Who Pays the Costs in Family Law Cases?
Family Law - General Information / November 21st, 2018 5:37 pm
Written by Kady McCourt, Family Lawyer

When a Family Law matter goes to court, nearly all cases will include a claim for one party to pay the other party’s expenses incurred through the court process.  Individuals are often surprised and concerned when they see a claim for costs in an Application, Answer or other court document. Many litigants enter into the court process with little or no understanding of the potential cost consequences.

Rule 24 of the Family Law Rules is the primary Rule that deals with costs Orders in Family Law cases. While in practice, many Family Law cases are settled with each party paying their own costs, there are a number of scenarios that arise where a party may find themselves being Ordered to pay some or all of the other party’s legal costs. The following examples are only a few such scenarios:
  1. You show up unprepared for a Case or Settlement Conference:  The first step in most Family Law Cases is a Case Conference.  Prior to the Cas...
Financial Disclosure in Family Law Cases: Is it necessary?
Family Law - Domestic Contracts / October 5th, 2018 2:16 pm
Written by Kady McCourt, Family Lawyer
Oftentimes when parties separate, the family law issues can be resolved by way of a Separation Agreement rather than commencing court proceedings.  When both parties are committed to negotiating a fair resolution to the issues that arise, a Separation Agreement can be a cost effective and efficient way to set out each party’s rights and obligations following separation.

On occasion, when separating spouses are amicable, they may reach general terms of an agreement without the assistance of lawyers and seek help from a lawyer only for the purpose of providing legal advice and drafting the agreement.
When individuals are looking for a fast and efficient resolution to their family law issues, they often think that they don’t require financial information from the other party.  Further, many individuals say that they don’t require a valuation of a spouse’s pension, because they don’t intend to seek division of the pension.

While parties...
Options to Consider in Difficult Custody and Access Cases
Family Law - Custody and Access / August 22nd, 2018 1:03 pm
Written by Kady McCourt, Family Lawyer

One of the often more difficult areas to resolve in Family Law cases are those involving children. In Family Court, when the judge makes a custody/access Order they must do so in the “best interests of the child”.  There are a number of different factors enumerated in the Children’s Law Reform Act  that are used to assist the judge in determining what is in a child’s best interests.  

Parents often have very specific ideas around what is in the best interests of their child when it comes to such things as where the child will live; how much time they will spend with each parent; and, how important decisions will be made.  Unfortunately, the views of each parent are generally conflicting, and the evidence produced by each parent in support of their position is often contradictory to that of the other parent.

This leaves a judge in a very difficult position, as most of the evidence supporting a child’s best interests is generally...
Limited Scope Retainers & Unbundled Legal Services in Family Law
Family Law - General Information / August 10th, 2018 4:47 pm
Written by Greg Kay, Family Lawyer

In many cases a person going through the separation process is unable, due to financial circumstances, to retain a lawyer for representation throughout the court process.  In other cases, a person may want to represent himself or herself in court but requires periodic assistance from a lawyer as the case proceeds from one step to another.  In both of these situations, a person would be well advised to retain a lawyer on a limited scope retainer for one or more services, but not for representation throughout the process.

A limited scope retainer could include one or more of the following services.
  • Preparation of Application or Answer
  • Preparation of Financial Statement, Certificate of Financial Disclosure and/or Net Family Property Statement
  • Preparation of Child Support and Spousal Support Calculations
  • Preparation of Case Conference Brief, Settlement Conference Brief or Trial Management Conference Brief
  • Preparation of...
Section 7 Expenses, Part 2: Child Care Expenses
Family Law - Child Support / July 17th, 2018 3:44 pm
Written by Kady McCourt, Family Lawyer

Today's blog is the second installment in our series dealing with "Section 7" expenses, the first of which addressed a parent's obligation to contribute towards their child's post-secondary expenses. 

Another Section 7 Expense that is often claimed in family law cases relates to the cost of childcare. For a childcare expense to fall within Section 7 of the Child Support Guidelines, the expense should be incurred “as a result of a custodial parent’s employment, illness, disability or education or training for employment”.

As with post-secondary education, the cost of a child’s daycare expenses are payable in addition to whatever amount of Guideline child support a parent is paying.  However, unlike post-secondary expenses, the cost is shared only between the parents.

If the custodial parent requires daycare for the purpose of maintaining employment or any of the other reasons set out at Section 7(a) of the Child Support Guide...