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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the grounds for divorce?

In Canada, there are three grounds for Divorce, namely:

  1. Irreconcilable Differences.
  2. Cruelty (mental of physical)
  3. Adultery
How does the Court decide which parent will have primary residency of the children?

The Court’s decision as to whom the child will primarily reside with rests on the best interest of the child. There is a list of factors the court will consider, including which parent has the best parenting plan for the child.

How is child support determined?

Generally, there are child support guidelines, both provincially and federally that set out a base child support amount. When determining child support there is both a Baseline Support Amount and Extraordinary Expenses to be considered.
Baseline Support

The factors considered are where and how long does the child reside with the recipient parent, the payor parent’s annual income, and the number of children requiring child support.

Extra ordinary Expenses

These expenses will include such things as:

  1. The cost of day care of childcare to allow the parent with whom the child primarily resides to go to work or school.
  2. Medical expenses not covered by health insurance.
  3. Extra Curricular activities, such as baseball, football, dance, music classes etc.
  4. Post Secondary Expenses
How long is child support payable?

The parent’s duty to pay child support is mandatory until the child is 16 years of age. After that age to remain eligible the child must meet two criteria:

  1. Remain in rolled in full time educational program (multiple factors to be considered here)
  2. The child will remain under the charge/ control of a parent (multiple factors to be considered)

As the child ages, there right to support will change to focus on the means, circumstances, and ability to pay of each parent and the child.

How does the Court determine Spousal Support?

Ontario has Spousal Support Guidelines, indicating what support is appropriate.
The factors the Court will consider are:

  1. Is the Spouse Entitled to support?
  2. What amount of Support is appropriate?
  3. How long will Spousal support be paid for?
What happens when you do not pay Court ordered support?

Generally, Court orders in Ontario are enforced by the Family Responsibility Office, called “FRO”

If you fall behind in arrears FRO will start enforcement proceedings. These proceedings are serious and may result in the suspension of the payors driver’s license, loss of passport, and / or jail time.

For the payors who have fallen on hard times and unable to pay, they are well advised to seek a variation to their child support Orders to reflect the reduced income.

How can you change Court Ordered Support?

Court Ordered Support my be changed by a Motion to Change.

Do Common Law Partners have rights?

Common law Partners to have rights relating to support and property.

Support is called dependent support and generally follows a similar assessment as in determining Spousal Support.

The property rights are not automatic and must be established at law.

What methods are used to pursue your rights?
  1. A Court Order, obtained through a Court proceeding.
  2. A Separation Agreement
  3. A Prenuptial Agreement
  4. A Cohabitation Agreement
  5. In the Case of Children, a Parenting Agreement.
What to do to save yourself time and money?

Make sure your lawyer has the documents they need to properly represent you. Here is a preliminary list of documents that will be required.

For a Divorce:
Provide your Certificate of Marriage, with translation of
For support purposes.

The Notice of Assessment for you and your spouse for the last 3 years
For the current year, a year-to-date paystub showing your income to date.
If Self employed, Financial Statement, Balance, and Income Statement for the last 3 years.

A copy of the home transfer or any other real estate showing who is on title.
Evidence of major assets, bank accounts, stocks,

Evidence of major debt, mortgage, car financing receipt, student loans, etc.