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GM Oshawa Assembly Plant Closing & Divorce

The Ghosts of GM: Past, Present and Future

On November 26, 2018, the General Motors Company (GM) announced that it will cease allocating new product to its Oshawa assembly plant beyond the end of 2019. This came as a shock to the 2,500 employees who work at the Oshawa plant and the many more who depend on their income. While the jury is still out on whether GM will be laying off or re-training its 2,500 employees, one thing is certain—a large cohort of GM’s employees stand to lose their livelihood.

Whether laid off or re-trained, employees who have a potential, current or settled family law matter will need to govern themselves wisely to weather the impact that closure will have on their day-to-day lives. Accordingly, this post explores the likely, and, not so likely, family law implications of GM’s closure of its once thriving Oshawa assembly plant.

The Ghost of GM Past: Settled Family Law Matters

If your family law matter was previously settled by way of a Separation Agreement or Final Order, the loss of employment income may trigger a review of child support or spousal support, or parenting.

Support obligations

It is likely that the loss of employment income will mean that you cannot afford to pay child support and/or spousal support as set out in a Separation Agreement or Final Order. In the case of a Separation Agreement, you may be able to rely on a built-in review clause to revisit the issue of support. Most Separation Agreements contain a dispute resolution clause which may be the first place to start in this endeavor. In the case of a Final Order, you will likely want to bring a Motion to Change a Final Order if you and your ex-spouse cannot agree on the appropriate adjustment out of court. A qualified lawyer can assist with making this process as seamless as possible.

Parenting

It is not likely that your loss of income will impact settled parenting arrangements. However, you may find yourself needing to reduce your parenting time with the children in order to focus on finding a new job. In this scenario, you may likely need to rely on the dispute resolution clause in your Separation Agreement or bring a Motion to Change a Final Order altering an access schedule in order to achieve the desired relief.

The Ghost of GM Present: Current Family Law Matters

If you are currently going through a legal separation from your spouse, the loss of employment income may affect a number of aspects in your separation, including but not limited to, support, assets and liabilities and alternative career planning.

Child support and spousal support

You may have credible grounds by which to vary a temporary Order for support in your legal proceeding. As an Order for support would have been based on your GM income at the time, the Order may be varied by the new circumstances. You may seek such relief at a pre-trial conference or by bringing a motion. It is not likely, however, that your loss of income resulting from being laid off will extinguish your entire obligation to pay support. Rather, you may still be required to pay support on the basis of employment insurance income or imputed income. However, the extent of any such continuing obligation depends on the particular facts of your case.

Assets and liabilities

The loss of employment income may result in a budgetary deficit, impacting your ability to keep the matrimonial home. If you are no longer able to maintain your share of the mortgage and bills associated with the matrimonial home, it may have to be listed for sale—which may be the most poignant of all of your post-closure concerns. Worry not. There may be options available to you for preventing this outcome such as, a buy-out, borrowing or disposition of investments, RRSPs, RRIFs or your GM pension. However, the viability of these options to save the matrimonial home will need to be assessed against the surrounding issues in your proceeding such as support, equalization and other issues relevant to your case.

Alternative career planning

You may wish to delay your re-entry into the workforce to obtain credentials in a more stable industry. While this will yield economic benefits in the long run, your current financial obligations of support and solvency will be deciding factors. Delayed income generation caused by alternative career training may likely be manageable provided that the financial obligations of your ongoing separation are minimal. However, your freedom and ability to pursue such an undertaking may require a corresponding compromise and will depend on the unique facts of your case.

The Ghost of GM Future: Potential Family Law Matters

If you have been planning to separate from your spouse, the loss of employment income can have significant family law implications on a number of obligations arising in separation, including but not limited to, support, parenting and family property.

Child support and spousal support

It is not likely that being laid off will defer support obligations. You may be obligated to pay support if you receive employment insurance income sufficient enough to meet legislative minimums. If you do not qualify for employment insurance, your spouse may still seek support by imputing an income on you commensurate with your work experience, whereby you will be required to pay support. In either scenario, the obligation to pay child support and spousal support may survive the loss of income depending on the facts of your particular situation.

