Category: Frequently asked questions

My partner and I are common law. Do I have the same rights as a married person?

woman holding a little boy

Many women in common-law relationships believe they have exactly the same legal rights as women who are married. While there are many commonalities, there are some important differences, especially with respect to the way in which property is divided if

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What is spousal support and am I eligible?

woman holding a little boy

The goal of spousal support is to encourage the financial independence of both spouses as appropriate in the circumstances of the relationship. For example, where one spouse stayed at home to raise the children or had to change jobs frequently

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If I leave my partner, how will our property be divided?

thoughtful young woman

Property division for people who are married Marriage is considered to be a partnership, with each spouse making equal, if different, contributions and sharing equally in the family’s property if the partnership ends. This includes property acquired during the years

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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?

hands on a book

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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