When you first meet with a Family Law Lawyer, you should bring a list of questions. Clients are often in an emotion state during the consultation, so having questions prepared may help you to understand your specific situation and also allow the lawyer to obtain more information about your case.
As a lawyer, I have been interviewing clients for 38 years. In that time, I have found one particularly sad phenomenon. I call it the "Doorknob Syndrome", but it is really the reluctance of an abused person to call themselves abused because the reality of being a victim is overwhelming. As a result, they leave out relevant and important disclosure necessary to help them.
Some months ago, I wrote a blog entitled "Should I Stay or Should I go, (Part 1 of 2)" and it talked about leaving a marriage/common law relationship. This blog entry is about what you do if you decide to stay in the relationship.
Many people are unable to raise their own children, whether due to ill health, death or being unprepared to shoulder the responsibility of children.
The solution is a family adoption.
Many people who come to family law lawyers have one foot out the door, but they haven't made the decision to leave. They have a family with their spouse and, while they're not thrilled about their spouse and claim they are not in love with them, they still have a life together. As a result, I'm often asked - should I stay or should I go?
I'm often asked, "I have been living with my boyfriend for the past year. We are as good as married, aren't we?"
Common law is common law and married is married. There are automatic rights on marriage, including support and property sharing which are not triggered simply because you live with someone.
Under Canada's Divorce Act, there are three grounds for divorce in Canada all termed "breakdown of the marriage":
- The spouses having lived separate and apart for at least on year, immediately prior to the divorce hearing occurring. Although the parties can commence a divorce, even if they have been only separated for one day, they will have to wait for the one year to pass before actually receiving a divorce, but to reiterate, can start the proceeding at any time after the separation;
- The spouse against whom the divorce proceeding is being brought by the other spouse must have committed adultery; or
- The spouse against whom the divorce proceeding is being brought must have treated the other spouse with physical and mental cruelty at a level to make a continued marriage "intolerable".