Saturday, July 7, 2018

Ontario Family Law Changes (Part V – Notable Rules Amendments – New and Revoked Forms)

Ontario Family Law Changes (Part V – Notable Rules Amendments – New and Revoked Forms)

 
Ontario Family Law amendments
 
Part of this was explained in our post on the changes to the Conferences rules, but here is a quick explanation of which Forms are soon to become obsolete, and which forms they are to be replaced with.
 
Very simply:
 
Form 14, Notice of Motion, is being updated and retaining its title.
 
Form 14C, Confirmation, is being updated and will now be entitled Confirmation of Motion.
 
Lastly, added to the Table of Forms will be Form 17F, Confirmation of Conference.
 
The changes to the existing Forms and the addition of the new Form have been made to reflect the amendments to the rules. For example, Form 17F requires disclosure of whether the parties have conferred with each other regarding the issues and key details of the case, and further requires that the “most important issues to be resolved” be identified. Moreover, the amended existing Forms reflect the changing timelines for filing and/or serving the documents.
 
As you can see, these things can be tricky. We’re here to help.
 
Call us any time at 905-851-5909, or visit us at 3300 Hwy 7, Suite 904 in Vaughan, ON.
 
That’s all for the Rules changes. Check out our next post where we talk about what’s changed with the CYFSA!
 
 

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Thursday, July 5, 2018

Ontario Family Law Changes (Part IV – Notable Rules Amendments – Costs)

Ontario Family Law Changes (Part IV – Notable Rules Amendments – Costs)

 
Notable Rules Amendments – Costs
 
Effective July 1, 2018, changes are coming to the Ontario Family Law Rules. Here are the major implications relating to Costs.
 
Current subrule 24(10.1) will be revoked and integrated into subrule 24(10), which will benefit from some improved clarity in its language. Under the heading Deciding Costs, it will make clear that costs decisions are to be made in a summary manner, that the court will determine who, if anyone, is entitled to costs (in relation to each step in a case), and that if judges are to reserve decisions on costs for determination at a later stage in the case, they must do so expressly.
 
Current subrule 24(11) (which outlines Factors in Costs decisions) will be revoked [note: the revised ‘factors’ will now be found in subrule 24(12) under the heading “Setting Cost Amounts”, replacing the current heading “Payment of Expenses”]. Subrule 24(11) will fall under the same heading as the subrule explained above, “Deciding Costs.” This might sound confusing, but luckily the content of the rule is quite simple – it simply makes clear that if the Court fails to address costs at any step in the case, it may do so at a later stage in the case.
 
As just explained, subrule 24(1) will now discuss Setting Cost Amounts, explaining that in so doing, the Court is to consider “the reasonableness and proportionality of each of the following factors as it relates to the importance and complexity of the issues: each party’s behaviour; the time spent by each party; any written offers to settle…; any legal fees…; any expert witness fees…; any other expenses…; and any other relevant matter.” The rule also requires any claims relating to fees or expenses shall be supported by “documentation satisfactory to the Court.”
 
As you can see, these things can be tricky. We’re here to help.
 
Call us any time at 905-851-5909, or visit us at 3300 Hwy 7, Suite 904 in Vaughan, ON.
 
That’s all for Costs! More to come on the Family Law Changes in our next post!
 
 

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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Ontario Family Law Changes (Part III – Notable Rules Amendments – Conferences)

Ontario Family Law Changes (Part III – Notable Rules Amendments – Conferences)

 
Ontario Family Law Changes
 
Effective July 1, amendments to the Family Law Rules will impact the practice of Family Law in Ontario. Here are some of the most important changes relating to filing and serving documents specific to Conferences.
 
Current subrule 17(14), which simply required parties to file Confirmations of Conferences (current Form 14C, which will no longer be applicable to Conferences), will be revoked and replaced (effective July 1, 2018) with a more comprehensive set of rules, requiring Parties to Confirm Attendance. Let’s break them down.
 
First, parties will be required to “confer or attempt to confer orally or in writing with every other party about the issues that are in dispute.”
 
Parties will also be required to give a copy of the Confirmation of Conference (new Form 17F) to every other party, before being further required to give the Confirmation to the clerk.
 
The Confirmation will have to be given to the clerk no later than 2pm, 3 days before the conference date, via delivery to the court office or, if available, by fax or email.
 
Also effective July 1, 2018, old subrule 17(14.1) is revoked, and replaced with a series of rules prohibiting Late Briefs. Specifically, if a Confirmation is not filed with the clerk in accordance with the (above rules), there will be no conference. Further, there will be a duty to update and or correct given Confirmations where there is an opportunity to do so before the Conference date, by giving each other party and the clerk an updated copy (or in the case of a child protection case, only the clerk).
 
