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Presentation of our $5,000.00 donation to the Kawartha Lakes Food Source

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Presentation of our $5,000.00 donation to the Kawartha Lakes Food Source

We presented our $5,000.00 donation to the Kawartha Lakes Food Source today to Dr Brian Fagan and Catherine Danbrook. Pictured: Associate Lawyers Ellito Vine and Nafisa Nazarali, Dr Brian Faga, Russell Alexander, Catherine Danbrook, Senior Associate Wendy Lloyd, and Associate Lawyer Aleksandra Czyzowska. Picture courtesy of Mark Ridout photography.

Top 5 questions about spousal support in Ontario, Canada – video

 
 

Wednesday’s Video Clip: Top 5 questions about spousal support in Ontario, Canada

In this video Russell reviews some of the more common questions about spousal support in Ontario, including:

1) What is spousal support?

Spousal support — which is sometimes called “alimony” — is money paid from one spouse to the other after the dissolution of the relationship. The obligation to pay spousal support is a legal one, and may arise either from a marriage, or from a common-law relationship.

2) What is the legal basis for obtaining spousal support?

The obligation for one spouse to pay spousal support to the other does not arise automatically from the fact that the parties had a relationship together (whether formally married or common law). Rather, the spouse who is claiming spousal support must prove an entitlement to it.

 

3) What factors dictate the duration and amount of spousal support?

The determination of how much support a spouse should receive, and for how long, is a complex equation.

In some cases one spouse may have suffered a financial loss or disadvantage as result of joint career and lifestyle decisions made during the marriage or relationship (for example the decision to move the family so that a spouse can take a new job, or that the mother will give up her career to stay home and raise the children). A disadvantaged spouse will be entitled to support to compensate him or her for that setback.

4) How does the spouse’s behaviour affect spousal support entitlement?

Generally speaking, the entitlement to spousal support is not dependent on the spouse’s pre- or post-separation behaviour, morality, or ethical conduct. In other words, a spouse who is otherwise entitled to spousal support after the dissolution of a marriage will not become disentitled because he or she was violent, or because it is later discovered that he or she had an extra-marital affair during the marriage.

5) What happens if there is a change in circumstances?

As indicated above, the notion of one spouse receiving spousal support from the other is rooted in several concepts and principles.

The amount or duration of spousal support may have to be adjusted if there is significant change in the financial circumstances of either party. This change must be significant, and must not have been foreseen when the separation agreement or the court-ordered spousal support award was made.

We hope you have found this video helpful. If you require further information about spousal support please give us a call or visit our website at www.russellalexander.com

Russell I. Alexander Awards 2014 Charitable Giving Fund Grant to The Kawartha Lakes Food Source

food

Russell I. Alexander Awards 2014 Charitable Giving Fund Grant to The Kawartha Lakes Food Source

Russell I. Alexander Giving Fund

NEWS & PRESS

Tuesday, December 16h, 2014

Contact: Darla Weir

Marketing Coordinator, 905.655.6335

Russell I. Alexander Awards 2014 Charitable Giving Fund Grant to Kawartha Lakes Food Source

The Kawartha Lakes Food Source is excited to receive $5,000.00.

LINDSAY, ON December 16th, 2014 –

A local business has just helped a local food bank with a grant of $5,000.00. The Kawartha Lakes Food Source is a community effort and not-for-profit organization of volunteers working to reduce hunger in the City of Kawartha Lakes

The Russell I. Alexander Charitable Giving Fund provides grants and financial support to community organizations that are doing great work, but may not be as visible as some of their larger counterparts.

Board Member Dr. Brian Fagan notes that “Kawartha Lakes Food Source opened its doors in March of 2002, after research by members of Rotary revealed a patchwork system of food aid by churches and social agencies. With one agency devoted to collecting and distributing food to food banks, front-line workers could focus on clients rather than stocking their shelves. …the working poor and one-third are on provincial disability support while nine per cent are on a pension. About 40 per cent of those receiving food from the Food Source through its members are children. …In a three-month period, the Food Source provides 11,000 servings of milk, fresh fruit and healthy snacks such as granola bars to hungry schoolchildren.”

About Russell I. Alexander

Russell I. Alexander is a law firm dedicated solely to family law. With five experienced lawyers and a great team of law clerks and support staff, the firm provides guidance on matters relating to family law. For additional information about the Russell I. Alexander Giving Fund, please visit www.russellalexander.com.

