The last thing that every married couple has in their mind is the word, divorce. When things don’t go according to plan or the relationship doesn’t last, the most common action taken by the husband and wife is to go this route.
However, when you have children in the picture, the whole process tends to be challenging. To help navigate through these difficult times, here is everything you need to know about child custody in Canada.
Child custody: What is it?
To put it across in simple terms, it is the process of determining who is in charge of taking care of the child. In most cases, the biological parents have the right to make any decision for their children, such as education and residence.
Types of custody
Given below are the most common types of custody, depending on how the judge makes his/her decision.
- Joint custody
In this type of custody, both parents are responsible for taking care of the child. They have to come to a mutual agreement, when it comes to making decisions, such as religion and schooling. Also, they must create a schedule, which allows both parents to spend time with the child equally.
- Shared custody
Shared custody is similar to joint custody, as both parents will be responsible for considering the child’s welfare. The child will have two homes, one in each parent’s property. The judge will prefer shared custody over joint custody over several reasons. For instance, if one parent is injured, ill, low financial stability, or away from home for long periods, the court will choose shared custody.
- Sole custody
Under sole custody, only a single parent has the right to take care of the child. In other words, the young one will have to live with the parent. At the same time, he/she can make all decisions for the child. The other parent may be able to visit the young one, but that depends on the guardian.
- Split custody
It is a type of custody which involves more than one child in the family. In this scenario, one parent will be responsible for taking care of one of the young ones, while the other guardian takes care of the remaining child.
Who determines which parent gets custody of the child?
Until the court comes to a decision, both parents have the right to take care of the child. The judge will always rule in favor the best interests of the child, when it comes to deciding which guardian gets custody.
If you are involved in a divorce, the best thing to do is hire a lawyer so that you get a fair representation in court!
When you have tried everything you can imagine to save your marriage, but it ends up failing, the only option remaining is to file for divorce. In Canada, when you want to legally separate from your partner, it comes under the Divorce Act.
Criteria for eligibility
To be eligible for divorce, you need to meet the following criteria:
- You and your spouse got married legally in Canada. If you married in another country, Canada should recognize the marriage.
- Your marriage won’t recover as it broke down.
- You and your partner have been living in one of the provinces of Canada for a minimum of 12 months or one year.
However, there is an exception to these requirements. For example, if you or your partner aren’t residing in Canada, the Divorce Act doesn’t apply in your situation. Due to this reason, you can nullify your marriage under Civil Marriage Act. To be eligible for divorce under this law, you need to meet the following requirements:
- Your marriage took place in Canada
- You cannot end your marriage as you, or your spouse is living in another country, which doesn’t recognize your legal union.
Grounds for divorce
There are three grounds for divorce under Canadian laws:
If your spouse had sex with another individual while married to you, it is known as adultery. You can file for divorce if this applies to your situation.
If you face mental or physical cruelty, which makes it impossible to live with your spouse, you can get divorced. These problems can arise from uncurbed drug use, continual verbal abuse, violence, and drunkenness.
When you lived apart from your partner for a minimum of one year, you can get a divorce. However, due to circumstances such as financial or family difficulties, you might choose to live with your partner. In this situation, it is essential you have evidence of your separation.
If your partner committed acts of adultery or cruelty, you need to provide proof, for your claim to be eligible in court.
How to apply for divorce?
Depending on where you live, you can visit bookstores, courts, or office/website of your province to obtain application forms for divorce. As the documents required, procedures followed, and administering the divorce is different for every territory, it is essential you ask a lawyer to handle your case. It’ll reduce your workload, making it easier to handle the situation.
One of the most challenging parts of a divorce is when you have to divide the finances between you and your spouse. For instance, when you or your partner has debts or other types of bills you share, you may not know how to split them. Here is a simple guide, which will help you understand the nuances of dividing finances during a divorce:
What should you do during a divorce?
When you have to deal with a divorce, the first thing you need to do is get your finances in order. In other words, you need to establish your personal and joint assets. Here are a few steps you need to follow to organize all your finances:
Ensure all your documents are in order
First, make a note of all the financial institutions you have an account with, such as investments, insurance, loans, savings, and credit cards. For each account, you need to have all the documents. For example, you need to have statements for your investments and loans, tax returns, and latest pay stubs, to name a few.