Moreover, there has been a minor change in the language of subrule 17(18) relating to Costs of an Adjourned Conference, providing for the rule’s application despite the otherwise contradictory and also to be amended subrule 24(10). A new subrule, 17(18.1) further explains that the court may elect to award such costs at a later stage in the case.
 
As you can see, these things can be tricky. We’re here to help.
 
Call us any time at 905-851-5909, or visit us at 3300 Hwy 7, Suite 904 in Vaughan, ON.
 
That’s all for now! Be sure to check out our next post about amendments to the Costs rules!
 
 

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Friday, June 29, 2018

Ontario Family Law Changes (Part II – Notable Rules Amendments – Motions)

Ontario Family Law Changes (Part II – Notable Rules Amendments – Motions)

Ontario Family Law Changes
Effective July 1, amendments to the Family Law Rules will impact the practice of Family Law in Ontario. Here are some of the most important changes relating to filing and serving documents specific to Motions.

 

Subrule 3(4)1 will require a Notice of Motion to be served no later than six days before the motion date, rather than 4 days, as it was previously.

 

Subrule 14(11) will require parties making a Motion with Notice to:

  • serve the required documents no later than six days before the motion date (previously 4);
  • to file the required documents no later than four days before the motion date (previously 2);
  • “confer or attempt to confer orally or in writing with every other party about the issues that are in dispute”;
  • give a copy of the confirmation of motion to every other party prior to giving it to the clerk, and;
  • give the confirmation of motion to the clerk no later than 2pm 3 days before the motion date (previously two)

 

The current subrule 14(11.1), which simply stated that no documents for use on the motion may be served or filed after 2pm two days before the motion date, will be revoked on July 1, 2018, and replaced with a more comprehensive scheme. Here are the new provisions to be aware of…

 

The new 14(11.1) will prohibit motions from being heard if confirmation of the motion is not given to the clerk in accordance with the new rules (explained above).

 

11.2 will require parties who have given confirmations of motion which become inaccurate at any time before the motion date to give corrected confirmation of motion Forms to all parties, and then to the clerk (or in the case of a child protection case, only to the clerk).

 

Responses to a Notice of Motion (Form 14) must be served and filed no later than 4 days before the motion date. Replies to such responses must be served and filed not later than 2pm, 3 days before the motion date.

 

Responses to a Motion (Form 14B) must be served and filed no later than 4 days after the motion form is served on the responding party. Replies to such responses are not permitted.

 

As you can see, these things can be tricky. We’re here to help.

 

Call us any time at 905-851-5909, or visit us at 3300 Hwy 7, Suite 904 in Vaughan, ON.

Our next post will discuss the changes to Conferences (Rule 17) – don’t miss it!

 

 

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Ontario Family Law Changes (Part 1 – Joint Divorce Applications)

Ontario Family Law Changes (Part 1 – Joint Divorce Applications)

 

Ontario Family Law Changes

Recent legislation has resulted in some significant changes to Ontario’s Family Law framework. As individuals and families prepare for what can be a difficult and emotional time, here’s what these changes means for you.

The first change deals with Joint Divorce Applications. Effective April 23rd, 2018, the Ontario Courts have launched a pilot project that allows for Joint Divorce Applications to be filed online. To qualify, there are a few prerequisites.

 

First, one of the spouses must currently live in one of the four pilot locations – either Brampton, Hamilton, Ottawa or Toronto. That spouse must have lived in Ontario for at least one year leading up to the filing of the application and must have been separated from their spouse for at least one year.

 

The program further requires both spouses:

 

  • were married in Canada or have an electronically-issued marriage certificate (not a scanned copy) from another country;

 

  • agree to the divorce (that’s kind of an important one);

 

  • are able and willing to sign Court documents;

 

  • swear that the documents are true in front of a notary public or commissioner for taking affidavits;

 

  • have already resolved any other family law matters, such as parenting, spousal support, or division of property, and;

 

  • not require (or request) a few waiver.

 

The cost for filing a Joint Divorce Application is $447.  If you don’t qualify for the online service, you may still file an application in-person at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. If you’re asking for child custody or access, you must file online in the pilot location where your children live.

 

There are a series of Forms and Documents required to be submitted with a Joint Divorce Application which are listed, explained and provided at: https://www.ontario.ca/page/file-joint-divorce-application-online. Briefly, in addition to providing a copy of your marriage certificate, you must apply to the Court for your divorce, and/or child custody or access – which further requires you to provide and complete certain financial statements/documents.

 

Perhaps the Ontario Government’s most important recommendation regarding Joint Divorce Applications is to SPEAK TO A LAWYER BEFORE YOU FILE! As you can see, these things can be tricky. We’re here to help.

