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#family-law
Asked: a month ago

Do I need to engage a lawyer to help me with my divorce and separation of assets?

My husband left me 3 weeks ago. We have been together for 26 years, and 20 years in marriage. We have a house. Do I need a lawyer to help me go through the divorce and separation of assets? Also, do I need to worry about… (Read more)


Samuel Michaels

Founder & Lawyer, SM Legal


A lawyer may be able to help you to ensure you receive an adequate and appropriate division of your assets in any upcoming divorce proceeding. A lawyer can also review your RRSP investments to determine what risks may exist moving forward.


If you require further legal assistance, we can recommend Carolina Bruckson (https://bruksonlaw.ca/). You may also be able to receive legal assistance from your local legal aid clinic.


Answered: a month ago
#family-law
Asked: a month ago

Can my spouse lock me out of the house if my name is on the mortgage and the deed?

My boyfriend is threatening to change the locks on our home while I am gone to work. We just purchased our house 2 months ago and my name is on the mortgage and deed. What are my rights and what can I do if he does chang… (Read more)


Samuel Michaels

Founder & Lawyer, SM Legal


If you are an equal owner of the home, then you generally will have the same entitlements as any other owner. If your partner acts unilaterally in a way which interrupts your use and enjoyment of the property, you will likely have grounds for legal recourse.


Answered: a month ago
#family-law
Asked: a month ago

What is the process for claiming assets (house) when separating from a common-law partner?

I have been living with someone for 7 years so that assumes we are considered common law. I want to end the relationship. We bought a house together. I put $8,000 for downpayment and he put $3,000. I would like to keep t… (Read more)


Samuel Michaels

Founder & Lawyer, SM Legal


In general, when a common law couple separates, they can enter a private separation agreement which will determine the division of assets or, if no agreement is reached, either spouse may decide to pursue legal recourse to divide the assets and seek further support.


If you require further legal assistance, we can recommend Carolina Bruckson (https://bruksonlaw.ca), an Ontario-based family lawyer.


Answered: a month ago
#family-law
Asked: a month ago

Can I adopt my younger sibling?

I'm 21 and have practically raised my sibling(soon to be 15) for the last few years. My mother goes through cycles of being neglectful and emotionally abusive and I am afraid to move out and leave them alone. My mom's si… (Read more)


Samuel Michaels

Founder & Lawyer, SM Legal


In these circumstances, it may be possible for you to get custody of your sibling. However, this must be done through a court order to be legally valid.


If you require further legal support, you may wish to contact a lawyer through your local law society referral service, legal aid clinic, or JusticeNet.


Answered: a month ago
#family-law
Asked: a month ago

How can I report domestic abuse that my girlfriend's family puts her through?

My girlfriend is 21, and I don't know if some of the stuff her family puts her through is illegal. For example, her mother wouldn't let her cook food to eat. Sometimes they wouldn't feed her for several days. Her mother… (Read more)


Samuel Michaels

Founder & Lawyer, SM Legal


The behaviour you are describing may constitute domestic abuse. If you suspect this to be the case, you may wish to contact your local police department.


For further legal support, you may wish to reach out to your local legal aid clinic or to your local law society referral service.


Answered: a month ago
#family-law
Asked: a month ago

How can I legally amend the shared custody arrangement?

I currently have a shared custody arrangement, where we share the responsibility equally between us, while I retain the primary residence. I am wondering under what grounds can I apply to get this order amended?


Samuel Michaels

Founder & Lawyer, SM Legal


Generally, custody decisions are determined based on the best interest of the child. If you feel the child's interests would be better supported by an amendment to a custody arrangement, you may wish to contact a lawyer through your local law society referral service or legal aid clinic.


Answered: a month ago
#family-law
Asked: a month ago

What could be done if one spouse insists on separation, and another half refuses to leave?

My husband suffers from multiple addictions and bipolar depression and has been struggling for many years. Things continue to worsen and I have requested that he leaves the family home and we separate bearing, given the… (Read more)


Samuel Michaels

Founder & Lawyer, SM Legal


In general, whether one spouse can insist on the other leaving will depend on the ownership of the property.


If the property is held jointly, then it may not be possible to insist on your spouse leaving.


If you require further legal assistance, you may benefit from contacting your local law society referral service or legal aid clinic.


Answered: a month ago
#family-law
Asked: a month ago

What can I do if our son is afraid of coming home because of the abusive dad?

My son is scared to death to go home as he is afraid of his dad's being abusive to him. I am not sure what to do. Please help


Samuel Michaels

Founder & Lawyer, SM Legal


Please consider calling the police if you suspect domestic abuse. If you require the assistance of a lawyer, you can contact your local legal aid clinic and legal help will be provided to you. 


Answered: a month ago
#family-law
Asked: a month ago

What are my rights in shared custody, if the other parent is kicking the child out?

My ex-husband and I have shared custody of our 2 daughters. Our 16 yr old is having issues with her dad and has confided in me that he bullies her and has now hit her across the ear. Our houses are on the same street, a… (Read more)


Samuel Michaels

Founder & Lawyer, SM Legal


In general, custody decisions can only be made by a court, and are made based on what the court deems to be the best interest of the child.


In your situation, you may benefit from consulting with a family lawyer. I would recommend contacting a lawyer who is a member of the Self-Rep Navigators, as they have a strong roster of lawyers who would be able to help individuals in similar circumstances. 


Answered: a month ago
#family-law#british-columbia
Asked: 2 months ago


Samuel Michaels

Founder & Lawyer, SM Legal


Conceptually, it would be plausible for assets to be frozen during litigation.

However, the likelihood would depend on unique circumstances of your case.


