My husband recently passed away. I am the beneficiary of the estate, but the estate is small and a number of assets passed to others outside of the estate. The funeral and other expenses will use up a significant amount of the estate and I won’t have much left. This doesn’t seem fair.

As a spouse, you are recognized as a dependant. If your husband’s Will fails to make adequate provisions for your support, you may make a claim for dependant support. The determination of the support amount is not simply a mathematical calculation of what you need to survive. The courts also consider the moral obligations of […]

I am in a relationship with someone who has a child.  At some point, can I be considered a parent of that child?

This is an important question for those entering into a meaningful relationship with someone who has a child or children from another partner.  In fact, there are many ways that allow  someone to act as a parent in a family.  One of these is where a person stands in loco parentis to a child.  This simply means […]

I am traveling to a foreign country with one of our children.  Do I need the consent of the child’s other parent, and how should that consent be given?

With summer and vacation time approaching, this is a very good question for all parents, whether they are separated or still together.  The Canadian government strongly recommends that person(s) traveling abroad with a Canadian child without the other parent carry a consent letter.  The consent is meant to prove if necessary that a Canadian child […]

What interesting things have come about as a result of the impact of COVID on family law and the courts?

Like many industries, there have been so many significant changes with the court system. I have not stepped in a court since before March 2020. Everything has since been done virtually using Zoom. All court documents are filed on-line. The judges have found it difficult to process the amount of information received electronically, like the […]

My child, who is 14 years of age, wants to come and live with me now. Can my child decide to do that?

It is often said that children do not get to make the decisions with respect to these sorts of issues.  Having said that, certainly, the older a child gets, the more the child’s views will be considered.  There are different ways to try and determine a child’s views, including a “views and preferences” report, usually […]

I am married and just separated from my spouse. We have children, and a lot to sort out. Do I have to go to court to resolve everything?

No, you do not have to go to court.  In fact, the only thing you need to go to court for is to get a divorce if you wanted a divorce.  Otherwise, all other issues, including custody/access, support and property division, can all be resolved out of court.  It is in fact preferable that spouses […]