Divorce is a big decision and one which should not be taken lightly. In Ontario, a divorce between same sex partners is rightly treated like any other divorce. The stakes are high, as ending a relationship opens up a whole new batch of things to consider. How will the assets of the marriage be divided? Who will have custody of the kids? To whom are any support payments owed? A divorce lawyer can help you figure out the answers to these questions and take the legal steps to put your plan forward into action. Tailor Law’s divorce lawyers for same sex partners serve clients in Toronto, as well as throughout the GTA.
Toronto Same Sex Partners Divorce Lawyers
DIVORCE LAWYERS FOR SAME-SEX PARTNERS IN TORONTO
WHEN ARE SPOUSES CONSIDERED "SEPARATED"?
Spouses are separated in the eyes of the law once one or both of the spouses decide that the relationship is over and take action to live separate lives. This can mean the date on which one person moves out of the shared home. It can also mean the date on which the parties begin sleeping in separate bedrooms, living their daily lives separately, and presenting themselves as no longer a couple. In some cases, spouses disagree on the date of separation, and this is an issue that must be dealt with through negotiation or a court order.
THE SEPARATION AGREEMENT
The way to legally capture the terms of your and your spouse’s parting of ways is through a Separation Agreement. Separation agreements typically set out the way in which matrimonial assets will be divided, any child custody and access arrangements, and any spousal or child support arrangements.
These agreements can be negotiated by the parties themselves, or through the parties’ lawyers. The more terms the parties can agree upon, the less time and expense it will take to draft the agreement. The agreement is then signed by the parties after they have obtained independent legal advice, and then can be filed with the court if the parties choose to do so.
If one party later decides to act against the terms in the agreement, the other party can ask a court to enforce it. Factors that make a Separation Agreement more likely to be enforceable include: each party having obtained independent legal advice, each party providing the other with full and frank financial disclosure, and the registration of the agreement with the Family Responsibility Office (FRO). The FRO has the ability to enforce support payment obligations through garnishing wages, or suspending/revoking a party’s driver’s license or passport.
DECIDING TO DIVORCE
In order to be eligible for a divorce, former partners must have been living separate and apart (whether in the same home or not) for one year. Other grounds of eligibility under the law are adultery or cruelty, but these are hard to prove in court and rarely used these days.
Divorces can proceed as uncontested, in which both parties agree to the divorce and the terms by which it will occur. Often, the terms of an uncontested divorce have previously been worked out in a Separation Agreement. This can be filed along with the Divorce Application, once a year has passed from the date of separation.
Contested divorces occur when one of the parties is not agreeing to the divorce itself, or to any of the terms of the divorce. These issues can be decided by way of negotiation or court order, just like the outstanding issues in a Separation Agreement.
TAILOR LAW CAN HELP
Separation and divorce are trying processes, and it is important to retain a lawyer who will advocate to the very best of his or her ability to protect your interests. Tailor Law’s divorce lawyers for same sex partners in Toronto are forward-thinking, compassionate professionals who will listen to what you have to say and guide you through the steps to come. Book a free consultation with one of our divorce lawyers anytime by calling 905-366-0202 and find out what your best options are.