Family Law Blog

What are you options for your mortgage when you divorce?

The financial matters on divorce can be complicated.  One of those can be what to do with your mortgage.  Here is a video (not by John Schuman) that explains your options.  You may also want to read this page on how property is divided at the end of a marriage and watch this video on spousal support as both can affect what you do with your mortgage.   Before you make any changes to your mortgage, the bank with want you to have a valid separation agreement, so read this page too.


For more information on family law issues, email John Schuman or get a copy of this $20, easy-to-understand book on Ontario Family Law, which addresses all the important things you need to know after separation. 

Does who left the marriage affect child support? How is child support calculated if I earn $22,000 and my husband earns $85,000 and the kids spend equal time with each of us?


Children entitled to child support

It absolutely does not matter why you separated.  Child support is the right of the child.  The conduct of the parents has nothing to do with it.


There are two components to child support: base support and section 7 expenses.  Here is a video that explains both.   Base support is based on the tables and the only factors to consider are income and number of children.  In a shared custody situation (the kids share their time approximately equally between their parents), the starting point is that you pay base child support to him based on your income and he pays base support to you base d on his income, but you set the two off against each other.  The result is that he pays you $899 per month based on the numbers you gave.  However, in a shared custody situation, particular facts can change that amount, but why or who left does not matter.    For even more information, listen to this podcast.


You may also be entitled to receive contribution towards "special or extraordinary expenses" on top of base child support.  This is a contribution towards things like daycare so you can work, medical expenses, special education expenses and expensive extracurricular activities. He may have to pay about 80% of those expenses too.  For more information on that, listen to this podcast


If he is self-employed, his child support obligation may be even higher.  


You may also be entitled to spousal support.  Watch this video.


Guide to the Basics of Ontario Famly Law - an easy to understand book to help with separation, divorce, family court, mediation, arbitration and child welfare

In your situation, it is worth your while to speak to a good family law/divorce lawyer.  There is a lot of money at stake.  You may also want to pick up a copy of this $20, easy-to-understand book on Ontario Family Law:   It explains child support, spousal support, and most other family law issues, and it also describes the Family Court process and the alternatives to court.  It should help you make good decisions about how to proceed and get the support to which you are entitled.

iBookstore_140x70Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law Available on Kindle


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My Granddaughter was taken by the Children’s Aid Society. How do I get her living with me?

Scared Child Taken by Children's Aid Society and in Foster Care

It is far better for your granddaughter to be in your care than in the care of foster parents.  You will love her and care for her in a way that foster parents just cannot.


But, you have to act fast.  I have done many of these cases. To get your granddaughter, you have to do these things immediately:

  1. First, you must get in touch with a good lawyer who does child protection law - a lawyer that specializes in doing cases involving children's aid societies.  You want to be at the court for the first appearance to tell the judge that your granddaughter should be with you.  There is a LOT to do to get that to happen at the first appearance, but it is important to ask the judge to do that right away.  For more information on that see this page.   The longer your granddaughter stays in care, the harder it will be to get her out.  If the judge allows your daughter to stay in foster care at the first appearance, she will likely be there for at least a month before the matter is back before the court again.  That is a long time for your daughter, a long time for you not to see her, and it makes it harder to get her out of foster care "once she has settled in." Your case is an "emergency" so the lawyer should see you right away and start working on your case right away. (This may cost you some money, but your granddaughter is worth it. To understand how lawyer's bill see this page.
  2. Go to the police station closest to your home and ask for a "vulnerable sector check" in addition to a criminal record check.  Before a judge or CAS will want to put a child in someone's care, they will both want some assurance that you are not criminals who have hurt children before (think of the coroner's case in Toronto right now involving Catholic Children's Aid). The vulnerable sector check is a more complete check, but ti takes longer. The criminal record check may get done quickly, and you will want to give it to the CAS and the court right away to have your child placed with you.
  3. Get some friends and neighbours together who will write letters, and eventually swear affidavits, saying you are good people and would be good parents for your granddaughter.  You also want to get your doctor to say that you are healthy, don't have have any mental illness and that you would be excellent parents.  You will want to give this information to the CAS and the Court right away, so you want it ready when you see the lawyer.
  4. Call the Children's Aid Society first thing tomorrow and ask to speak to the worker handling your granddaughter's file. Leave a voicemail message or email if you do not get through.  Tell the worker that you want to "plan" for your granddaughter.  That means you want your granddaughter placed in your care.  Under section 50(3.1) of the Child and Family Service Act. the Court must giver preference to placing your granddaughter over leaving her in foster care.  However, sometimes judges want the Children's Aid Society to investigate you first, and sometimes they are slow to do that (which is why you should do all the steps above).


When you speak to the Children's Aid Society, there are somethings to remember:

  1. You have to be really nice to them.  Even if they are being obnoxious, they will not agree to place your granddaughter with you unless they feel they can "work with you."  So, you have to be cooperative, even more than you think you should, to convince the CAS workers that they can "work with you."
  2. You must express that your primary concern is your granddaughter, not your daughter.  The CAS is concerned about protecting children, not their parents.  If the CAS thinks you are more interested in helping your daughter, they will not place your granddaughter with you because they will assume you will not protect your granddaughter from whatever they think your daughter did.
  3. You must tell the CAS that you accept that your daughter might have done what they allege, even if you don't believe that she did.  The CAS believes that your daughter did something terrible, that is why they took your granddaughter away.  If you don't express openness to the possibility that the CAS is right, then the agency will think you will not protect your granddaughter from your daughter, or the types of dangers to which your daughter exposed your grandaughter. Keep in mind when you are speaking to the CAS that if there are criminal charges against your daughter, they will tell everything you say to the police.  So you have to walk a fine line of accepting that the allegations might be true, without confirming that they are true, which will help the police in the criminal case.
  4. Be prepared to open up everything about your life to the CAS.  They will want to investigate every nook and cranny of your life, going back a long way.  They will want to know how you could have raised a daughter who did the terrible things they say your daughter did.  They will want to make sure you are very good people before they place your granddaughter with you.  They will want references, police record checks, and authorizations to speak to all the professionals (doctors, therapists, etc.) that have heled you.
  5. Make sure your house is suitable for your granddaughter to live in - before the CAS comes to visit.  Make sure it very clean.  If it has to baby proofed than do it.  If you have to convert a hobby room into a child's room or nursery, than do it.  The CAS will not put your granddaughter into your care unless they are are convinced that you are ready to care for her.  The best way to show you are ready is to have your home ready.


Guide to the Basics of Ontario Famly Law - an easy to understand book to help with separation, divorce, family court, mediation, arbitration and child welfareGuide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law Available on Kindle

There is a lot more to know about dealing with children's aid societies.  There are a lot of traps you can fall into. It can be very frustrating.  You need a lawyer to be at your side. You may also want to get a copy of this $20, easy-to-understand book on Ontario Family Law. It has a chapter on children's aid society cases and it describes the court process in detail so you know what you are in for.  There will be a court order that places conditions on you if your daughter is placed with you, so you need to understand the law and your situation to protect yourself while you are protecting your granddaughter.

But, it is almost certain that your granddaughter will do much better in your care in than in foster care.

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COMMENTS:

LZadik Shapiro  Law Offices of C.Zadik Shapiro (San Francisco, CA):

Well done.  While the terminology may be different in states the advice is good.



© John P. Schuman 2012-2017