Important Things to Know About Basic Monthly Child Support

Important Things to Know About Basic Monthly Child Support

In Ontario, the federal and provincial governments share responsibility for family law. Some child support requirements are governed by federal legislation, while others are governed by provincial legislation.

Does the Federal or Provincial Legislation apply to your situation?

Divorced Spouses: The Federal Child Support Guideline

Unmarried Spouses or spouses who were married and separated: The Provincial Child Support Guideline

Difference between Federal and Provincial Child Support Guidelines

The Child Support Guidelines differ between the following two types of child support payments:

1. A basic amount of child support

2. A sum of child support paid to cover particular or unusual expenditures

Who Pays Child Support?

In Canada, every parent has an obligation and legal duty to support his or her child to the best of their abilities. A court can require a person to support his or her dependents and can also set the amount of support- taking multiple factors into consideration.

Calculating the Basic Monthly Amount:

The Basic Monthly Amount aims to be a consistent and equitable amount in the vast majority of circumstances. However, if there are special provisions in a signed agreement, or the payee is enduring hardship, and custody and right of access to the children are split or shared, the monthly child support payments may be subject to change.

When calculating the “Basic Monthly Amount,” 2 factors are taken into consideration: a spouse’s annual income, and the number of children.

For example, if an individual’s annual income is $50,000 and they have 2 children, the basic monthly amount will be approximately $755. Contact us at Pace Law Firm today to help you navigate through your situation and assist you along the way, acknowledging unique factors that apply to your situation.

Determining Level of Income:

Employment income, dividends, interest and investment income, partnership income, rental income, capital gains, company revenue, professional income, and commission income are all considered when determining a spouse’s level of income. The income is then modified by the Child Support Guidelines, which includes specific additions and deductions unique to each case.

Calculating Particular or Unusual Expenditures:

“Special or unusual expenses” are defined under the Federal Guidelines as expenses that are: essential because they are in the best interests of the child(ren), and they are reasonable given the parents’ and child’s financial resources, as well as the family’s spending patterns prior to the separation.

According to the Government of Canada website, special or extraordinary expenses are:

  • You may be required to pay child-care fees as a result of a job, an illness, a disability, or educational requirements for work if your child spends the majority of his/her time with you
  • The share of your medical and dental insurance rates dedicated to your child’s coverage
  • If the cost of your child’s health-care needs exceeds $100 per year and is not covered by insurance (for example, orthodontics, counselling, medication, or eye care)
  • Expenses for post-secondary education
  • Unusual costs for your child’s elementary school, secondary education, or any other educational programs tailored to his or her specific demands
  • Unusual expenses for your child’s extracurricular/leisure activities 

In general, parents split the amount set aside for such costs in accordance with their respective salaries. However, both can agree to split the money in a different method.

If you need advice determining your Child Support responsibilities or seeking changes to current support obligations to which you may be entitled, please contact any member of our family law firm at Pace Family Law for the best legal counsel.

Rights of Married versus Unmarried Spouses

Rights of Married versus Unmarried Spouses

“Living common-law” or “cohabitation” refers to two people living together in a marriage-like relationship without getting married. When you are married and have gone through a legal marriage ceremony, you have a significantly more amount of rights and duties. In a cohabitation or a common-law relationship, you do not have certain rights when you’re not married (regardless of how long you and your spouse have lived together.)

Divorce Act

Unmarried couples have no access to the federal Divorce Act, which is exclusively available in situations involving married spouses and takes precedence over any claims under the Family Law Act.

Ontario Family Law Act

The Family Law Act of Ontario classifies couples as either married or unmarried and thus does not recognize the term “common-law partnership.”

Married Spouses in Ontario Family Law

A “spouse” is defined in the Family Law Act, as a person who is married or has entered into a marriage, according to section 1(1) of the Act.

Any asset acquired during the marriage (and still existing at the time of separation) must be split equally between these spouses, as must any rise in the value of property owned by such a spouse at the time of marriage.

Married “spouses” have specific rights to the matrimonial house, as well as spousal support and child support, under the Family Law Act.