 

Call us any time at 905-851-5909, or visit us at 3300 Hwy 7, Suite 904 in Vaughan, ON.

 

Tune in to the blog again next week for our take on the next big Family Law changes in Ontario!

 

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Justice system not a forum for all grievances: Mazzeo

Justice system not a forum for all grievances: Mazzeo

family lawyer vaughan
 
Although a lawsuit launched by a doctor who claimed his ex-lover ‘fraudulently’ got pregnant shows some creativity, it’s not a case Vaughan family lawyer Paul Mazzeo would ever consider accepting.
 
“The justice system is not designed to address all of people’s problems,” Mazzeo, principal of Mazzeo Law, says.
 
“Sometimes people just have to own up to their mistakes and deal with them,” he says.
 
A Toronto doctor sued a former sexual partner for $4 million, alleging fraud, deceit, and fraudulent misrepresentation, but a court wouldn’t accept his statement of claim, reports the Toronto Star. His second attempt before the Ontario Court of Appeal was also unsuccessful.
 
“It’s such a novel thing, you don’t hear about this kind of case very often,” says Mazzeo. “It’s interesting to see how colleagues can be creative and think outside the box to help people who feel they’ve been wronged, but I don’t agree that was the case here.”
 
The man accused the woman of lying about taking birth control when they had intercourse a few times without using condoms. When he learned of the woman’s pregnancy, he sued her.
 
The question, wrote one of the three appeal judges, is whether the “aggrieved father” could recover damages from his former sexual partner for “involuntary parenthood.” The answer, the panel decided, is no.
 
“I think part of the decision from the appeals court judge was that if he was under the impression she was on birth control, he would have known, especially being a doctor, that it’s never 100 per cent foolproof,” says Mazzeo.
 
“A reasonable person could expect that there could potentially be an outcome from their sexual relationship. On some level, even though it might not be what you want or what you’re planning, it’s something that could happen and should be prepared for, even if it’s less than a one per cent chance.
 
“Legally, it’s hard to say what he was after — or why. If someone came into my office looking to retain me for this exact thing, I wouldn’t take it on. What’s more important is the child.”
 
The man appears to be doing the right thing by paying child support and establishing a relationship with the child, Mazzeo says, but “on the other hand, he was seeking $4 million from a single mom, which just doesn’t seem right.
 
“I don’t think that our justice system is a forum to deal with these kinds of problems. People have to own their mistakes and not try to use the justice system to get out of them,” he says.
 
For more family law news and information please visit http://www.mazzeolaw.ca/

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Friday, June 15, 2018

Jointly retained valuators can help take the sting out of divorce

Jointly retained valuators can help take the sting out of divorce

divorce family lawyer vaughan
 
The process of separation and divorce can be difficult enough without fighting over the value of assets and property, says Vaughan divorce lawyer Paul Mazzeo.
 
It’s why he advocates for the use of joint appraisers as an effective way for separating spouses to attempt to minimize conflict.
 
“Parties can hire a joint appraiser or valuator from the beginning, and agree to figures the valuator determines, whether they are happy with them or not,” says Mazzeo, principal of Mazzeo Law. “It can help people get through the process, rather than going back and forth or hiring separate appraisers.”
 
Appraisers can be expensive but can prevent further conflict – which could lead to extra fees and possibly litigation, Mazzeo says. So, for complex cases, it can be worthwhile for each party to share the cost.

“Sharing the value of property and assets can be a hard thing for many people to stomach already, so once they’ve accepted this is a part of the separation and divorce, you should do it in the simplest way possible.”
 
The valuator’s determinations become key figures in how the separating spouses determine equalization, a payment one spouse makes to other so they both leave the marriage on equal financial footing, Mazzeo says.
 
Equalization is typically determined by assessing each spouse’s net worth as of the date of separation. The value of all their liabilities is subtracted from the value of all assets on that specific date to determine net worth. If, for example, one spouse’s net worth is $1 million and the other’s is $500,000, then the first pays the second $250,000, he says. In the end, both spouses leave the marriage with the same net worth.
 
“In theory it’s a simple concept but in practice there are many things that come up that make it a little more complicated.”
 
For example, the date of separation could be in dispute. Or if the marriage was particularly short, one spouse might argue for unequal property division, which is allowed in certain circumstances under legislation.
 
In Mazzeo’s experience, he has found that much of the conflict arises from determining the value of assets and property.
 
“Coming to net worth figures is not as simple as looking at bank accounts,” he says. For example, one spouse may say their restaurant is worth nothing, while the other spouse argues it is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. A valuator can help settle such disputes.
 
“The more you have, the more complicated it is to deal with,” Mazzeo says. “A valuator can avoid escalation of extra legal fees and more litigious issues.”
 
For more family law news and information please visit http://www.mazzeolaw.ca/

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