List out what you own and owe
Once you have the documents in place, the next thing is to take a look at what you own and owe. By following this technique, it becomes easier to divide the finances with your spouse. Joint accounts, investments, and insurance policies are some of the assets.
Similarly, credit card debt, personal loan, student loan, mortgage, and auto loan falls under what you owe, both as an individual and couple.
You will be held responsible for making payments for all the debts which are under your name. Even if you take a line of credit in both you and your spouse’s name, the financial institution will expect you to repay them on time. However, you can work with your partner to come to an understanding on how you can make the payments together.
However, if you have joint credit cards, it is vital that you remove your spouse from them immediately. Even if you are the co-borrower in this situation, you can still cancel the card. You will face numerous challenges when undergoing a divorce, especially when it comes to dividing your finances. To ensure that your rights are safe in this situation, it is always better to hire the services of a lawyer. He/she will have the expertise to handle this situation, with minimal.
Becoming better in your profession is essential, as it is personally and financially satisfying. Even if you have been a lawyer for several years, there are several ways you can improve. Here are four crucial tips you can use to become a master in your area of expertise:
Always remain respectful
It is easy to get emotionally involved in your client’s case because you want to ensure he/she gets a fair trial. After all, it is your goal to represent them properly in court, so that you get a good reputation.
However, when the situation starts to get intense, tempers start to fly, and things can go out of hand. Remember, you can still get your point across to the opposing party while being respectful at the same time.
Learn from partners and senior associates
To take your skills to the next level, you should be ready to ask questions to your partners and senior associates. They will offer you immense amounts of advice, which you can use to become knowledgeable in your field. When you feel stuck in a specific case, they might have the expertise to get out of the rut.
Go for lunch or dinner with them, so that you can form a strong relationship while gathering invaluable information. Also, they will make it easier to climb the ladder of success.
Never forget about the bigger picture
As you have to handle a variety of things in your case, you tend to get overwhelmed. Sometimes, you will focus on getting all the documents and evidence in order, so that you can present a strong case in court. In these moments, you tend to forget the bigger picture, which can impact the outcome of the hearing.
Always take a step back to analyze your situation, before making any decisions. Take a look at the case and understand what you need to prove and disprove. By focusing on the bigger picture, it becomes easier to know what to do in every moment.
Select your clients after careful thought and consideration
There will be clients you wish you never said yes to because it is next to impossible to handle their cases. Even if you are new in the world of lawyers, you should pay attention to the customer, before accepting or rejecting to represent the individual. Look for warning signs which indicate you will find yourself in hot water if you try to help the client out. For example, if the customer only bad mouths a large list of lawyers, it is an indicator that you might end up in his/her record.
These are the four crucial tips you should follow to become a better lawyer!
When someone accuses you of a crime and wants to take you to court, the first thing in your mind should be to hire a lawyer. However, there are several people, who believe that self-representation is the best policy.
While this looks great in your head, you should never go to court without hiring the services of a lawyer. Here are four reasons which explain why you should never represent yourself in court:
Emotions can cloud your judgment
When you have to defend yourself in court, it is extremely challenging to keep track of your emotions. As you don’t have the expertise of a professional lawyer, the opinions of your opposition will sway the way you think. They will use different tactics to put you under immense pressure, which makes it difficult to think straight.
If you let your emotions overwhelm your judgment, all the arguments you make, may not be effective. As a result, you won’t attack the evidence, which will only weaken your case.
Freedom and reputation is greater than saving hundreds of dollars
Depending on the accusation from the opposing party, you will either have to pay a large fine or spend time in prison for your crime. Think about it, is it worth to put your freedom and reputation on the line, so that you can save hundreds of dollars?
If you want to ensure your case gets the best representation in court, hiring the services of a top-notch lawyer is a must.
Judge will treat you like a legal counsel member
Just because you choose to represent yourself doesn’t mean that the judge or other members of the court will treat you any different. They will not take the time and effort to bring you up to speed so that you can follow the proceedings of the case. On top of that, the judges and other members of the court aren’t allowed to give you any legal advice.
Laws vary according to the province
One of the biggest problems with representing yourself in Canada is how much you know about the law. As the rules in every Canadian region are different, you won’t know how to navigate through them. By putting yourself in this situation, there is a high chance you won’t be able to defend your case successfully.
Now that you know the dangers of self-representation make sure you always hire a lawyer, before going to court!