Unmarried Spouses in Ontario Family Law

Section 29 of the Family Law Act has an enhanced term of “spouse,” which pertains exclusively to support responsibilities and is described as: “A married couple, or two persons who are not married but: have cohabitated for a period of not less than three years; or have a relationship of some permanence if they are the parents of a child.”

According to the Family Law Act, common law/unmarried couples are not entitled to a share of the value of each other’s property. Only married spouses are subject to the law’s net family property equalization provisions. In Ontario, there is no provision that grants common-law partners any rights to their partner’s property. The property sharing regime that applies to married couples is not being applied to common-law couples. A common-law partner has no greater legal claims to the property of the other partner than if the partners were not living together.

Conclusion of Rights: Married vs. Unmarried Spouses

Unmarried Spouses: If you lived with someone for 30 years without marrying, you would have no automatic stake in any of their property; you could only seek spousal support and, if necessary/applicable, child support.

Married Spouses: When you are married, you automatically have a claim to a share of your spouse’s net family property, as well as the ability to seek spousal support and, if applicable, child support. The Family Law Act defines property as the whole value of a person’s assets, including any properties, vehicles, bank accounts, pensions, business values, and so on, subject to exclusions in certain situations.

If you have any concerns or would like to learn more about adult interdependent relationships or marriages, please contact us at Pace Family Law today. Our team of reputable Family Lawyers can help facilitate your process and give you top-notch legal counsel regardless of your situation!

Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

According to Statistics Canada, 44% of women reported experiencing some form of psychological, physical, or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes and approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.

In general, male victims are left out of the domestic violence conversation because statistics show that women are more likely to be victims of domestic violence than men, however, violence is violence and there are no exceptions.

In a Statistics Canada report called “Family Violence in Canada: A statistical profile,” men self-reported to have been abused by their partners at a higher rate than women- with 4.2 per cent of men and 3.5 per cent of women being victims.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic abuse, often known as “domestic violence” or “intimate partner violence,” is a pattern of conduct intended to establish or retain power and control over an intimate partner in any relationship, whether it be physical, emotional, sexual, social, financial, and/or spiritual.

Domestic violence and abuse usually does not happen overnight, and thus can be difficult for the victim to realize the situation that they are in. Instead, domestic violence is a buildup of micro-abuse such as disparaging comments here and there, unreasonable/bizarre excuses to keep you from visiting your friends or family, a brief light physical interaction you don’t think much about, and much more.

Signs Someone Is Experiencing Domestic Abuse

  • Develops a wary and distant demeanor
  • To begin isolating themselves; they cut off communication with friends and family members.
  • Cancels last-minute engagements or plans  
  • Stops doing the activities that they used to like and partake in.

Types/Signs of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is not always physical, it can also be in forms of emotional abuse, sexual abuse, social abuse, financial abuse and spiritual abuse.

Physical abuse: If someone has been physically abused, they will almost likely have bruises or bodily injuries from being hit, strangled, or pushed, as well as a poor or inconsistent report of these injuries.

For the victim, they may experience punching, slapping, kicking, biting or choking, pulling of hair, use of weapons, isolation, reckless driving, damaged property etc. by the abuser.

Emotional abuse: Domestic violence has a profound emotional impact on victims, leaving them feeling helpless, despaired, or sad. Victims of domestic violence may believe they will never be free of the abuser’s grip. They may also be hypervigilant to the point of being unable to rest completely.

The abuser may call the victim names, insult/criticize the victim or the victims’ loved ones, demand the victim of their whereabouts every second/minute, accuse the victim of bizarre doings, blame the victim for their actions, make the victim feel as though they are not good enough, ignore/isolate them, and more.

Sexual abuse: Sexual abuse includes rape, extreme indecency, and a wide range of other unwanted sexual activities used by offenders to manipulate and develop a sense of control over their victims.

The abuser may demand sex regardless of victim consent, forcing the victim to engage in unwanted sexual activities, forcing the victim to watch pornography, making the victim feel like they owe them, not taking no for an answer, making the victim feel threatened or scared if they were to say “no,” insulting the victim in sexual ways/name calling, and much more.

