#page-container {max-width: 1200px;} Ontario Family Law Podcast | John P. Schuman C.S., Child & Family Law

Ontario Family Law Podcast

John Recording the Podcast

The Ontario Family Law Podcast is hosted by Certified Specialist in Family Law, Ontario family lawyer, mediator, arbitrator and collaborative lawyer, John Schuman.  John is also the author of the Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law, which is available from Amazon as a paperback or a Kindle eBook and from iTunes for your iphone/ipad.

In an easy-to-understand manner, the podcast discusses all family law matters, from marriage, to separation and divorce, and child welfare issues.  John discusses many, and the most important, family law issues in depth and provides pointers to keep people out of trouble.

Some of the topics covered include:

- marriage contracts and cohabitation agreement

- what does "divorce" mean

- how do you get child custody?  How does a judge decide which parent gets custody?

- what say to children get in family court?

- how is child support calculated?

- what are special and extraordinary expenses?  Who pays?  How much?

- how is property divided?

- what is family mediation, family arbitration and collaborative practice?

- how to keep assets away from your inlays

- the Ontario Family Court process, step-by-step, from how to start court proceedings, through all the steps leading up to trial

- domestic violence and what to do

- special family law issues for Emergency First Responders (Police, Paramedics, Firefighters, etc.)

- special topics on chidren’s issues and children’s rights

- common law relationships

This podcast It is essential listening for anyone experiencing major life events.  Just listening can make sure you do not fall into any family law pitfalls. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or by using RSS.


To contact John Schuman, use the email address or telephone number at the top of this page.









The companion book to this podcast, The Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law is available by clicking on the book to the right. The e-book is $9.99 and is available for immediate download from Amazon for KindleKobo and iTunes for iPad, iPhone and Mac.If you have found this podcast useful, please feel free to share it on your social network by using the buttons to the left or at the bottom of the page.   Hundreds of people download episodes of the podcast every month because of the valuable information it provides on family law and family court issues.


If you would like to contact John Schuman, pick any episode and fill out the contact form at the bottom of the page.




This podcast is provided for general information only.  It does not constitute legal advice with regard to any specific situation.

Is January Divorce Month?

separating couple

CBC Ontario Morning with Wei Chen

CBC Ontario Morning with Wei Chen

It is not just urban legend that more couples separate or start their divorce in January.  Divorce Lawyers do see more people call their offices in that month than any other. John Schuman was a guest on CBC’s Ontario Morning radio program to explain why.  You can listen to interview by clicking on the player to the left.


Divorce in January

The pressure and stress of the holidays are too much for some couples.  Others find that spending so much time together can exaggerate the difficulties in the relationship.  Others decide that they are going to turn over a new leaf in the new year - and those plans do not include their spouses.  Regardless of the reason for the separation, it is not as important as the first steps after the separation - as those decisions can have a bigger impact on the spouses, and the children, as the separation itself.


John's podcast photo

1 - Separation and First Decisions

Deciding to separate from a spouse is a decision to make carefully. It is a decision that should be made knowing what will happen next and what to do.   To find out more about how to separate from your spouse and what to do next, check out the first episode of the Ontario Family Law Podcast.   You should also watch the video below.  Finally, get more information about the first steps after separating from your spouse on this page


There are also a number of common mistakes that people make when separating from their spouses.  Some of the most common ones are set out in the video below.  However, to make sure you are making the best decisions for your and your children, you should consult with a top family law lawyer about the specifics of your case. John Schuman is a Certified Specialist in Family Law.  To make an appointment with him, use the contact form at the bottom of the page, email him, or call 416-446-4036.

Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law (book)


Another source of reliable family law information, that you can access at any time - before or after separation, is this $9.99 e-book for KindleKobo, or iPad/iPhone/Mac or ordering the paperback version.  It includes  a lot of helpful information about Ontario Family Law issues, including property division, support, and most other family law that separating spouses and parents must address everyday.  It will help you understand not only the law, but the decisions you have to make and what is involved with each choice. 

Available_on_Kindle
Available on Kobo
Available on the iBookstore


Many thousands of people get family law assistance from this website everyday.  If you have found this page useful, please share it on your social network using the Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest buttons at the bottom of the page.  Please comment on this page using the comments section at the bottom to share your thoughts on money issues in divorce or separation.