Previous Giving Fund recipients include: Covenant House Homeless Youth Shelter, Lindsay Muskies Hockey Association, Whitby Girls Hockey Association and the Lindsay Lynx Girls Hockey Association.

To learn more about the Russell I. Alexander, Family Lawyers, you can also visit them on Facebook at:

www.facebook.com/RussellAlexanderFamilyLawyers

Interviews with Mr. Alexander and or his staff can be arranged by contacting 905.655.6335.

He Said, She Said: Did Husband Ask Wife Not to Work During Marriage? Or Did Wife Refuse to Get a Job?

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He Said, She Said: Did Husband Ask Wife Not to Work During Marriage? Or Did Wife Refuse to Get a Job?

This was an interim spousal support claim by the wife, in a situation where she and the husband had lived together common law for a period spanning somewhere between 11 and 13 years. Both were now 65 years old.

In the context of determining the proper amount, the wife claimed that she had never worked outside the home during the marriage because the husband had asked her not to. The husband’s version was different, with the court explaining it this way:

[The wife] therefore says that as a result of her absence from the workforce, at [the husband’s] request, she was economically disadvantaged by the division of labour during their relationship. [The husband] denies this and says she refused to seek employment during their relationship in spite of his encouragement that she do so.

The court evidently accepted the wife’s version, because it awarded her the full support she was asking for.

In doing so, it considered that she was currently earning about $16,000 per year, while the husband was self-employed as a commercial freight broker. His exact income, however, was the subject of some speculation because he had not made full financial disclosure, despite the wife’s request. Also, while for the year 2013 he reported an income of only $20,000, the court noted that he leased two luxury vehicles, and travelled frequently. His banking activity and payment history on almost $185,000 owing on eight different credit cards also belied the reported income amount. Finally, on an immigration application for his cousin, he also claimed to be earning $240,000, which the court found was closer to the real amount. After making various adjustments the court ultimately settled on an imputed income to the husband of almost $135,000.

In the end, the court found that the wife had been economically disadvantaged during the marriage, and after taking into account other factors, ordered the husband to pay her over $3,700 per month, plus $14,500 in retroactive support that he should have been paying all along.

Tarnowski v. Bober (2014), 2014 CarswellOnt 15416, 2014 ONSC 6271, Price J. (Ont. S.C.J.) [Ontario]

 

At Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. For more information, visit us at www.RussellAlexander.com.

Wife Goes Back to School, Improves Income by 75% – Does Husband Get Support?

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Wife Goes Back to School, Improves Income by 75% – Does Husband Get Support?

In a recent case called Regnier v. Regnier, the court considered a narrow issue: whether a wife’s decision during the marriage to go back to school automatically meant that the husband suffered financial disadvantage, for which he should be compensated by way of spousal support.

The couple had been married almost 20 years when they separated. Although both were making about $100,000 each in the years leading up to that event, the wife had improved her income by recently completing a 20-month Master’s program. She had done so while continuing to work full-time as a nurse.

With the Master’s degree in hand, she was now earning about $172,000 – an increase of almost 75%. This drastic increase in the wife’s income prompted the husband to ask the court for an order forcing her to pay him spousal support.
The court declined.

Given that the wife did her studying largely at home, the husband and their children essentially had to commit to and cooperate with her plan for career advancement. However, that plan was intended to benefit them all as a family. Moreover, the wife’s greatly-improved earnings had nothing to do with any financial sacrifice by the husband — who, it had to be pointed out, continued to have success at his own work, and to enjoy various promotion opportunities.

The court pointed out that under Canadian law, compensatory-type spousal support is intended “as a means of indemnifying a spouse who suffers economic disadvantage flowing from the marriage and its breakdown.” But this was simply not the situation here. Rather – and while conceding that the husband likely had to perform household tasks he was otherwise unaccustomed to doing – the court concluded that he “did not advance any evidence tending to show that he suffered any prejudice to his employment opportunities or aspirations. His complaint was mostly related to unrealized purchases he had hoped for, such as a sports car to work on.”

The husband’s claim for spousal support was dismissed.

For the full-text of the decision, see:

Regnier v. Regnier, 2014 ONSC 5480

At Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. For more information, visit us at www.RussellAlexander.com.

How are child payments taxed? – video

 

Wednesday’s Video Clip: How are child payments taxed?

In this video we discuss the tax consequences of child support.

Parents who receive child support payments under an agreement or court order made after April 30, 1997, do not have to include those payments in their taxable income. Parents who make these payments cannot deduct the payments from their taxable income..

