This decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal canvasses whether an Ontario Court has the jurisdiction to award child support, spousal support, and equalization of net family property after a foreign court has issued a divorce.
This case serves as an important reminder that custody and access issues must remain child-focused, and adjustments to a parenting plan must be determined within the scope of the child’s needs, and not the needs of the parents.
This decision, written by Justice Stanley Kershman, deals with a numerous child support issues including support for adult children, retroactive claims when a child is no longer considered a child of the marriage, who can direct an RESP, and section 7 expenses.
This case serves as a reminder that establishing a material change in circumstances is only the first hurdle to meet when attempting to reduce support arrears, and that the party seeking such relief must establish either that they are unable, and will never be able, to pay the arrears, or that the arrears have accrued as a result of a change in the payor’s circumstances.
In this case, the father sought to find the mother in contempt for breach of court orders and interference with access. A finding of contempt is the most drastic enforcement mechanism available to the court as it opens the door to a range of sanctions including penal sanctions.
This recent decision from the Superior Court of Justice provides guidance for lawyers and future courts with respect to the determination of income when a payor’s income fluctuates. This case suggests that although many courts have chosen to average income to determine income for support purposes, material evidence which substantiates current income may be grounds to forego such averaging. This case provides a useful guide with regards to the jurisprudence in respect of income averaging.
In this case, Justice Shelston carefully overviews section 19 of the Federal Child Support Guidelines and notes that there is a duty on the spouse to actively seek out reasonable employment. When imputing income, the court first looks at the spouse’s capacity to earn income, which can be influenced by age, education, health, work history and availability of work that is within the scope of his or her capabilities.
In this recent Superior Court of Justice decision, the Court undertook a detailed analysis of the use of expert evidence in Court, and to what extent apparent prejudicial or biased evidence should be permitted. The importance of the expert evidence to the core of the matter at hand will have a critical role in determining whether expert evidence should be admitted.
This case of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice signifies the importance of life insurance clauses in Separation Agreements and a lawyer’s role in implementing same. Generally, in order to be effective, a life insurance clause in a Separation Agreement must first be put in place and then actually designate one spouse as an irrevocable beneficiary. Without the aforementioned in place, there is no point in having a life insurance clause as proposed security for support.
This recent decision from the Superior Court of Justice clarifies the confusion for family law counsel in Ontario following the release of the conflicting decisions of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Berta v. Berta 2015 ONCA 918, and Forrester v. Dennis 2016 ONCA 214 regarding costs, and confirms the decision of Jackson v. Mayerle 2016 ONSC 1556 as the go to case for analysis of Rule 24 of the Family Law Rules.