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GTA Family Law Blog

Who Gets Custody of A Pet When A Couple Separates?

A couple is breaking up acrimoniously, and one of the major sources of disagreement is their family pet. Both partners want to retain possession of the animal as their pet and companion. All efforts to mediate the custody dispute fail.

The dispute ends up in court. Who might the court award possession of the animal to?

Choosing family arbitration to settle your divorce issues

When it comes to divorce, there may be issues upon which you and your soon-to-be former spouse just can't see eye to eye. In these instances, family arbitration may be a potential solution, but both of you must first agree to the process in writing after determining all of your contentious issues. You and your soon-to-be ex must also have first received legal advice before being allowed to proceed forward.

Coming to an agreement with an arbitrator is much less formal and may be less anxiety-inducing than ironing out issues in a court room. During the arbitration process, an arbitrator will work with you and your spouse – within the confines of family law – to try to come to an agreement for all issues that you were not able to settle on your own, and any decisions made by the arbitrator regarding your children must always reflect what is in their best interests.

Mediation may be the answer to a more stress-free divorce

If you and your spouse are separating and agree on most things regarding the details, but still need a little help in certain areas, mediation may be the answer. Mediation can be a quicker process than dragging everything through the court, and it might also be less taxing on your pocket book.

In many instances, choosing this route may speed up coming to a fair agreement with which you and your spouse are both content. Part of a mediator's job is to ensure an agreement is fair and equitable and takes place in an environment of safety.

A cohabitation agreement in a common law partnership

When you and your significant other decide to move your relationship to the next level and agree upon living together, you may still be in the honeymoon phase of coupling, which could prevent you from giving thought to what could happen if things were to ever sour. In the event that life ends up taking you in different directions, having a cohabitation agreement in place may help ease a possible tense situation and make the transition much smoother.

A cohabitation agreement in Ontario is a legally binding contract that spells out many of the particulars should you and your partner decide to formally separate. There are certain things a cohabitation agreement can't do, such as:

  • Specify who gets custody of your children
  • Specify who has access to your children
  • Spell out who will live in a matrimonial home if you legally marry -- in which case a cohabitation agreement becomes a matrimonial agreement

Is collaborative family law right for your divorce?

If you and your partner are parting on pretty good terms, the collaborative family law route might be your best option. However, there may be certain circumstances where the collaborative process might not be in your best interests. Therefore, it might be wise for you to take a look at the different options for your particular situation and weigh the pros and cons.

Collaborative family law in Ontario is another way to settle differences between you and your spouse without having to see the inside of a courtroom. You and your soon-to-be former partner will each have your own lawyer who will help you work together to iron out any issues. However, if you and your spouse can't agree on some issues and you end up in court, you won't be able to use the same lawyer.

Mediation: Massaging the tension out of the divorce process

The ending of a marriage can be painful, and the emotions of family members involved are often off the Richter scale. But there is a way to tame the tenseness, and in addition, a way to lessen the financial burden of separation -- mediation. It may be the solution you have been looking for to provide the smoothest transition possible to single life.

Far from being further divisive, mediation can empower all individuals affected by the divorce, including children. A mediator remains neutral in the mediation process, acting as a negotiator between the separating couple on a safe, level playing field.

The disagreement agreement: Putting your separation in writing

Sometimes, despite a promising beginning, a marriage or long-term relationship can go sour. It may be a sudden turn or it may be a gradual process. As it deteriorates, it might seem as if a couple cannot manage to agree on anything.

There may come a day, however, when both you and your partner can agree on one thing: it’s time to go your separate ways. There are different methods for going about this and the legal implications vary, depending on the nature of your relationship. For many would-be ex-partners in Ontario, a separation agreement is a sensible way to start.

Check out the impact divorce can have on your business

There are daily articles and online posts about the impact of divorce on families. Divorce, particularly high conflict divorce, can also impact businesses. Here are five common ways that a business can be affected when an employee is going through a divorce: 

Are you able to Stick to the Negotiations when it gets rough?

A court procedure does not ask of the sides to work together to find a solution. Both sides are encouraged to take starkly different starting positions and over time it is expected they will gradually move to the center which will produce a solution. When this doesn't happen a trial takes place and a judge imposes a solution.

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