The new tax rule means that more of the support money received by the parent with custody is available to spend on the children. It also means that parents paying child support under an agreement or court order made after April 30, 1997, will have less after-tax income than parents paying the same amount according to an agreement or order made under the old tax rule. Courts take this into account when making new support orders.

If one parent wants to change to the new tax rule, but the other does not, the parent who wants the change must apply to court to change the existing child support order or agreement. Parents thinking of doing this should be aware that when the court makes a new child support order or changes an existing order or agreement, it must apply the Child Support Guidelines.

At Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. For more information, visit us at www.RussellAlexander.com.

After Paying 16 Years of Child Support, Man Learns He is Not the Father – Should He Get a “Refund”?

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After Paying 16 Years of Child Support, Man Learns He is Not the Father – Should He Get a “Refund”?

Family law has no shortage of interesting cases; in this Ontario decision, which was handed down just a few days ago, there was a “plot twist” that would rival one you’d find on any reality TV show.

The couple met in 1997 when they were both in relationships with other people. (In the woman’s case, she was married and in the process of separating from her husband). They started a casual sexual relationship, and about eight months later the woman gave birth to a child. The mother estimated the child must have been born 10 to 12 weeks prematurely; apparently both assumed the man was the biological father and they signed the birth papers accordingly.

The man started paying $100 in monthly child support, and continued to pay faithfully for 16 years, even though they never lived together as a family and no real parent-child relationship was ever fostered.

Then, everything changed: At the request of Ontario Works (from whom she had been receiving social assistance) the woman took the man to court to ask for a substantial increase in the amount of child support he was obliged to pay, which was to be geared to his current income. In response, the man asked for a DNA paternity test, which proved he was not the biological father.

With these results out in the open, they then agreed to terminate the man’s obligation to pay child support, but he (again at the behest of the social assistance office) took it one step further – he asked to have all his prior payments over the past 16 years returned to him, totalling almost $17,000.

The court refused the man’s request. Even though he was not the true father (and indeed claimed he had not even seen the child since 2000, which the court questioned), the man had shown a settled intention right from the beginning to treat the child as his own, and could not now withdraw his financial support unilaterally. As the court observed: “Of considerable importance was [the man’s] comment that he always considered [the child] to be his son until the DNA paternity test said otherwise in 2014.” It was also important to note that in law, the needed “settled intention” was not contingent on the man actually knowing the child was not his.

Also, there was no evidence that the woman had misled the man into believing that he was biological parent; to the contrary, at the time of the child’s birth she honestly believed he was the father. Even if the man had doubts himself, he did not investigate: In the first year or two the woman had mentioned there had been some “overlap” between the end of the sexual relationship with her former husband and the beginning of the casual relationship with the man. The man could have requested a paternity test at the time, but instead he waited another 14 years.

In this case, the best interests of the child governed. Even though he was not the real father, the court confirmed that in law the man had a historical obligation to pay child, and declined to order the money returned. (By agreement, he was no longer obliged to pay going-forward, however.)

What are your thoughts on this decision? Should the man have gotten his child support money back?

For the full text of the decision, see:

Day v. Weir, 2014 CarswellOnt 15022, 2014 ONSC 5975

At Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. For more information, visit our main site.

Russell I. Alexander Awards 2014 Charitable Giving Fund Grant to The Kawartha Lakes Food Source

food

Russell I. Alexander Awards 2014 Charitable Giving Fund Grant to The Kawartha Lakes Food Source

Russell I. Alexander Giving Fund

 NEWS & PRESS

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Contact: Darla Weir

Marketing Coordinator, 905.655.6335

Russell I. Alexander Awards 2014 Charitable Giving Fund Grant to Kawartha Lakes Food Source

The Kawartha Lakes Food Source is excited to receive $5,000.00.

LINDSAY, ON December 16th, 2014 –

A local business has just helped a local food bank with a grant of $5,000.00. The Kawartha Lakes Food Source is a community effort and not-for-profit organization of volunteers working to reduce hunger in the City of Kawartha Lakes

The Russell I. Alexander Charitable Giving Fund provides grants and financial support to community organizations that are doing great work, but may not be as visible as some of their larger counterparts.

