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Niagara Family Lawyers Servicing the Niagara Region

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Check out the Checklist!

Looking to get a head start or be prepared before meeting with your lawyer for your Last Will and Testament? Have a look at this Will Preparation Checklist to get you started. This document can also be downloaded on the Niagara Wills and Estates page of our website,...

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Facebook Fine Print

Ever wonder if those long fine print clauses you see on line that require you to click on “agree” to the terms of service agreements are enforceable? It’s pretty certain that most users never read the details in the fine print and I have never heard of anyone seeking legal advice about same, you just click on the ‘agree’ button and off you go. Well, the Supreme Court of Canada took on Facebook’s clause that would require all lawsuits against them to be brought in California. Our court decided in the circumstance of this case, the action could be brought in Canada, British Columbia to be more exact. Interesting reading on how the courts look at these clauses . It was a close call, with the court splitting on it’s decision

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Bootleg Cheese

“Ever wonder about the difference in prices for cheese, between Buffalo and Fort Erie?” The quote below is from a  case in Niagara recently completed: The offender, a police officer, was the organizer of a racket in which another constable smuggled cheese across the...

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Estate Administration Tax Calculator

In Ontario, the estate is subject to an Estate Administration Tax, which we normally refer to as the probate fee. This fee is based upon the value of the estate, net of some liabilities. You can use this tool to calculate the actual probate fee by inputting the data. Trustees of the Estate are required to file a form with the Ontario Government to confirm that fee and this is subject to audit later by the Province.

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Retroactive Child Support

Can the father of a child, who has completely renounced his child and had no contact with the child from birth through the first 18 years of the child’s life, be called upon to pay child support retroactively to the child’s birth? In British Columbia, the lower court said yes and allowed child support retroactive for 18 years and on a go forward basis. The Court of Appeal disagreed and only allowed retroactive support for 3 years, together with ongoing support. The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed a leave to appeal that decision. The answer therefore is no, you cannot ignore or escape the responsibility to support a dependant child, even if you choose to ignore the child.

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Medical Assistance in Dying

Without any fanfare or public announcements the issue of doctor assisted end of life services is in place now. While this is primarily a medical process involving medical professionals, lawyers will need to be familiar with this process.

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Child support when the child has withdrawn from parental control

A child over the age of 16 who leaves his or her parents’ home, or leaves the homes of separated parents, can claim child support directly from both parents. It is a tricky issue, as if he or she leaves voluntarily, an argument exists suggesting child support ends if the child voluntarily withdraws from parental control. The courts interpret that clause narrowly. If the child did not leave voluntarily, he can claim support from both parents, and each may be ordered to pay him guideline support based upon their incomes. The following case shows how this can be handled. Just a note, the child and both parents conducted this matter without lawyers.

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Parental Alienation

Parental alienation is a term you will hear bantered about when a child refuses to visit with one parent but not the other. There is considerable literature on this subject and it is fair to say that there is some controversy still with this phrase and exactly what it means. The following case demonstrates a true alienation syndrome. The resulting order is drastic. The child is ordered into the custody of the parent she was refusing to see, and is to have no contact with the parent who encouraged the alienation. That parent was required to obtain help with mental health issues. These orders are rare, but they do exist!

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Motion to Increase Access for Travel

We frequently are asked questions about travelling with children to special family events or holidays. Many orders do not have specific clauses dealing with the issue. This case is somewhat typical of how the courts try to deal with the issues. The court granted the father permission to travel to Alberta with the parties’ six-year-old daughter so that she could take part in his wedding.

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Court Imputed Income

Concerned that your ex isn’t earning as much income as he or she should? The courts will impute income in some cases, and base support upon this estimated future income or the possibility of income. In this case, the court didn’t think the husband could prove his wife should have more income imputed to her. This is how the courts worked it out.

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