As navigating through a divorce is challenging, you may have a lot of doubts about the procedure. However, keep in mind that the purpose of this article is to provide general information to all your problems. As every province in Canada has different rules, it is vital you ask for professional legal advice. Here are four common FAQs about divorce in Canada:
Can I get a divorce, even if I am not a Canadian citizen?
Yes, even if you are not a Canadian citizen, you can still apply for divorce in the country. At the same time, where you got married with your spouse doesn’t introduce any implications. However, it is essential that you and your spouse have been living in one of the provinces in Canada for at least a year, to be eligible for divorce.
If my spouse committed cruelty or adultery, will I get more from the divorce?
It is quite common to assume that if your spouse committed cruelty or adultery, you should get more from the proceedings. While it is true that these are legal grounds for divorce, it doesn’t mean the court will favor you, over your partner. The courts in every province will hold a fair trial to determine, various aspects of the divorce case.
Is it necessary to get a lawyer for divorce?
No, it isn’t necessary that you have to get a lawyer to file for a divorce. However, due to the difference in laws and how each province handles divorce cases, it is always better to obtain legal advice. Also, when you have to with property division and child custody, a lawyer will always protect your rights.
What if my spouse doesn’t want a divorce?
There will be times when your spouse doesn’t want to divorce, despite it being clear that your marriage won’t work. Fortunately, in Canada, you can still fill for one, even if the other party doesn’t believe in the same.
Unless there were acts of cruelty or adultery in your case, you only need to be separated from your spouse for a year to apply for a divorce. The only way your partner can object is if he/she has a legitimate reason. Also, there are two types of divorce – contested and uncontested. In the former, you and your spouse haven’t come to a mutual agreement to separate legally, while the latter is the opposite.
Hopefully, these four common FAQs solved all the doubts you have on divorce. If you want more information about this topic, feel free to go through our website!
You finally bit the bullet and made the decision that you want to become a lawyer in Canada. However, you don’t know what you must do so that you can go down this career path. To make this dream of becoming a lawyer in Canada come true, you need to follow the following four steps:
Complete your undergraduate degree
After you graduate from high school, you can’t enroll yourself in a law school directly. You need to complete your undergraduate degree to be eligible. Fortunately, you have the luxury of choosing from a wide variety of degrees such as Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Bachelor of Science (BSc), or Bachelor of Arts (BA).
Make sure you select a course which interests you, as it becomes easier to obtain good grades. You can also opt to get degrees in educational programs which cover topics related to law, as it will help understand different perspectives, such as criminology and law enforcement. If you want to stand the best chances of getting accepted by a law university, it is essential you complete your undergraduate degree.
Sit for Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
Once you pass out from your undergraduate university, you need to sit for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). As the exam takes place several times in a year, make sure you pick a date which meets your requirements.
The test consists of three portions, such as logical reasoning, reading comprehension, and analytical reasoning. If you are unhappy with your results, you always have the freedom of sitting for the exam once again. However, make sure you check with the law university you want to enroll in, as each one has different rules on taking multiple tests.
Go to law school and graduate
The next step is to look at all the law schools throughout Canada and see which one is perfect for you. Keep in mind that you need to go through the rules and regulations for every university, as they tend to differ from one another. Also, find out the last date for submitting your application, to avoid running into problems. In the first year of college, you will learn general topics and subjects. During the second and third year, you can select courses which interest you the most.
Obtain your license
After you complete your law school degree, you need to work under supervision of a qualified and licensed lawyer for a couple of months (known as articling). You also have to pass the bar admission exam, which gives you the right to practice law in any province in Canada. Make sure you apply to be a member of the Law Society in the province you want to work.
These are the four steps you must follow to become a lawyer in Canada!
When you have to deal with legal problems such as inheritance, criminal charges, divorce, lawsuit, or, child custody, hiring a lawyer is always the best option. Trying to take matters into your hands may not work, as you don’t have the technical skills or knowledge about the law to tackle different issues.
In a lot of legal cases, having a lawyer is essential, as he/she can improve your situation significantly. It also saves you ample amounts of money and time, while giving you the opportunity to avoid legal trouble in the future.
As there are hundreds of lawyers in your locality, you don’t know which one to hire. After all, you want to ensure the legal advisor has your best interest in mind. Before you start looking for lawyers, you need to understand your legal situation, so that you can hire an appropriate lawyer. Here are two tips you can use to find the best lawyers in Canada:
Ask for referrals
An excellent way to ensure you are getting a great lawyer is to approach people and get personal referrals. For instance, if one of your family members had to deal with a similar legal situation, you can always ask him/her about his/her lawyer and how the professional handled his/her case.