Board Member Dr. Brian Fagan notes that “Kawartha Lakes Food Source opened its doors in March of 2002, after research by members of Rotary revealed a patchwork system of food aid by churches and social agencies. With one agency devoted to collecting and distributing food to food banks, front-line workers could focus on clients rather than stocking their shelves. …the working poor and one-third are on provincial disability support while nine per cent are on a pension. About 40 per cent of those receiving food from the Food Source through its members are children. …In a three-month period, the Food Source provides 11,000 servings of milk, fresh fruit and healthy snacks such as granola bars to hungry schoolchildren.”

About Russell I. Alexander

Russell I. Alexander is a law firm dedicated solely to family law. With five experienced lawyers and a great team of law clerks and support staff, the firm provides guidance on matters relating to family law. For additional information about the Russell I. Alexander Giving Fund, please visit www.russellalexander.com.

Previous Giving Fund recipients include: Covenant House Homeless Youth Shelter, Lindsay Muskies Hockey Association, Whitby Girls Hockey Association and the Lindsay Lynx Girls Hockey Association.

To learn more about the Russell I. Alexander, Family Lawyers, you can also visit them on Facebook at:

www.facebook.com/RussellAlexanderFamilyLawyers

Interviews with Mr. Alexander and or his staff can be arranged by contacting 905.655.6335.

Time To Nominate Your Favourite Law Blogs For the 2014 Clawbies– #clawbies2014, @DanPinnington, @davidpwhelan, @chrisjaglowitz

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Time To Nominate Your Favourite Law Blogs For the 2014 Clawbies — #clawbies2014, @DanPinnington, @davidpwhelan, @chrisjaglowitz

Yes it’s that favorite time of year (no not Christmas), time to nominate your favorite law blogs for the 2014 Clawbies.

Three Canadian blogs that I follow and have caught my attention this year and constitute my nominations for the 2014 Clawbies are:

1. Dan Pinnington and “Avoid A Claim” 

I have had the pleasure of speaking and co-presenting with Dan Pinnington at legal technology conferences and he is well-known for his “tech tips”. As the Vice President Claims Prevention and Stakeholder Relations at the Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company, Dan helps lawyers avoid malpractice claims and helps LAWPRO reach out to its stakeholders. His vision, energy and ideas have made practicePRO an internationally recognized claims prevention initiative. His blog has great technology and practice tips that all practitioners will find immensely useful.

2. David Whelan and “Explorations with Information and Technology

David has worked in academia and for non-profits wearing hats as diverse as library director, chief information officer, electronic services librarian, adjunct lecturer on networked library systems, and Web team manager.  David is a leader in information, technology and the law. I have also had the pleasure of speaking and co-presenting with David at the OBA’s recent TECHxpo 2.0 conference in Toronto.

3. Chris Jaglowitz and “Ontario Condo Law Blog

Chris edits and runs Ontario Condo Law Blog which aims to provide timely and topical information, news and commentary to inform and enlighten members of the condominium community in the Province of Ontario, including: commentary on recent and developing trends, digests of recent court decisions, condo-related news from around the province and around the world.

clawbies2

Good luck to everyone who is nominated and to our judges who will have a tough time deciding who are best of the best, cream of the crop, the top guns in legal blogging. With over 400 Canadian legal blogs on the internet it will not be easy finding Goose and Maverick.

Click here to learn more about the 2014 Clawbies.

How Base Child Support is Calculated – video


 

Wednesday’s Video Clip How Base Child Support is Calculated

In this video we discuss how the Child Support Table in the Guidelines sets out the amounts of support to be paid, depending on the “gross income” of the paying parent and the number of children that the support order covers. Gross income means before taxes and most other deductions. The amounts to be paid are based on the average amounts of money that parents at various income levels spend to raise a child.

The table sets out the amount of support that must be paid at different income levels from $8,000 to $150,000, depending on the number of children. A base amount is given for every $1,000 increase in income, along with a way to calculate amounts in between.

There is also a Simplified Table where you can look up the paying parent’s income to the nearest $100, without having to do any calculations.

Sometimes, a judge does not accept a parent’s statement of income. Instead the judge uses an amount of income that is reasonable based on things such as the parent’s work history, past income, and education. The judge will then apply the table to that income.

A judge might do this if the parent:

• fails to provide the required income information

• is deliberately unemployed or under employed, or

• is self-employed or working “under the table”, and there is reason to believe they do not report all of their income

Before the Guidelines came into effect, judges had more flexibility in deciding the amount of support. Now, in simple cases, judges must order the amount shown in the table. Judges can order different amounts, but only in special cases. And they must use the table amount as a guide