Financial abuse:

Financial abuse happens when someone close to you has control over your finances and access to money, leading you to be financially dependent on them and begging them for money on a regular basis.

The victim may give victim an allowance and closely monitor how they spend it/demand receipts for purchases and then harass/question them for it, they may deny the victim access to their own account, the victim may forbid the victim to work or limit the hours that they can work for bizarre reasons such as trust issues or jealousy, they may steal money from the victim with no reason/explanation, may deprive the victim by refusing to give them money to pay for necessities, and much more.

Spiritual abuse:

The abuser makes it impossible for the victim to have their own religious, cultural, or value viewpoints. It might also involve persuading the victim to mistrust their spiritual beliefs in order to make them feel powerless. Attempting to create guilt as well as preventing someone from following their religious or cultural beliefs are examples of spiritual abuse.

The victim’s religious views or practices are shamed, mocked, or ridiculed by the abuser and may obstruct the victim of their ability to practice their faith as they would like to. The abuser may manipulate or harass the victim based on their own beliefs/views and force their children to be raised with or without a particular faith. The victim may be abused either physically, sexually, financially, etc. and the abuser may use religious texts or ideas as justifications for their actions/behaviour.

What to Do if You’re Being Abused

To begin, please recognize that you are worthy of better and that this isn’t your fault. If you are being abused by someone close to you, always have an escape plan.

Consider what has happened before and how the abuser has behaved. Determine when the abuser is likely to become violent (e.g., behavioral such as body language/drug usage, or event-driven such as paydays, holidays, etc.) and stay alert and brainstorm a plan for what you’ll do if the violence flares up again. Determine what has previously worked to keep you safe; is it safe to contact law enforcement? Is there a telephone in the residence? Can you devise a signal with the kids or neighbours to summon assistance?

If you have an emergency, dial 911 and make the call from a safe place, such as a relative’s or friend’s house.

Contact Pace Law Firm Today!

If you are a victim of domestic abuse, it is critical to contact a family lawyer or advocate who can offer you support, referrals, and information about available resources. Abusive partners are frequently quite skilled at isolating their partners from their support systems. As a result, victims may feel humiliated and alone, believing that no one would understand their situation. At Pace Family Law, we respect the vulnerability of domestic violence victims and have successfully settled thousands of cases.

You’re not on your own. At Pace Family Law, we are willing to assist you- we are here to help you in the safest most effective way possible and get you the justice and freedom you deserve. You are entitled to be treated with dignity, it is not your fault if you have been abused or mistreated. Your abuser’s aggressive conduct is not your fault, and they should be held accountable for their actions. You are entitled to live a happy and safe life.

What are the actual ramifications of marriage?

What are the actual ramifications of marriage

Divorce is a reality faced by many, with a growing divorce rate, understanding the financial implications of marriage is crucial in the potential event of a divorce. According to the Toronto Sun, Canada has the 29th highest divorce rate out of 87 countries.

The general principles of the implications of marriage- and what it may entail in the event of a divorce are:

The Family Patrimony

When couples divorce, the value of their assets, including property, in the family patrimony is divided, regardless of who owns it or who paid for it.

What is Family Patrimony?

The family patrimony is made up of pension plans, benefits, the family’s houses, including any secondary residences utilized by the family, as well as the moveable items used to supply them, and the automobiles utilized for family travel.

Some exceptions may apply and certain property in the family patrimony that was owned at the time of marriage may be exempt in the patrimony’s partitionable value.

Exceptions: In the event of a divorce, property received by one of the spouses either during the marriage or before (by inheritance or gift) may be excluded from the family patrimony.

The Matrimonial Regime

In the event of a divorce, the matrimonial regime determines how other property not included in the family patrimony would be divided.

There are different types of matrimonial regimes available to spouses:

Types of Matrimonial Regimes:

1. The Matrimonial Regime of Partnership of Aquests

This regime allows for the division of the assets gained during the marriage.

Acquests

What are Acquests?

Acquests are multiple assets acquired during the marriage such as property purchased and income generated during marriage by all your property.