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Grandparents Sued for Child Support

granddaughter-grandfather_med-2
CBC Logo

CBC All in a Day - Ottawa

On the Coast - British Columbia

Morning North - Northern Ontario


A North Bay mother has sued her daughter's grandparents for $760 in monthly child support, plus $47,000 in back pay.   In what may become a more common situation as grandparents assert their “legal rights” to access to their grandchildren, the child’s parents demand that those grandparents share the responsibility for the child - especially financial responsibility.  Of particular concern in this case is that the Grandparents stepped in to keep their granddaughter out of foster care and that is part of the reason that the child’s mother is now suing them for child support after the children’s aid society allowed the child to return to her care.


John Schuman provided a legal commentary on this story from North Bay to CBC Radio Programs across the country and to Global Radio.  You can hear the details of the case and John’s analysis of it, by clicking on the players to the left or the CBC and Global Audio below.



Ontario Family Law Podcast


Child Support Laws in Ontario clearly allow grandparents, and step parents to become liable for child support.  This happens when the grandparent or step parent acts like a parent (rather than a grandparent or step parent) to the child.  Anyone who stands in the place of a parent to a child becomes responsible for paying child support for that child. 

12 - How Step Parents and Grandparents Can Have to Pay Child Support


Grandparents do have rights under Ontario Family Law.  However, with the recognition of those rights may be a recognition of responsibilities if grandparents want to be actively involved in raising their grandchildren.


To learn more about the law that applies and can require grandparents or step parents to pay support, listen to Episode 12 of the Ontario Family Law Podcast:  How Step Parents and Grandparents Can Be On the Hook for Child Support.


Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law (book)


The Ontario Family Law Podcast is a companion to the book, Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law, which is available as a $9.99 eBook for Amazon Kindle and Kobo and as an iBook for iPad, iPhone and Mac or a paperback from Amazon and other fine book sellers.  The Guide is an easy-to-understand explanation of the basics of all aspects of Ontario Family Law, from a description of Family Court and the other ways to resolve family law matters, to a description of the most important family law topics, to tips on how to avoid common mistakes  and succeed after separation. 


Available on Kobo
Available on the iBookstore

If you would like more assistance with child support, contact Certified  Specialist in Family Law, John Schuman, by calling 416-446-5080, emailing him, or using the contact form below. You can also use the contact form to comment on this page.

Available_on_Kindle


If you found this page, information or audio files helpful, please share them on your social network using the buttons below.


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35 - Keeping Child Custody/Access Issues Out of Court

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35 - Resolving Children's Issues Outside of Court

The research is clear that parental separation or divorce does not harm children, it is the conflict between parents, even at mild levels, that have serious long-lasting negative impacts on children.  While there are many things parents can do to protect their children in these situations, one of the most important, if not the most important, is to work out post-separation parenting issues without a big fight.   Family Court, as part of its adversarial system of justice, most often requires some form of conflict over children’s issues.   However, there are many alternatives to Family Court for parents who want to work out custody/access issues with less conflict and with more control over the results. While judges always decide custody/access cases in the best interests of the children, what a judge thinks is in a child’s best interests can be different from what the child’s parents think.


Parenting Mediation

In this edition of the Ontario Family Law Podcast, Certified Specialist in Family Law, John Schuman, explains the options for working out custody/access issues without resort to the Courts.  He describes parenting mediation, parenting coordination, family law arbitration, custody/access assessments, the Office of the Children’s Lawyer and how each of these options works and when each of them can be best.   This podcast also describes how parents can have greater control over the parenting plan after separation by using these other methods.


All separated parents, who do not have a parenting plan or agreement over custody/access issues must listen to this podcast to find out not only how to get the best results and protection for their kids, but also how to get the parenting arrangements that work best for them.


For more information about mediation, check out this page, with a video on what happens at family and parenting mediation.


Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law (book)
Available on the iBookstore
Available on Kobo
Available_on_Kindle

The Ontario Family Law Podcast is a companion to the book, Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law, which is available as an e-book for Amazon Kindle or Kobo, and as an iBook for iPad, iPhone and Mac, or as a paperback from Amazon and other fine book sellers.  Anyone who has to deal with issues related to child custody, child access or parenting after separation should rely on both of them for  give easy-to-understand information and advice about how the law applies to their case and what are the best ways to address their concerns.  The book also covers all the other related family law issues, such as child support, spousal support, property division and restraining orders.  To get your copy of the book, click on the picture of the book above and to the left.


Thousands of people tune into the Ontario Family Law Podcast to get valuable pointers on family law, divorce and separation issues.  Please feel free to share this podcast with your social network using the sharing buttons below.  The host of the Ontario Family Law Podcast, John Schuman, is a Certified Specialist in Family Law, practicing in Toronto.  if you would like to contact him, either call 416-446-5869, email us,  or fill out form below and click “send.”


You can comment on this podcast using the comments section below.  Share your experiences with child custody matters to supplement what people learn from this important podcast.  


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Comments:

David L. - The podcast is very good. I would like to draw attention to what goes on outside of court and agreements. When one parent does not keep the agreement they have made and turns around to alienate the children. Then there is no remedy. I and many others have that problem. Yet, to find alternate solutions by the time the children can spend the time with both the realtionship is strained. I have tried for the last 8 years to come to solutions yet due to unreasonable other side have lost that time which the children and I will not be able to get back. Moving forward low income families that struggle to spend the wanted time, need some help other than legal aid.

Response from John Schuman:  It is never acceptable for a parent to alienate the children from their other parent.   That is actually very harmful to children who need to know both their parents and form their own, independent, impressions of who their parent are.  A child deciding whether he or her likes or dislikes a parent is  important in helping the child develop a sense of identity.  Episode 19 of the podcast may help you.  In addition, here are some pages on tips on what to in this situation when your children are: pre-school or school age,  teenagers, or infants.

Karin T. - I agree with the comment above; the podcast is very useful.  I also agree that it is what goes on behind the scenes that is problematic.  I had a mediated agreement that my ex-spouse didn't feel the need to comply with if he didn't agree with it.  He played the role in the mediator's office and then in the parking lot would say, "I don't agree with the mediator."  This caused endless frustration and grief for me.  I ended up no longer willing to pay the high cost of mediation - $2,000/ hr and waste the time.


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Difficult Custody Cases - CJOB Interview

How Judges Decide Child Custody Cases

Sometimes child custody cases become very difficult, adversarial, and drawn out battles that are terrible for the kids.  Those cases cane be difficult cases for Family Court Judges to decide.  After a child custody case went very wrong in Manitoba, CJOB News Director, Richard Cloutier, interviewed John Schuman about child custody and access cases. 


In this interview Richard and John discuss some important topics in family law, and particular to child custody:


Listen to this short radio segment to gain excellent insight into how child custody cases are decided in Family Court and how to do the best things for yourself and your kids. 


Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law Best Seller
Kobo Logo
Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law Available on Kindle

The featured expert on this radio interview is John Schuman.  John is a Certified Specialist in Family Law and the author of the Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law, which is available as an e-book for Amazon Kindle or Kobo, and as an iBook for iPad, iPhone and Mac, or as a paperback from Amazon and other fine book sellers.  Anyone who has to deal with issues related to child custody, child access or parenting after separation should rely on both that book, and the Ontario Family Law Podcast for easy-to-understand information and advice about how the law applies to their case and what are the best ways to address their concerns.  The book also covers all the other related family law issues, such as child support, spousal support, property division and restraining orders.  To get your copy of the book, click on the picture of the book above and to the left.

Contact John Schuman, Certified Specialist in Family Law and Divorce Trial Lawyer, mediator, arbitrator and collaborative lawyer, to get help with your child custody case.  To reach him, either call 416-446-5869, email him or fill out form below and click “send.”  We respond promptly whenever someone contacts us.  


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34 - Disclosure in Family Law Cases

John's podcast photo

34 - Financial Disclosure in Family Law Cases

In Ontario Family Law, financial disclosure is both the starting point and the cornerstone of the separation or divorce process whenever there is money involved.  It can often also be a bone of contention between spouses in itself, with one spouse feeling that he or she is being abused by massive disclosure requests and the other spouse being angry and suspicious that his or her ex is avoding disclosure to hide money.