You can also approach groups, which gives you the opportunity to obtain a large number of high-quality leads for lawyers. However, make sure you meet the lawyer, discuss your case, and know if you feel comfortable working with him/her, before hiring him/her.
Get in touch with local law societies
If you want experienced and licensed lawyers, you should always check with the local law societies. Every legal advisor has to become a member of their province’s bar association, making it a great place to start. They have websites, which allows you to search for lawyers and paralegals according to their name or postal code.
Once you have the contact information of these legal advisors, make sure you spend time learning about their services. Take a look at their website to get an idea of how they portray themselves to the public. Also, make an appointment with the lawyer, so that you can go to his/her office, giving you the opportunity to see how he/she runs his/her business.
Remember, it is essential you feel comfortable with the legal advisor, so that it becomes easy to work with him/her. These are the two ways you can find the best lawyers in Canada!
When people want to hire lawyers, their first course of action is to ask their friends, family, and community members for recommendations. Once they acquire the necessary information, they will start searching for attorneys online, to get a better idea on them.
Legal directories play a crucial role when it comes to clients, as these services provide invaluable data on whether they can trust certain law firms. Search engines also give higher priority to these websites, ensuring they are in the front page of every search result. At the same time, these sites have tremendous amounts of content to help clients get a better understanding of their legal problems.
As an attorney, you can never afford to ignore legal directories as it comes with a myriad of benefits. Here are three reasons why you should utilize these websites:
Attract leads from legal directories
Legal directories are popular among clients as they provide all the information they need. For example, you have to create a profile and upload essential data about your area of practice, expertise, and qualifications, to name a few.
Clients will use this information to get in touch with your law firm, increasing the number of leads. With the right techniques, you can convert these prospects into customers, which will help your business immensely.
Establish a strong reputation online
With thousands of attorneys providing legal services throughout Canada, it becomes crucial that you stand out from the rest of the competition. One significant advantage of legal directories is that they allow customers to post reviews about law firms.
These reviews are important as potential clients can understand if your law firm has what it takes to handle their cases. When you run a business, you should make it a point to ask your customers to leave a review on legal directories, as it boosts your reputation.
Increase traffic to your website
It isn’t always necessary that prospects will start searching for your law firm by name. Sometimes, they will only enter their legal problem along with attorney or lawyer to find the right one. Legal directories make it easier for potential clients to discover your website. At the same time, your law firm will start appearing in local searches. By increasing your online visibility, traffic to your website will increase significantly.
Now that you are aware of how legal directories will help you as an attorney, make it a point to create exceptional profiles on these websites!
The first thing that many people don’t understand about spousal support is what it is. Let’s set the record straight.
Spousal support refers to support received from a partner in the event of separation or divorce. In Ontario, spousal support applies to partners who are either married or in a common-law relationship. It doesn’t matter if the partners are of different sex or the same sex, spousal support can apply regardless.
The person who earns more pays money to the partner who earns less. If you receive support, you will be called the support recipient. If you pay support, you will be called the support payor.
The purpose of spousal support isn’t to deprive one party of money because they earn more. The purpose of spousal support is as follows –
- Recognize the different contributions of each partner in their relationship.
- Help a partner who lost out financially during their relationship. This can be explained by a partner not working because they had to take care of the children. Since the partner put his/her career on hold, he/she has lost out financially and may not be in a good position to support himself/herself financially.
- Help raise any children born from the relationship.
- Help a partner eventually be able to support themselves. In some cases, spousal support is used to pay for a partner to be able to go to school to learn new skills in order to get a job.
You don’t receive spousal support automatically. You can only receive spousal support if you meet certain requirements. The law also makes it clear that you must do everything in your power to try and support yourself as soon as you can after your separation.
Here are the different ways to be entitled to spousal support.
- If you had responsibilities such as taking care of your children or helping your partner build his/her career, you might be entitled to compensatory spousal support
- After your relationship is over, you don’t have any support and your partner’s income and assets can support you. This is called non-compensatory support.
- If you have a cohabitation agreement, marriage contract or another type of legal agreement which specifies who gets spousal support if you separate. This is known as contractual spousal support.
As you can see, it isn’t so white and black. There’s a lot more to spousal support than meets the eye.