In the event of a divorce, the following property is deemed private and cannot be divided:

1. Property you had before to your marriage;

2. During the marriage, you inherited property by succession or gift, as well as the fruits and income derived from it if the testator or donor so stipulated;

3. Property you purchased to replace personal property, as well as any insurance indemnity related to it;

4. The rights or benefits that have been devolved to you under a contract or plan of retirement, annuity, or personal insurance;

5. Personal papers, wedding ring, decorations, and diplomas;

6. The tools you’ll need for your job, as well as any pay you might be entitled to.

All property is considered an acquests. The spouse who wants particular property classed as private will have to substantiate it.

2. The Matrimonial Regime of Separation as to Property

Except for property that is part of the family inheritance, spouses married under the marital regime of property separation keep property registered in their own names if they divorce.

3. A Sui Generis Matrimonial Regime

Spouses can also choose a sui generis marital regime, which is one that is suited to their own requirements and wants in terms of property division in the event of a divorce. As a result, if they divorce, they might opt to distribute specific assets.

Determine the Matrimonial Regime that Applies to You:

Contact one of our trusted family lawyers at Pace Family Law to determine what matrimonial regime applies to you and your situation.

It is crucial to highlight that regardless of the marital regime decided upon, it is not possible to renounce in advance the division of the value of the property that will form part of the family patrimony after separation, whether through a marriage contract or otherwise.

Protecting your inheritance from divorce

Protecting your inheritance from divorce

The Covid-19 pandemic taught us that life is short, and many individuals have made the decision to go on and make the most of it. Hence, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, it is no surprise that divorce rates have skyrocketed. Being isolated for such a long period of time with a spouse has caused many individuals to reconsider their marriages and life choices.

If you’re debating whether or not to stay in your marriage, think about how you can secure your inheritance while you’re making your decision.

Inheritance received prior to the marriage Vs. Inheritance received during the marriage

The main difference between inheritance received prior to the marriage and inheritance received during the marriage is that the inheritance that was received during the marriage is subject to be split amongst the couple.

Quick Tips to protect your inheritance from the effects of divorce

Keeping the paperwork that prove you inherited the thing/property; documenting the amount of money or property you acquired from that asset. The paper could be a legally binding “will.”

– Keep inherited assets in a separate bank account and do not merge them with cash from sources other than just the inheritance.

– You’ll want an impartial trustee (such as a bank or trust business) to oversee and transfer the assets to you for optimal safety. You will relinquish power in exchange for more protection. Have one of our trusted Family Lawyers at Pace Law Firm to prepare a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement that identifies and specifies your respective properties.

– Do not use your inheritance received prior to the marriage to buy a residence intended to be the matrimonial home, nor should you repair or renovate it. If you do so, you would lose your ability to deduct this amount if you utilized your inherited property to acquire or repair a marital house (or a home intended to be a matrimonial home).

– One of the greatest methods to protect your assets and money before a divorce is to get into a prenuptial agreement or marriage contract.

– Make your own will and estate plan. You don’t want your assets to go to your spouse. Some people believe that they and their spouse need to make an estate plan together, however there is another option which many are not aware of. You can go to an attorney on your own and form your own will and trust.

Determining the value of your Inheritance that may be excluded or deducted from the family assets/property

For inheritance received prior to the marriage, the value will be the same value as of the date of the marriage.

For inheritance received during the marriage, the value will be the value as of the date of separation.

However, it gets tricky because if the inheritance that a spouse has received prior to the marriage appreciates in value during the marriage, that appreciation in value may also be subject for distribution between the couple.

Contact Pace Law Firm Family Lawyers Today!

The possibilities you have for preserving and dispersing your inheritances are usually determined by your unique contexts. It’s advisable to engage a lawyer who specializes in inheritance and divorce to thoroughly understand and help you navigate your options. Hire a trusted and reputable Pace Law Family lawyer if you have doubts regarding how to divide an inheritance obtained by your spouse or how to secure your inheritance. At Pace Family Law, our firm has successfully settled hundreds of inheritance and divorce cases.