In this edition of the Ontario Family Law Podcast, Certified Specialist in Family Law, John Schuman, explains what disclosure is necessary in family law cases, when spouses have to provide it and what happens when one spouse is not satisfied with the disclosure provided. He goes over the disclosure process in Family Court, Mediation, Arbitration and Collaborative Practice and goes over the privacy concerns that disclosure can create in Family Court.  This podcast also describes the serious consequences that can arise for a party who refuses to provide financial disclosure.


Find our about your disclosure obligations in your family law case, as well as how to deal with disclosure problems by listening to this edition of the podcast.


The host of the Ontario Family Law PodcastJohn Schuman, is a Certified Specialist in Family Law and Divorce Trial Lawyer, mediator, arbitrator and collaborative lawyer, practicing in Toronto at Devry Smith Frank LLP, which is a full service law firm with several excellent lawyers in family law.  If you would like to contact John Schuman, either call 416-446-5869, email him or fill out form below and click “send.”  We respond promptly whenever someone contacts us.  

                                      

Available on Kobo

Thousands of people tune into the Ontario Family Law Podcast every month to get valuable pointers on family law, marriage, divorce and separation issues that can save them thousands of dollars.  It is also available on iTunes.  The Ontario Family Law Podcast is a companion to this easy-to-understand book on the Basics of Ontario Family Law, which is also available for immediate download as a $9.99 ebook from Amazon (Canada) and Kobo or as and iBook for iPad, iPhone or Mac.  For a more comprehensive explanation of family law issues, a guide to Ontario’s Family Courts and all the alternatives to court such as mediation, arbitration and collaborative practice, download a copy, order a paper copy from Amazon, or request it at your favourite bookstore or library,

 

If you would like to comment on this edition of the podcast, please use the form below.  Your comments may help others in difficult family law, divorce or estates and succession situations.   You can also use the form below to suggest topics for future editions of the Ontario Family Law Podcast.  Please feel free to share this podcast with your social network using the sharing buttons below. 


Call John: 416-446-5080

32 - How to Change a Support Order or Agreement

John's podcast photo

32 - How to Change a Support Order

Things in life change.  That is expected. People’s incomes go up and down.  When that happens, child support changes and spousal support may change.  That is important to make sure that the support payer is providing the right amount of support and that children share in the lifestyle of their parents. Sometimes, it is necessary to change support to avoid financial hardship for either the support payer or the recipient.


However, there are set procedures to change support.  It is important to follow them because, in Ontario, support is enforced by the Family Responsibility Office.  Other provinces and some other jurisdictions have similar government agencies.  If the parties do not change support properly, the FRO or other agency may enforce the wrong amount of support.  It may collect too little or too much. In addition, at one parties’ request, it may make the adjustment retroactive and cause serious financial hardship for one side.  All because the parties did not change support properly.


This edition of the Ontario Family Law Podcast explains how changing support is easier and simpler than setting support in the first case - in some cases much easier.  It describes the steps to follow to change support both by agreement and when the parties have a dispute about the amount of support.  Listen to this podcast to find out how to change support properly and avoid problems.


The host of the Ontario Family Law PodcastJohn Schuman, is a Certified Specialist in Family Law and Divorce Trial Lawyer, mediator, arbitrator and collaborative lawyer, practicing in Toronto at Devry Smith Frank LLP, which is a full service law firm with several excellent lawyers in family law.  If you would like to contact John Schuman, either call 416-446-5847, email him or fill out form below and click “send.”  We respond promptly whenever someone contacts us. 

 

Guide to the Basics of Ontariio Family Law (book)

Thousands of people tune into the  Ontario Family Law Podcast every month to get valuable pointers on family law, divorce and separation issues that can save them thousands of dollars.  It is also available on iTunes.  The Ontario Family Law Podcast is a companion to this easy-to-understand book on the Basics of Ontario Family Law, which is also available for immediate download as a $9.99ebook from Amazon (Canada) and Kobo or as and iBook for iPad, iPhone or Mac.  For a more comprehensive explanation of family law issues, a guide to Ontario’s Family Courts and all the alternatives to court such as mediation, arbitration and collaborative practice, download a copy, order a paper copy from Amazon, or request it at your favourite bookstore or library.