Parenting

It is likely that being laid off will mean expanded parenting time. While increased parenting time may yield social benefits, it may also impinge on your economic rehabilitation. Your spouse may expect you to dedicate your new found time to caring for young children who are not in school. These, and other significant changes to parenting time after initiating your separation, may likely hinder your re-entry into the workforce. A properly drafted parenting agreement can help by moderating unrealistic expectations.

Family property

You will have a legal duty upon separating from your spouse to avoid the reckless depletion of family property. While you may wish to list personal or real property for sale to help make ends meet, it is not likely that you will be able to freely dispose of family property after your date of separation without your spouse’s prior consent or proper accounting. You will have to be mindful of how you manage family property as mismanagement may prejudice the equalization of net family property and may result in a Court order.

Bottom line

The closure of GM’s Oshawa assembly plant in 2019 will disrupt the lives of many families, the impact of which might be felt most by those dealing with a potential, current or settled family law matter. Contacting a lawyer for legal advice tailored to the particular facts of your case is a proven way to mitigate the effects of an imminent disruption to income. While it may seem impossible to afford a lawyer at this time, there may be options available to finance the cost of much-needed legal representation.

At Russell Alexander Collaborative 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.

What is the Resolution Evolution – the Path to Peace?

What is the Resolution Evolution – the Path to Peace?

The Resolution Evolution – the Path to Peace is an OCLF/OAFM Conference and your opportunity to take advantage of world-class training close to home, to meet and network with other collaborative professionals, and to socialize with our professional colleagues.

The conference will run May 2, 3 & 4, 2019 at the Brookstreet Hotel, Ottawa, Ontario.

To register or learn more, click here.

Russell I. Alexander Awards 2016 Charitable Giving Fund Grant to Lindsay Girls Hockey Association

lynx-nov-2016

Pictured: Lynx Miget team Associate Lawyer Amie Daurio and Ashley Bobay of Russell Alexander, Collaborative Family Lawyers

 

Russell I. Alexander Giving Fund

NEWS & PRESS

Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Contact: Darla Weir
Marketing Coordinator, 905.655.6335

Russell I. Alexander Awards 2016 Charitable Giving Fund Grant

Lindsay Girls Hockey Association is excited to receive $835.00.

LINDSAY, ON November 29, 2016 –

A local business has just boosted the Lindsay Girls Hockey Association rep hockey team with a grant of $835.00. The hockey organization was founded in 1998 and celebrating its 17th Year. The Lynx Hockey League and Rep program supports 130 female players ages 9 to 17. This grant will support the replacement of home jerseys for teams from Atom to Midget.

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.

Lynx President, Len McGinn said that, “female hockey in the City of Kawartha Lakes is growing consistently year over year. It’s lynxwith the generous contribution of the Russell I Alexander Giving Fund that our Association can provide home jerseys for all our Rep teams. This season the RIA Giving Fund aided in the replacement of our Midget Tier 2 jerseys. The Lynx have a responsibility to maintain a positive hockey environment that strives to keep the sport as affordable as possible. Working with the RIA Giving Fund helps our Association achieve that mandate.”

About Russell I. Alexander

Russell I. Alexander is a law firm dedicated solely to family law. With experienced lawyers and staff of 13 people, the firm provides guidance on matters relating to family law. For additional information about the Russell I. Alexander Giving Fund, please visit russellalexander.com.

Previous Giving Fund recipients include: Covenant House Homeless Youth Shelter, Lindsay Muskies Hockey Association, Whitby Girls Hockey Association and Luke’s Place.

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.

Wednesday’s Video Clip: Legal Fees

Wednesday’s Video Clip: Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers & Our Fees

In this video Russell discusses our fees and how they are based on the following elements:

(a) The time spent on your behalf, and the service which is performed;

(b) The complexities of the issues, and your potential emotional and monetary exposure;

(c) The results accomplished, and the extent to which the expertise of this firm contributed to a successful outcome;

(d) The degree and type of resistance encountered; and,

(e) The extent to which any work needs to be performed on an emergency basis.

