Separating? Three Options to Consider Before You “Lawyer Up”
by Jason Murphy | Oct 04, 2015 It’s a common scenario: a couple's relationship is over and they agree to take formal steps to separate. They want to keep things amicable, keep costs down and, most of all, keep things out of court. Their emotions may be high, but their intentions are good. Unfortunately, the next step that many couples take – each going to a traditional family law lawyer - is often the wrong one. Getting a good lawyer [...]
Who Should Be on Title to Your Home?
by Alisha Johnson | Jan 02, 2014 Whether buying property, beginning a new relationship, rearranging affairs after a marital breakdown, or in the context of estate planning, how title to your home, cottage or rental property is held should be a matter of careful consideration. Title in One Name. It is common for multiple parties to contribute funds to a property but to have only one party hold title to it. Co-owners deciding to register real property in only one [...]
New Consumer Protection Law Effects Realtors
by Jason Murphy | Nov 29, 2013 The Ontario legislature has unanimously passed new consumer protection laws, placing new requirements on realtors, debt settlement services and door-to-door water heater salespeople. Of note to realtors and home buyers, "The Stronger Protection for Ontario Consumers Act" amends the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 in two significant ways: Realtors may now charge a fee, a commission, or a combination of both for the services they offer. The goal is to allow [...]
Who Gets the Engagement Ring if the Wedding is Called Off?
by Jason Murphy | Sep 21, 2013 A case between a feuding ex-couple this week in Vancouver is raising eyebrows as well as an old legal problem: who gets the engagement ring if the wedding is called off? Pasquale Zampieri has asked the B.C. Supreme Court for the return of a $16,500 ring he gave his fiancee, Jessica Bennett, after Bennett broke off their brief engagement. The former couple's dispute continued outside the courtroom in front of the press, with [...]
A Simple Way to Revoke your Will – Get Married
by Jason Murphy | Sep 17, 2013 Under Ontario law, your will is revoked when you get married, unless you make a specific declaration in the will that it is “made in contemplation of the marriage”. Failing to review your will before marriage can therefore have disastrous consequences for your estate planning, as shown in the recent case of Caron v. Rowe. Paul Rowe made a will in May of 2009. He left his entire estate to his parents. The [...]
Will You Win a “Battle of the Forms”?
by Jason Murphy | Apr 23, 2013 “See our standard terms and conditions” is a phrase encountered every day in the purchase or sale of goods and services. Businesses often put these terms somewhere on their standard forms or refer customers to their website for a full copy of the “fine print”. Typically, a buyer’s standard form will set out price, delivery, payment terms and warranties. It might also require that any disputes between buyer and seller be settled in [...]
Step-Parents Can Pay Child Support Too
by Jason Murphy | Apr 23, 2013 More than half a million Canadian couples live in “blended” families – meaning at least one child in the household is from a previous relationship of one of the parents. With our country’s high rate of relationship breakdown, the number of blended families is steadily rising. But, common as blended families are, couples are often surprised to learn that they may have to pay child support to their non-biological, or “step-children”, when a [...]
Think b4 u txt or pay the $
by Jason Murphy | Apr 23, 2013 By now, we’ve all seen graphic ads warning us about the dangers of texting while driving. But recent cases show that thoughtless texting with your ex can also wreck your family law case and even earn you a criminal record. In Menchella v. Menchella, the Court ordered a husband to vacate the matrimonial home and granted the wife exclusive possession of it after a series of text messages from the husband where he [...]
The Charter’s Lonely 30th Birthday
by Jason Murphy | Dec 27, 2012 There’s been plenty of memorializing by our federal government this year. According to Heritage Canada, we spent $7.5 million celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s 60th year on the throne. Medals were struck, educational materials for schools circulated and a book published to explain to the public, “the role of the Crown in Canada and our constitutional monarchy.” Another $28 million has been set aside to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. Heritage [...]
From the Darkness of the Rafferty Trial Comes Hope for the System
by Sitefinity Administrator | Dec 27, 2012 Like most people, I’ve been horrified by the images of unspeakable violence and cruelty that have emerged from the trial of Michael Rafferty. I couldn’t help but think of my own little girls every time the radio or web gave more details of the atrocity committed by Rafferty and Terri-Lynne McClintic against 8 year-old Victoria Stafford. Even trying to put myself in the shoes of the Stafford family often had me lunging for [...]
Keep the Power with a Power of Attorney
by Jason Murphy | Dec 27, 2012 Most of us will have a will drafted at some point in our lives to ensure our wishes are carried out after our deaths. But what if illness or injury leaves you alive but unable to make decisions about your finances or your health? In this situation, your wills would not apply and you would need a power of attorney to maintain control over your person and your property. What Are They? With [...]
Why Every Happy Couple Should Have a “Pre-Nup”
by Jason Murphy | Dec 27, 2012 Today I’m looking at marriage contracts and cohabitation agreements, or “pre-nups”, as they are commonly called. They may be the last thing you want to discuss with your loved one while picking out wedding rings or purchasing a home, but they may also be the smartest bit of planning you can do before tying the knot or sharing a roof. First, a little terminology. Cohabitation agreements are entered into by couples who are [...]