If you would like to comment on this edition of the podcast, please use the form below.  Your comments may help others in difficult family law, divorce or estates and succession situations.   You can also use the form below to suggest topics for future editions of the Ontario Family Law Podcast.  Please feel free to share this podcast with your social network using the sharing buttons below. 


Contact Us:


31 - How Lawyers Help at Family Mediation


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31 - How Lawyers Help at Family Mediation

Many separating or divorcing couples are choosing to go to family mediation, rather than family court to resolve the legal issues between them.  They do this because family mediation is usually, faster, much less expensive, less emotionally draining and results in much more tailored resolutions that family court.  Some people incorrectly believe that they can avoid seeing a lawyer by choosing mediation.  Ontario Law says that is not the case.  In addition, there are many good reasons to get help from a lawyer before, during and after mediation.  This is not just a pitch by lawyers to keep business.  To show why having getting help from a lawyer during mediation is helpful, even essential, we invited Accredited Family Mediator, Todd Slonim, to the podcast to explain.

Legal Knowledge and Clarity of Process  Lawyers provide critical information about family law concepts and how the law applies to a party’s specific circumstances. 
Assess legal issues and provide advice  
Clarify why mediation is being considered
Explain the purpose of mediation, what it is, what is to be accomplished and what cannot be done at mediation


Provide insight about mediators’ approaches to the mediation process 
Explore issues of vulnerability prior to the process 
Review and explain the mediation Agreement
Is Your Position Reasonable? Understand acceptable ranges of settlement - help advance positions that are within a reasonable range  
Understand emotional dynamics – avoid positions that are clouded by emotion
Avoid unreasonable positions that can affect a party’s credibility
Family law lawyers provide perspective on potential outcomes, what clients are getting and giving up 
A party needs to understand possible outcomes, advantages and disadvantages of settlement positions 
Manage a party’s (unrealistic) expectations
Is the deal a benefit or a burden – will it last?
Paperwork is crucial and must be completed correctly
Productive, informed and meaningful mediation is impaired by lack of preparation and disclosure   
Mediation briefs that clearly explain the issues and positions are effective tools to advance a framework for settlement  
Financial mediations require the proper financial disclosure. For instance: 
Sworn family law Financial Statements  with supporting disclosure 
Net Family Property (NFP) Statements
Support calculations (child and spousal support)
Personal and, if applicable, corporate tax returns 
Business or Corporate financial statement
Valuations and appraisals, where necessary

Mr. Slonim, who is a professional and accredited family mediator conducts mediations both at the Toronto Family Court Mediation Service and privately, explains how parties who have assistance of lawyers find that the mediation goes more smoothly, has better and more creative resolution, and results in a more lasting agreement.    When the parties get help from good family lawyers, they get better results more quickly and at lower cost.  Mr. Slonim explains why that is the case and some of the problems that arise when parties do not have lawyers assist them with preparing for mediation and understanding the mediation process.  From the perspective of a family mediator, Mr. Slonim describes how the involvement of family lawyers, early on, significantly helps the mediation process and leads to better results for the separating or divorcing couples.  Especially in mediations over financial matters, one or both parties not having a lawyer can actually impede the mediation process.  But, in every mediation, lawyers facilitate and expedite the process by ensuring the parties stay focussed on reasonable outcomes. 


To assist with understanding the content of this podcast, Mr. Slonim, prepared slides that highlight the points he makes.  Those slides show up on your screen on the iTunes version of the podcast.  They are also shown to the left on this page if you are listening to the podcast on your desktop.  If you are listening to this podcast throught the website on your mobile device, look for the slides below.


Mediation is an excellent process. But it can lead to poor results when the parties do not know what they are doing.  Listen to this edition of the podcast to hear why seeing a family lawyer is essential for getting the best possible results from the family mediation process.

