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Toronto Law Blog

Dispute Resolution: Choosing the Method that's Right for You

When a dispute arises, family lawyers have a number of different resolution methods available to help you resolve it. From negotiation to mediation to arbitration to litigation, it's great to have options but it can be overwhelming to choose. Here are some factors to consider:

•1) How quickly does the issue need to be resolved?

Negotiation does not have a timeline, meaning that it may be a lengthy or quick process. Litigation comes with set timelines, however, the process can be quite lengthy. Mediation may be a little quicker, with arbitration and mediation-arbitration hybrids possible also being quicker.

•2) How final is the outcome?

While they can be expensive and drag matters on longer, court decisions may be appealable on certain grounds. Appealing mediation and arbitration is a more difficult process and not available under many circumstances.

Retroactive Child Support - How far back are the Courts prepared to go?

Earlier posts on this website discuss the Supreme Court of Canada decision of D.B.S v. S.R.G, which considered the issue of retroactive child support. In that case the Court held that generally, a claim for an increase in support should be calculated as of the "date of effective notice", which is when an increase in child support was requested by the recipient. Unless a payor demonstrates blameworthy conduct, the retroactive award should not be more than three years before this "effective notice". The Court further held that the decision to order retroactive support should be based on a number of factors, all of which the Courts should strive to consider and balance.

Get it in Writing - Transferring a Matrimonial Home when Spouses Separate

When a couple separates or divorces, the question often arises of who gets to keep the matrimonial home. In some cases, one spouse will purchase the interests of the other spouse in the property. In these cases, it is important to have a written separation agreement signed before the transfer takes place. Putting aside the numerous family law considerations for having a separation agreement, for real estate transfers, having a written separation agreement could allow the parties to avoid payment of Land Transfer Taxes upon the transfer from one spouse to the other.

Planning your estate? Don't forget your social media accounts

Like many avid film-goers, I was greatly saddened by Roger Ebert's death in the spring of 2013. I always appreciated Ebert's even-handed and thoughtful reviews, and Ebert's thumbs helped guide many of my cinematic decisions.

Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act Transition Deadline Reminder - the October 17, 2014 deadline quickly approaches

Federally incorporated not-for-profit corporations are required to transition to the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act by October 17, 2014. It will be assumed that a federally incorporated not-for-profit corporation that fails to transition by this deadline is inactive and, as such, will be dissolved.

Failure to transition could have a significant consequence for a federal not-for-profit corporation that is a registered charity - that being the revocation of its registration as a charity.

Vesting Orders in the Family Law

In Newton v. Newton, Justice Shaw considered when it was appropriate for the court to use its discretion to grant a vesting order in a Family Law context. In Newton, the court dealt with a wife who had refused to comply with multiple court orders for disclosure. She was eventually found in contempt for non-compliance and fined $1,000 payable forthwith and $50 per day for every day she failed to disclose the relevant information. 956 days passed before this matter was heard in court and by that time the wife owed $47,800 in penalties. However, regardless of the hefty fines, she had still refused to produce the relevant documents.

ODSP Payments - How do they affect Child Supoprt?

The recent Ontario family law case Senos v Karcz, 2014 ONCA 459 answered this question. Well, almost! The Court of Appeal held that receipt of Ontario Disability Support Program payments (ODSP) can, and in this case did, make the presumptive table amount under the Child Support Guidelines inappropriate. However, it did not go further and make a determination regarding what amount would be appropriate.

Thinking of Donating Your Body to Science? What You Should Know First

Estate planning often goes hand in hand with making funeral arrangements. As a result, people often ask to include a provision in their Will directing how they would like their body to be laid to rest. An important and often misunderstood reality is that your estate trustee (also known as your executor or executrix) will have the authority to determine what is to be done with your body after your death. He or she is not legally required to follow the funeral or burial instructions found in your Will or the wishes of your family. (This is yet another reason why it is important to choose one or more individuals you trust as your estate trustee(s).)

When considering how you would like your body handled after your death, you may wish to include a specific direction that your body be donated to a teaching facility - generally, a medical school - upon your death, in hopes that it will be used to educate future medical professionals. Before doing so, there are a few things you should know.

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