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The current circumstances and the measures  taken by the government to stop the spread of the pandemic, cause a significant disruption to the economic flow. It obviously affects also those who have been paying spousal support and those at the receiving end.

Residents of long-term care facilities are testing positive for the virus and are disproportionately experiencing extreme complications, often requiring hospitalization and ventilation. Loved ones are too often being kept in the dark. But a power of attorney for personal care changes the situation. If the ill person is no longer able to give their own help instructions or consent (because of dementia,, or incapacity) to health procedures, consent for the treatment is to be discussed and approved by the power of attorney for personal care.

The current circumstances, and the measures taken by the government to stop the spread of the pandemic, causes a significant disruption to the economic flow. It obviously affects those who were paying child support and those at the receiving end.

Practicing lawyers are governed by the Law Society of Ontario and are required to follow the Rules of Professional Conduct.


Rule 3.2-4, states:


A lawyer shall advise and encourage the client to compromise or settle a dispute whenever it is possible to do so on a reasonable basis and shall discourage the client from commencing or continuing useless legal proceedings.


The Commentary of Rule 3.2-4 states:


It is important to consider the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). When appropriate, the lawyer should inform the client of ADR options and, if so instructed, take steps to pursue those options.   


Thus, the question arises as to whether this regulation requires any lawyer engaged in family law, at a minimum, to discuss mediation and arbitration with the client. The question arises as to what situations, if any, might a lawyer rely on the words in the commentary “When appropriate…”

The book Settling Family Law Cases: Practical Techniques for Advocates and Neutrals, was written by Mr. Lorne Wolfson, and  published in late 2017.


Mr. Lorne Wolfson is a Toronto family lawyer, mediator, arbitrator, and partner at Torkin Manes. There are 14 are listed as contributors, and all of the heavy hitters are there, including but not limited to Alfred Mamo, Hilary Linton, Stephen Grant and Dr. Barbara Landau.

Family disputes, and the court process, have changed in recent decades.  People who go to court are now quite often self-represented. Mediation is an alternative to court which may result in resolution of the issues.

In Canada, currently, it is acceptable and legal, in some circumstances, for a person to request that because of their illness, or situation, that a doctor assist them in ending their life. However, the person who is giving these instructions to the doctor must be consenting at the moment the instructions are given, that is up to the last moment when the act is completed, and they must be “competent.”

DeRusha Law has been preparing wills and other related documents for over 20 years, and is familiar with the types of documents that could be used in these circumstances.

What are the potential consequences of reconciling with a spouse to whom you are currently separated but not yet divorced?


Section 8 of the Divorce Act makes clear that a period during which spouses have lived separate and apart shall not be considered interrupted or terminated simply by reason that the spouses have resumed cohabitation during a period of, or periods totaling, not more than ninety days with reconciliation as its primary purpose. Therefore, if spouses separate, and then subsequently decide that they would like to resume cohabitation with the primary purpose of reconciliation in mind, but the relationship ultimately fails a second time, nothing legally turns on this reunion, so long as the parties did not cohabit for longer than ninety days. If, however, the parties cohabited together for more than ninety days with the purpose of attempting to get back together, but then their relationship ultimately fails a second time, a slew of legal consequences could flow from this reunion.

Section 31(1) of the Family Law Act states that “every parent has an obligation to provide support for his or her unmarried child who is a minor or is enrolled in a full time program of education, to the extent that the parent is capable of doing so”. Further, according to the Child Support Guidelines and the Family Law Rules, financial disclosure in a family law case, particularly where there are issues concerning support, is paramount and a necessity.

Breaking up is hard to do” are the lyrics to a song recorded by Neil Sedaka in 1962.  Justice Harvey Brownstone talks about the problems of breaking up in his book published in 2009, which is described as the first of its kind.  It explains what happens in Canada when a family unit disintegrates, especially when there are children involved.

Feelings about your soon to be ex partner and what you deem to be a failed relationship on the back burner. When individuals are involved in acrimonious high conflict litigation, the individuals that they are hurting the most is ironically probably the most important people in their lives, their children. Separation and divorce does not necessarily have to be a damaging life experience for children, and the only way to prevent such negative aftermath is for both parents to put their childrens’ best interests ahead of their own.

Family lawyers are like dentists.  Both can be expensive, but both can be a lot more expensive if you do not see one when you should. 

There are a lot of legal issues that people contemplating marriage or cohabitation do not know about or do not want to think about.  Most couples do not get married with the expectation that one day they may divorce, but with the high divorce rate today, maybe it is something that should be considered: what are my rights if this does happen to me?

February 17, 2017

Separation and divorce is a difficult time for all members of a family. Each family member
defines their relationships differently. That is, the relationship between the husband and the wife
is very different than the relationship between parents and their children. The relationship
between one parent and each of their children is separate and distinct as well. Consequently,
when a family dissolves, individual relationships, together with the family relationship as a
whole, are redefined and the unit undertakes to reconstruct

A spouse’s claim to spousal support is not based on whether the spouse’s actions have led to the breakdown of the marriage.  Rather it is based on whether that person has shown that they are entitled to spousal support because of the negative financial consequences suffered as a result of the breakdown of the marriage. 

By:  Haig DeRusha

This paper looks at the various systems that have been used in Canada to compensate wrongly
convicted. These range from an application of the Federal/Provincial Guidelines for Compensation which Canada prepared to coincide with it being a signatory to the International
Covenant confirming that it will compensate wrongly convicted; to ad hoc Orders in Council
made by the provinces to deal with a specific case; to the historical and complicated process of
pursuing damages through a civil action.

Dying without a Will...Does the Government get the money?

By: Tracey-Ann Dobson-Hamiton

When a person dies without leaving a will, who gets the money?  Does it go to the government? Does it go to a spouse? Read about this further. 

Our firm believes that your first contact with us should be a pleasant one.   This article written by Jana Schilder of The Legal A Team was actually inspired by our own receptionist. 

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