If you are looking for Family Law related services to help you through the divorce process, I can recommend the following:


  1. Family Law in British Columbia - http://www.familylaw.lss.bc.ca/
  2. Access Pro Bono - http://accessprobono.ca/
  3. People's Law School - http://www.publiclegaled.bc.ca/pls_ask/


Hope this helps with your question.


Answered: 2 months ago
#family-law#ontario
Asked: 2 months ago

Where should the process of separation take place?

I am going into the Separation Agreement and probably a divorce with my husband. We jointly own a house and a mortgage in Ontario. He's been living in Colombia for 10 years, and I've been living in Canada. I have no id… (Read more)


Samuel Michaels

Founder & Lawyer, SM Legal


If your property is located in Ontario, it will likely be appropriate for it to be dealt with under Ontario jurisdiction. I would recommend reaching out to the provincially available services which help with separation and divorce matters. Some of the services I can recommend are: 1) Family Law Service Center http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/contact/contact.asp?type=flsc 2) Family Law Information Center (in-person service only available at courthouses) https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/family/infoctr.php 3) Family Law Education for Women http://www.onefamilylaw.ca/en/legalhelp/ Best of luck!


Answered: 2 months ago
#family-law#ontario
Asked: 2 months ago

Should I give my wife half of my pension, if we are both retired?

My wife and I have been married for 45+ years, we are both retired and my wife insists that I have to give her half of my pension each month. I tell her that we are married and therefore I do not have to give her half my… (Read more)


Samuel Michaels

Founder & Lawyer, SM Legal


I can give you some general information about pensions and marriage in Canada. Generally, the pension plan will have stated terms including who is the "beneficiary" of the pension. If you are concerned about a private pension, I would recommend contacting your pension provider. If you are looking into your Canada Pension Plan, I would recommend contacting http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/service_canada/contact/general.page#cpp. Regarding pension splitting, the Family Law Act s.10.1 has rules about dividing a pension when a couple divorces. I am not sure if rules exist for pension splitting during a marriage. You can read section 10.1 of the FLA here: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90f03#BK12. I hope this information proves helpful. Best of luck with your situation.


Answered: 2 months ago
#family-law#alberta
Asked: 2 months ago

Can I get back custody over my child after exercising abandonment?

Before visiting a lawyer, I would like to know if it's possible for me to get my 15-year-old son's custody back. At this moment, Child and Family Services Alberta is my son's legal guardian because he has anger issues an… (Read more)


Samuel Michaels

Founder & Lawyer, SM Legal


Yes, it's definitely possible. The first thing I would suggest to do is to write out a clear, well-organized timeline of events that explains the situation with your child, how the circumstances have changed, and why you believe your child should be returned to your custody now. Also, if there is any relevant documentation or evidence make sure to hold on to it. I have also found some resources that I hope will be useful for you. I suggest you consult as many as needed before making a decision about how to proceed. 1) Family Law Information Centre - Grand Prairie 780‑833‑4234 https://albertacourts.ca/resolution-and-court-administration-serv/family-justice-services/locations?loc=grande-prairie-court-house 2) Edmonton Community Legal Centre 780-702-1725 http://www.eclc.ca/contact-us.html 3) Calgary Legal Guidance 403-234-9266 http://clg.ab.ca/programs-services/family-law-program/ 4) Student Legal Services of Edmonton http://www.slsedmonton.com/family/sls-representation/ http://www.slsedmonton.com/contact/ All these resources provide free information over the phone, and can direct you to the correct forms to appeal the custody order. You may also be able to get a lawyer through one of these services.


Answered: 2 months ago
#family-law#ontario
Asked: 2 months ago

What can I do if I can't afford a lawyer for divorce settlement and child custody issues?

I have a settlement conference with my ex-wife and am unable to afford a lawyer financially as I am currently between jobs. At this time I am starting the bankruptcy process and am not eligible for legal aid. The lawyer… (Read more)


Samuel Michaels

Founder & Lawyer, SM Legal


The following resources may be able to help you: 1) Justice Net www.justicenet.ca 416-479-0552 Non-profit service connecting low-income individuals to lawyers who will charge on a sliding scale based on the client’s income level. 2) Pro Bono Ontario Phone Line https://www.lawhelpontario.org/remote/ 1-855-255-7256 Free legal advice by phone for individuals living more than 40km from a Pro Bono walk-in centre. 3) Office of the Children's Lawyer http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/family/ocl/ 416-314-8000 Office of the Children's lawyer for Ontario. They provide legal help and services for matters involving children. 4) Your Legal Rights http://yourlegalrights.on.ca/ Website of legal information for people in Ontario. Free and easy-to-find legal information produced by hundreds of organizations across Ontario.


Answered: 2 months ago
#family-law
Asked: 2 months ago


Samuel Michaels

Founder & Lawyer, SM Legal


This is likely possible with a temporary custody order so long as no other arrangement made and it is in the best interest of the child.


Answered: 2 months ago
#family-law#quebec
Asked: 2 months ago


Samuel Michaels

Founder & Lawyer, SM Legal


Leaving the province with the children, without a custody agreement, may cause issues in the future. We strongly recommend contacting a family law lawyer through one of these services: http://www.limitedscoperetainers.ca/ https://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/getting/summarylegaladvice_family.asp https://yourlegalrights.on.ca/legal-topic/family-law https://www.cleo.on.ca/en/publications/childsupport/what-if-i-cannot-afford-lawyer https://stepstojustice.ca/questions/family-law/where-can-i-find-lawyer-help-my-family-law-issue


Answered: 2 months ago
#family-law#alberta
Asked: 2 months ago


Samuel Michaels

Founder & Lawyer, SM Legal


Cost awards are at the discretion of the court, subject to the rules found here (see page 225): http://www.qp.alberta.ca/documents/rules2010/Rules_vol_1.pdf


Answered: 2 months ago