Wondering If You Can Legally Separate Without a Messy Court Battle? Consider Collaborative Family Law

Wondering If You Can Legally Separate Without a Messy Court Battle? Consider Collaborative Family Law

It is perhaps a bit obvious to say that divorces can be messy and that many families struggle to pick up the pieces after a nasty separation. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

When people use court to resolve their disputes they are relying on a stranger, the judge to make major decisions about their life. In a family law context this means a judge can decide when and where you will see your children, how much money flows to or from your spouse, where you can live and even what happens to your house.

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Consequences for Your Loved ones if you Die Without a Will

Consequences for Your Loved ones if you Die Without a Will

A common (and troubling) statistic is that approximately 50% of adult Canadians do not have a valid Will.  The reasons why people haven’t yet prepared their Wills are varied but I’ll suggest one of the more important is that they don’t understand the consequences of dying without one.

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Prevent Heartache By Having a Lawyer Review Your Commercial Lease – The Rent Increase Control Clause

Prevent Heartache By Having a Lawyer Review Your Commercial Lease <em>– The Rent Increase Control Clause</em>

I recently came across a story in the news highlighting the unfortunately common situation where a small business owner is facing financial disaster as a result of terms in their commercial lease they didn’t fully understand when they signed.  Cash flow challenges are reality for most small business, particularly those in the start up phase.  As a result, many view spending money to have a lawyer review what appears to be a standard lease is a luxury they can’t afford.

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Is it Time to Change your Court Order or Separation Agreement?

Is it Time to Change your Court Order or Separation Agreement?

Every year after Christmas, Wal-Mart puts tupperware and storage bins up at the front of the store because they are big sellers. January is a natural time to take stock your life. It’s time to pack away the old things you no longer need so you can focus on the important things in front of you. It’s time to put those lights and decorations away for next year and to put that ugly sweater your cousin gave you in the “re-gift” pile.

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Why is my Date of Separation Important?

Why is my Date of Separation Important?

In family law, the date of separation is a very significant date for two reasons. Most of the time, a couple will not be granted a divorce until they have been separated for one year. The other reason is that the debts and asset of a divorcing couple are generally divided based on the value they had on the date of separation.

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Ever wonder why some people have a ‘slip and fall’ and get a big payout?

Ever wonder why some people have a ‘slip and fall’ and get a big payout?

Ever wonder why some people have a ‘slip and fall’ and get a big payout from the business owner where the fall happened, but some people, and sometimes those hurt far worse, don’t get anything? 

Most often these situations are governed by the Occupiers Liability Act, although the common law rule of negligence may also apply. Under the Act, the ‘occupier’, defined as the person who essentially has control over the premises (whether because they own it, rent it or for any other reason have physical control over the premises), has a duty to ensure that any person who legally enters the premises will be reasonably safe.  The key word there is ‘reasonably’.  Obviously no owner/occupier of a property can prevent every potential accident from happening, so the law draws a line between injuries that are as a result of unavoidable, unfortunate accident and which injuries should have been prevented by some action by the owner/occupier. 

 

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Myth-busting Child Support and Custody

Myth-busting Child Support and Custody

Almost everyone has been touched by divorce in some way, so it is not surprising that that so many well-meaning friends and family are eager to give out legal advice during a separation. Unfortunately, their advice is not always accurate or helpful. One commonly repeated myth is that if the parents share equal custody, then no one has to pay child support. 

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Severance Pay: What am I entitled to after being let go from my job?

Severance Pay: What am I entitled to after being let go from my job?

An unfortunate reality of today’s corporate world is restructuring, outsourcing and downsizing.  For many hard-working employees, the result is lay-offs.  One day you go to the job you’ve devoted yourself to for years and the next you find yourself unemployed with a standardized letter letting you go, along with a request to sign a ‘Release’ in exchange for a severance package.  You are reeling and have no idea if the package they are offering you is what you are entitled to.  This is where an employment lawyer comes in.  Many lawyers, including myself, are happy to meet with people in your shoes to review your situation and give some basic advice as to whether or not the severance package offered is within the acceptable range.

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Speeding in school zones: What does "When children are present" even mean?

Speeding in school zones: What does "When children are present" even mean?

Ever drive by a school zone sign and wonder what counts as ‘When Children Are Present’?  It’s even more important to know now that the speed limit in a school zone changed to only 30 km/hr where the speed limit is normally 50 km/hr.  The definition of ‘When Children Are Present’ hasn’t changed.  The School Area Regulations made under the Motor Vehicle Act states that a child is deemed ‘present’ if the child is ‘on land’ within 30 meters of the center line.  There is no time limit to this definition.  If a child is present, the reduced speed limit is in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Therefore, if a child is walking along the side of the road in a school zone at 10:00 pm at night in the middle of August, the school zone reduced speed limits still apply.  The logic is, regardless of the time of year, a school is an area where children congregate, whether it’s for academic learning or other pursuits that make use of the school facilities (sports leagues, drama camp etc.).

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Can a name be offensive? Ask the Grabher family

Can a name be offensive? Ask the Grabher family

Lorne Grabher was back in the news this week after police told him to remove an out-of-province license plate bearing his controversial last name. Nova Scotia law requires valid plates mounted on the back of a vehicle only; the plate in question was an expired Alberta plate mounted on his front bumper.

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