular Income There are a series of factors which could lead to an individual’s…

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