There are challenges in life that we just can’t fix on our own and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help, especially when it comes to legal matters in the family. To help address these, there are family laws or matrimonial laws that are created to protect each member of the family in cases of disputes.
Family lawyers are the professionals who deal specifically with family law cases. They help to ensure that the rights of every member of the family are exercised and protected. If you need an experienced, compassionate, and effective family lawyer in North York, you can visit kaylegal.ca for help and for more information on family laws.
If you’re unsure, here are reasons and situations that will tell you it may be time to seek the help of a family lawyer:
- Abuse And Neglect
Child maltreatment has been and still is a serious public health issue that can cause life-long consequences to children. It refers to harming or placing a child at risk of harm while in the care of either the parents, siblings, or relatives.
There are five types of child maltreatment:
- Physical abuse – The application of unreasonable force to any part of a child’s body
- Sexual abuse – This is the involvement of a child by an adult in any sexual act or gratification
- Neglect – The failure of a parent to provide for the physical or psychological needs of a child
- Emotional harm – Behavior wherein an adult poses psychological, emotional, or spiritual harm to a child
- Exposure to family violence – Allowing a child to be aware of the violence that’s been occurring in the family
The Divorce Act is the federal law that governs divorce in Canada. Canada practices a no-fault divorce, meaning, the divorce can be filed even if there are no wrongdoings made by either of the party. The Divorce Act states that the only ground for filing a divorce is a marriage breakdown. Further, it states that either party can show that their marriage has broken down if any of the following applies:
- Both have been living apart from each other for at least one year
- One has been abusive towards the other
- One party has committed adultery
It’s necessary to also consider your separation agreements. This is a written agreement with your former spouse about how the both of you will move forward and behave after your separation. You need to be able to agree to the terms in your own free will and must be able to live with it once it’s been bound by the court.
- Child Custody
Custody laws in Canada are composed of both the Divorce Act and the provincial custody legislation. Child custody is determined by the court in accordance with what serves the interests of the child best.
There are four types of child custody in Canada:
- Sole custody – One parent has full custody of the child, making that parent responsible for all the decisions that will affect the child
- Joint custody – Both of the parents are involved in the decision-making process for the child’s welfare
- Shared custody – Both parents have joint custody of the child and according to the law, both parents must spend at least 40% of their time with the child
- Split custody – This is when one parent has the custody of some of their children and the other parent has custody of the remaining children
- Spousal Support
Under the Divorce Act, spousal support or also known as ‘alimony,’ is likely to be given when there is a significant difference between the incomes of the spouses at the time of separation. Although, this might not always be the case. If the court finds that the spouse does not have the means to provide alimony or has a lower income, the spouse will be entitled to support.
It is important to understand that alimony is not an automatic right given to either of the spouses. The court must consider the following for spousal support:
- Help a spouse who is in need of financial aid if the other spouse has the capability to provide alimony
- Compensate the spouse who has the lower income for the ongoing care of their children
Aligned with these, the court must fairly consider that the spouse who will receive the alimony has the intention to become self-supporting.
Points To Ponder
Dealing with family issues can be overwhelming, especially when you’re dealing with them alone. Remember that it’s okay to ask for help as the right information will help guide you towards making better decisions. It’s important to know your rights and responsibilities as a spouse, parent, or child.