Family law lawyers provide options that you may not have considered
Lawyer have experience and understand the variability of the application of the law in cases
Provide different approaches to resolution of matters  
Help design unusual resolutions that will be respected and enforced [by the courts]
Family law lawyers help settle cases
Expertise in negotiations – necessary skill when advancing settlement options 
Advance strategies to assist the resolution of issues 
Understand the realties of the cost of the process


The host of the Ontario Family Law PodcastJohn Schuman, is a Certified Specialist in Family Law and Divorce Trial Lawyer, mediator, arbitrator and collaborative lawyer, practicing in Toronto at Devry Smith Frank LLP, which is a full service law firm with several excellent lawyers in family law.  If you would like to contact John Schuman, either call 416-446-5847, email him or fill out form below and click “send.”  We respond promptly whenever someone contacts us.  

Lawyers can be used throughout the mediation process
Provide independent legal advice (ILA) – Each party must retain a lawyer – parties benefit from solicitor-client privilege 
Prepare enforceable Agreement – avoid ongoing conflict and fighting over same issues – Help expand the Memorandum of Understanding into a comprehensive and reliable agreement 
Explain Agreement – ensure that the party understands terms  - little weight given to Agreements without ILA
Provide guidance and assistance prior and during the mediation to promote negotiations that are free from coercion, undue influence and other problems

Thousands of people tune into the  Ontario Family Law Podcast every month to get valuable pointers on family law, divorce and separation issues that can save them thousands of dollars.  It is also available on iTunes.  The Ontario Family Law Podcast is a companion to this easy-to-understand book on the Basics of Ontario Family Law, which is also available for immediate download as a $9.99 ebook from Amazon (Canada) and Kobo or as and iBook for iPad, iPhone or Mac.  For a more comprehensive explanation of family law issues, a guide to Ontario’s Family Courts and all the alternatives to court such as mediation, arbitration and collaborative practice, download a copy, order a paper copy from Amazon, or request it at your favourite bookstore or library.


If you would like to comment on this edition of the podcast, please use the form below.  Your comments may help others in difficult family law, divorce or estates and succession situations.   You can also use the form below to suggest topics for future editions of the Ontario Family Law Podcast.  Please feel free to share this podcast with your social network using the sharing buttons below. 


Contact Us:



30 - Spousal Support (Alimony) Entitlement

John's podcast photo

30 - Entitlement to Spousal Support

Spousal support is an issue after the separation of many married and common law couples.  It is a complicated area of law that is often misunderstood by people who are not family law lawyers.  As a result, it is an area where separating spouses can make some very expensive mistakes.  One of the biggest possible mistakes to make is the assumption that a spouse is entitled to spousal support.  People look at on-line support calculators and assume that if that calculation shows spousal support owing that there must be support owing.  That is absolutely a mistake.  The Guidelines on which those calculations on based state that you should not even look at those calculations until it is clear that there is entitlement to spousal support.


Entitlement to spousal support is harder to achieve that many people assume.  The Family Law Statutes set out specific tests and circumstances when spousal support is payable, which if not met, means no spousal support.  Entitlement can be established on the basis of contractual obligations, compensatory support or non-compensatory support.  Where entitlement is established, the same considerations affect how much spousal support is paid and for how long.  It is not always correct to assume the midpoint for quantum and duration of spousal support.  Considering all these factors correctly can put a lot more money into the pocket of a separating spouse.  This edition of the Ontario Family Podcast gives an overview of entitlement to spousal support and all these factors. Separating spouses should list to this podcast to make sure that they do not shortchange themselves.


Thousands of people tune into the Ontario Family Law Podcast every month to get valuable pointers on family law, divorce and separation issues that can save them thousands of dollars.  It is also available on iTunes.  The Ontario Family Law Podcast is a companion to this easy-to-understand book on the Basics of Ontario Family Law, which is also available for immediate download as a $9.99 ebook from Amazon (Canada) and Kobo or as and iBook for iPad, iPhone or Mac.  For a more comprehensive explanation of family law issues, and a guide to Ontario’s Family Courts, download a copy, order a copy from Amazon, or request it at your favourite bookstore.


The host of the Ontario Family Law PodcastJohn Schuman, is a Certified Specialist in Family Law and Divorce Trial Lawyer, mediator, arbitrator and collaborative lawyer, practicing in Toronto at Devry Smith Frank LLP, which is a full service law firm with several excellent lawyers in family law.  If you would like to contact John Schuman, either call 416-446-5847, email him or fill out form below and click “send.”  We respond promptly whenever someone contacts us.  


