Category: Frequently asked questions

How can I support a client who has left a forced marriage?

Forced marriage is a practice in which a marriage takes place without the free consent of either or both of the people getting married. Arranged marriage can appear similar to forced marriage, inasmuch as family members are involved in selecting

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My ex-partner is using family court to continue harassing me. Is this legal bullying?

thoughtful young woman

One particular example of the ongoing abuse many women experience when they leave their partner is legal bullying, especially in family court. This abuse/bullying can take many forms. One of the most common is that the abuser decides to represent

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What is a Voice of the Child Report?

mother holding daughter who looks content

A relatively new concept in Canada, voice of the child reports are one technique to ensure that children have the opportunity to be heard in custody proceedings. Such a report, sometimes known as the views of the child, provides information

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What is arbitration?

woman holding a little boy

Many legal issues arise when a couple separates: custody and access, financial issues and dividing the family property are often the most pressing. Some people decide to attempt to resolve these issues without going to court and use one of

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What are the time limitations on applying for spousal support or a division of family property?

thoughtful young woman

UPDATED (from April 2015): Women who leave abusive relationships are often reluctant to pursue their financial rights. There are many reasons for this. Some women don’t know they may have a right to share in the family property or to

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How can I support a woman who is dealing with mental health and substance use as well as abuse by her partner?

Violence against women services generally are seeing more and more women with co-occurring issues. There are a number of reasons for this: As other community services become underfunded and over-extended, they are referring clients to VAW services Women who have

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When does Canada recognize a divorce from another country?

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This issue can arise in a number of contexts: a woman has moved to Canada after obtaining a divorce in her country of origin a woman returns to her country of origin and obtains a divorce while she is there

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What is the Family Responsibility Office?

woman holding a little boy

The Family Responsibility Office (FRO) is part of Ontario’s Ministry of Community and Social Services. It is responsible for collecting and distributing child and spousal support orders. Where the person paying the support is not doing so, FRO can take

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What is the Supervised Access Program?

mom consoling toddler girl

The Supervised Access Program makes it possible for separated families to deal with some of the problems related to custody and access, particularly when there are safety concerns for either the primary parent or the children. The Ministry of the

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What is parenting coordination?

mother holding daughter who looks content

Parenting coordination is a form of alternative dispute resolution that can assist parents implement their parenting plan, usually after a court order for custody and access is in place. Parenting coordinators (PC) are often mental health professionals, but lawyers and

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