Ask a Lawyer – “My spouse and I have been living under the same roof but living our own lives. Does this count as “living separate and apart” for the purpose of a divorce?”

With financial pressures, it is becoming increasingly common to live together post-separation. In fact, the Ontario Supreme Court addressed this issue in the decision McBennett v Danis. The couple lived separate and apart, but under the same roof; in order to determine whether a couple is living “separate and apart” for the purpose of a…

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Ask a Lawyer – “My house has a swimming pool. Does this pose any legal risk to me, and what should I do to mitigate these risks?”

Swimming pools are impacted by the legal system primarily in two ways. First are the regulations that the province and your municipal government may impose. These would include, for example, zoning by-laws that restrict what kind of swimming pools can be constructed. Such regulations are enforced by government officials, and a typical penalty for breaching…

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Ask a Lawyer – “I was fired from my job. What are my rights?”

Determining what your rights are if you lose your job largely depends on the facts of your case. If your ex-workplace is unionized, the termination provisions will be governed by the collective labour agreement. In this case, you should talk to your union representative so that your matter could proceed through the labour grievance process.…

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Ask a Lawyer – “I signed a domestic contract with my ex-spouse. Can I claim more support or more property than the domestic contract says I can?”

The short answer is – possibly. Domestic contracts are agreements that govern the parties’ rights and obligations under family law – such as the ability to claim support or apply for division of property. Domestic contracts include separation agreements, prenuptial agreements, marriage contracts, and so forth. Generally, the courts say that domestic contracts cannot be…

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Ask a Lawyer – “What is a mutual will and why would I want one?”

It is common for spouses to make “mirror” wills, leaving their property to each other, with the provision that the property will go to agreed-upon beneficiaries (such as the children) after both pass away. However, nothing legally prevents one of the spouses from secretly changing their will – before or after the other spouse’s death…

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