If you would like to comment on this edition of the podcast, please use the form below.  Your comments may help others in difficult family law, divorce or estates and succession situations.   You can also use the form below to suggest topics for future editions of the Ontario Family Law Podcast.  Please feel free to share this podcast with your social network using the sharing buttons below. 


Contact Us:



29 - Common Law Separation and Property Division


Ontario Family Law Podcast

29 - Common Law Separation and Property Division

One of the most frequent mistakes people make about Ontario Family Law is thinking that becoming common law is exactly the same as being married. However, as discussed in previous episodes of this podcast, that is just simply not the case. Being common law is very different from being married. One of the biggest ways that it is different is with respect to property division. If you are common law do NOT assume everything is divided 50/50.  Sometimes, property division between common law couples can seem like the Wild West.  In some ways, it is.  This podcast gives an in-depth, comprehensive, explanation of how common law couples can divide their property when the relationship ends, and how they do not.  It also explains other Family Law remedies that can help out when the property division is unfair. 

Family Law Act in Ontario Definition of Spouse:
“spouse” means either of two persons who,
(a) are married to each other, or
(b) have together entered into a marriage that is voidable or void, in good faith on the part of a person relying on this clause to assert any right.
Common law couples do not equalize their
property when they separate under Ontario Law!


This episode of the podcast is, in part, a live recording of a seminar on the topic of mistakes that common law couples make when separating.  Their are slides that assist with the understanding of some of these complex topics. On the iTunes version of the podcast,  the “slides” will appear on your screen while you listen.  Those slides are also shown to the left of this text if you are listening to this podcast through the webpage on your desktop.  If you are listening through the webpage on your mobile device, look for the slides below.

Long before “family law”
•  There was a recognition that sometimes the law was not fair
•  Courts of Law could not always “do justice”
•  Courts of Equity “did fairness”
Then in 1881...
•  The Ontario Judicature Act merged the Court of Chancery and the Ontario Supreme Court (now Ontario Superior Court of Justice
•  One court could apply the Law, and the Rules of Equity
•  When the law was unfair, the same court could fix it using the Rules of Equity”
•  This applies to everyone – not just family law litigants


Being common law, instead of married, can make property division much more complicated on separation.  One partner may have no entitlement in law to share in anything that the couple accumulated during their relationship. But, the partner who just “walks away” may be giving up too much. If you have, or are about to, separate from your common law spouse, listen to this podcast and then speak to a family law lawyer to determine your rights and obligations in your particular circumstances. 


Is “Equity” the Law?
•  Equity came about
because the law was unfair
•  Originally just based on fairness
•  But the Courts of Equity developed Rules

For more information about what it means to be “common law” in Ontario, check out episode #20 of this podcast: “What Living Common Law Means (and What It Doesn’t.”

Legal Title Can be Unfair
•  Sometimes “legal title” is in on person’s
names
•  But the idea that both people would contribute to the asset and both would share in it
•  Sometimes one party gives up other opportunities are helps the owner believing he or she will be rewarded
Correcting Unfairness From Contribution
•  Special property
•  One side taking advantage of the other to hold legal title or to be otherwise “enriched”
•  The other side being deprived
•  There being no juridical reason
for one side to be “enriched”


Thousands of people tune into the Ontario Family Law Podcast every month to get valuable pointers on family law, divorce and separation issues.  It is also available on iTunes.  The Ontario Family Law Podcast is a companion to this easy-to-understand book on the Basics of Ontario Family Law, which is also available as a $9.99 ebook from Amazon (Canada) and Kobo or as and iBook for iPad, iPhone or Mac  For a more comprehensive explanation to family law issues, and a guide to Ontario’s Family Courts, download a copy immediately, or order a copy from Amazon, or request it at your favourite bookstore.

There are rules in Equity
•  It is not the Wild West
•  There are rules
–  Equity does what ought to be
done
–  Equity will not allow a wrong without a remedy
–  Equity follows the law
–  The Claimant must come to court
with clean hands
–  Equity will not help the lazy
–  Etc. etc. etc. etc.
Kerr v. Baranow, 2011 SCC 10 •  Do not just have to contribute
directly to an asset:
–  Mutual effort (did the couple intend to grow the business and divided the family money accordingly)
–  Economic integration
–  Parties intended to share
–  Did one party sacrifice to allow the other, or the family, to succeed?