None of these elements are capable of a precise arithmetic assessment, and no such assessment is attempted, except in a general way with respect to the time spent. A standard hourly rate, is applied to convert the time into a monetary figure. Any amount that exceeds the number of hours multiplied by the standard rates is the result of the weighing of the other elements mentioned.

We charge standard hourly rates for the work done by our law clerks and lawyers for the time spent on your case. Records are kept (in our computer time-keeping system) by us to the nearest one tenth of an hour, for all activity on your case, including conferences, telephone calls, e-mail, preparing correspondence and memoranda, drafting documents, research and travel time. Each hour billed to you is based on actual work done on your particular case.

Our absence from the office on your behalf is charged at the usual hourly rate. Travel time includes attending at court, settlement conferences, meetings, or consultations on your behalf. We will minimize travel expenses and courthouse time, if any, whenever possible. However, as you will be charged for our traveling time (in addition to the counsel fee), it may be worthwhile to consider whether a local lawyer is desirable for you if your litigation is taking place in another community.

If your appointment is for a consultation only, in order for you to receive advice on a limited number of issues, or, for example, for a second opinion, you will be billed a flat rate consultation fee, payable prior to the consultation. The consultation is not meant to deal with your whole legal problem. These rates are reduced rates, and apply only if the fee is paid at the time of the consultation. The rates are calculated on the basis of the average amount of time spent by our lawyers on consultations in the most recent year.

Wednesday’s Video Clip: Associate Lawyer Wendy Loydd

 

Wednesday’s Video Clip: Associate Lawyer Wendy Loydd

In 2000, Wendy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton University in Ottawa where she majored in Law and Sociology. Wendy completed the combined J.D-LL.B. program with the University of Ottawa and Michigan State University, and obtained both a LL.B and a Juris Doctorate in 2005. Wendy was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2006.

Prior to joining Russell Alexander as an Associate, Wendy practiced family law with a firm in Mississauga, Ontario. Wendy also has a working knowledge of the French language. Wendy has traveled extensively, including: Hong Kong, Mexico, Cuba, Bahamas, Jamaica, Antigua, England, the Dominican Republic and the Philippines. In her spare time she likes to read, ski, travel, and spend time with family and friends.

For more information the services Wendy provides, visit us at www.RussellAlexander.com

Or become a Fan and join us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RussellAlexanderFamilyLawyers

Wednesday’s Video Clip: Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers

In this short video Russell Alexander discusses the services offered 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

Or become a Fan and join our discussion on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RussellAlexanderFamilyLawyers

Wednesday’s Video Clip: Wendy A Lloyd

Wendy A Lloyd

In this short video Wendy Lloyd discusses the services offered at Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers.

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

Or become a Fan and join our discussion on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RussellAlexanderFamilyLawyers

We are please to announce that Abi Adeusi has joined our team!

We are please to announce that Abi Adeusi has joined our team!

Abi Adeusi is an associate lawyer at our firm practicing exclusively family law. Abi obtained her law degree from the University of Wolverhampton England in 1993. After taking time to start and raise her family she returned to the law profession in 2002 and articled in London with a very busy and dynamic law firm. After enjoying a very successful practice as a Solicitor, Abi moved to Canada in the summer of 2008 with her family.

Abi, was called to the Bar by the Law Society of Upper Canada in June 2010 and started her practice in Southern Ontario with a focus family law. Abi is also licensed to practice Law in England and Wales. Abi’s memberships include Law Society of Upper Canada, the Law Society of England and Wales, the Ontario Bar Association, the Canadian Bar Association, the Durham Law Association, the Peterborough Law Association, and Northumberland County Law Association.

Abi has a varied and diverse cultural background and experience with a passion for people. When she is not practicing law Abi enjoys spending time with her family travelling and exercising. Clients love Abi’s client focused approach to resolving disputes and we are extremely excited to have her as a member of our team.

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