Child declared to have two fathers despite silence in Children’s Law Reform Act on same sex parenting and assisted reproduction

The Ontario Government needs to recognize the changing face of parenthood and amend the Children's Law Reform Act to recognize parents of the same gender and developments in assisted reproduction. In M. (A.W.) v. S. (T.N.), 2014 ONSC 5420, Mr. Justice Henderson granted an application brought by two married men to be declared a child's [...]

By | February 25th, 2015|children, court decisions, parentage|0 Comments

Keeping Up With The Kids – extra-curricular activities when parents are separated

Although they recognize the benefits for kids, parents can sometimes feel that their lives are dictated by children's extra-curricular activites. Dance classes, hockey practices, guitar lessons, martial arts, and on and on. It's tough enough in families when the parents are together, can communicate fairly easily about these issues, and can "divide and conquer" to [...]

By | January 21st, 2015|children, parenting, separation|0 Comments

New Office Space for Hallman, Paul Dispute Resolution Services

I am happy to report that I have now moved into a new office - same building, just a few floors up.  I am at 345 Lakeshore Road East, Oakville, Suite 506. The move was prompted by the need for more space, so that my colleague, Margot Hallman, and I could be in the same [...]

By | October 15th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Court of Appeal Upholds Parents’ Agreement to Share Children’s Expenses Instead of Paying Guideline Support

The Ontario Court of Appeal, in Stevenson v. Smit, 2014 ONCA 521, upheld an agreement by parents that they would share the children's expenses instead of having Table child support paid under the Child Support Guidelines. This was not what the father wanted. At the time of separation, the father had very low income as [...]

By | September 10th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Choosing a Family Lawyer to Support Mediation

When parties enter into a mediation process, one of the first things that I usually hear is, "We don't want to use lawyers, we've heard horror stories..." There is no doubt that the legal profession has a bad reputation when it comes to family law.  However, many lawyers do work well to support clients who [...]

By | September 2nd, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Mediation for marriage contracts or cohabitation agreements

Mediation is an excellent way to have the tough talks about "what if". Let's face it, most people deciding to spend their lives together aren't planning to separate. However, we don't plan to have our house go up in flames when we buy insurance either. We plan for the worst and hope for the best. [...]

By | May 1st, 2014|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Are children’s cell phone costs to be shared by separated parents?

The Federal Child Support Guidelines allow for the sharing of "special or extraordinary" expenses for children, proportionate to their incomes.  This is in addition to basic child support calculated under the Guidelines.  The issue of what is "special or extraordinary" comes to court often.  Even more frequently, this issue is part of out-of-court discussions, negotiations, [...]

By | February 21st, 2014|children, support|1 Comment

Voluntary retirement doesn’t mean spousal support ends

Often when parties separate, they include a clause in their separation agreement that says spousal support can end or be reviewed when there is a "material change of circumstances".  What does this mean if the payor chooses to retire? In the case of Walts v. Walts, Justice Minnema of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice [...]

By | January 14th, 2014|changes, court decisions, review, support|1 Comment

New Year, New Plans – best practices for separated parenting

The new year is a time to organize, and plan forward.  We often make resolutions, trying to make this year better than the last. Separated parents can use this time to set expectations for the upcoming year, and avoid last-minute conflicts. If you already have a schedule in place for your children, you could look [...]

By | January 2nd, 2014|parenting|1 Comment

Online Dispute Resolution For Separation and Divorce

Advances in technology have brought huge opportunities for family mediation. Video and audio conferencing, and shared document and calendar programs provide options to separating couples that help them come to agreement and minimize conflict. In negotiating separation agreements, it is usually best to have the parties together in the same room, as the subtleties of [...]

By | July 17th, 2013|Uncategorized|1 Comment