The host of the Ontario Family Law PodcastJohn Schuman, is a Certified Specialist in Family Law and Divorce Trial Lawyer, mediator, arbitrator and collaborative lawyer, practicing in Toronto at Devry Smith Frank LLP, which is a full service law firm with several excellent lawyers in family law.  If you would like to contact John Schuman, either call 416-446-5847, email him or fill out form below and click “send.”  We respond promptly whenever someone contacts us.  

Other equitable remedies (trust) •  Express trust
•  Resulting trust
–  Presumed where one spouse buys property for the other
–  Can give something away to defeat creditors
•  Quantum Meruit
Other Remedies That Might Be Better
•  Spousal Support
–  Recognizes economic impact of relationship and its breakdown
•  Equalization for Married Couples
–  Makes trust claims more difficult – but not impossible
Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law, 3rd Edition


If you would like to comment on this edition of the podcast, please use the form below.  Your comments may help others in difficult family law, divorce or estates and succession situations.   You can also use the form below to suggest topics for future editions of the Ontario Family Law Podcast.  Please feel free to share this podcast with your social network using the sharing buttons below. 


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28 - What to Do When a Children’s Aid Society Calls Doing a Child Abuse Investigation

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28 - What to Do When The Children's Aid Society Calls

It can be terrifying to be contacted by a children's aid society because it is doing a child abuse or child neglect investigation regarding your kids - and for good reason. Children’s aid societies can take your children away and put them in foster care and then take you to family court to get an order that allows another family to adopt your kids so that you never see them again.  Further, it is very easy to give the children’s aid society the wrong impression - making the children protection worker believe you are a child abuser.  Many parents do that unintentionally because they do the wrong things, thinking that interacting with a children’s aid society is like interacting with other government agencies.


In addition, if you say the wrong things to a child protection worker, the police can show up and lay criminal charges.


This podcast goes over some of the essentials of what you need to know when you find out you are being investigated by a children's aid society.  It goes over: 

(a)  how to speak to the investigating worker;

(b)  whether to let your children speak to the investigator;

(c)  when you have the right to remain silent;

(d)  how you should answer questions;

(e)  what to sign and what not to sign; and

(f)   when you need to speak to a lawyer.


Listening to this podcast can help you do the best for your children by keeping your family together.


For more about what to when the children’s aid society calls, also check out this page. Also, watch the video below on the Ontario Law about child abuse cases and children’s aid societies.  And, for more about the children’s aid society, police, or other authorities speaking to your kids about child abuse, read this page.  Use the search box at the top right to find out more about children’s issues and rights  under the law. (Click here for specific information about children’s rights at school.)




Thousands of people tune into the Ontario Family Law Podcast every month to get valuable pointers on interacting with children’s aid societies, child protection court and family court issues and procedures, and other tips on protecting your children in court.  It is also available on iTunes.  The Ontario Family Law Podcast is a companion to this easy-to-understand book on the Basics of Ontario Family Law, which is also available for as a $9.99 ebook from Amazon (Canada) and Kobo or as and iBook for iPad, iPhone or Mac  For a more comprehensive explanation to family law issues, and a guide to Ontario’s Family Courts, download a copy immediately, or order a copy from Amazon, or request it at your favourite bookstore.


The host of the Ontario Family Law PodcastJohn Schuman, is a Certified Specialist in Family Law and Divorce Trial Lawyer, mediator, arbitrator and collaborative lawyer, practicing in Toronto at Devry Smith Frank LLP, which is a full service law firm with several excellent lawyers in family law.  If you would like to contact John Schuman, either call 416-446-5847, email him or fill out form below and click “send.”  We respond promptly whenever someone contacts us.  


If you would like to comment on this edition of the podcast, please use the form below.  Your comments may help others in difficult family law, divorce or estates and succession situations.   You can also use the form below to suggest topics for future editions of the Ontario Family Law Podcast.  Please feel free to share this podcast with your social network using the sharing buttons below. 


Contact Us:

© John P. Schuman 2012-2018