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Article

Bill and Melinda not the only high-net-worth couple whose divorce playbook is ahead of the curve

Laurie H. Pawlitza Special to Financial Post The news of Bill and Melinda Gates’ recent separation after 27 years of marriage has caused a media frenzy and a mix of awe and envy in family law cir...
May 14, 2021
Article

Updated Divorce Act emphasizes parental responsibilities over rights to children

Laurie H. Pawlitza Special to Financial Post Six weeks ago, the first significant changes in years were made to the Divorce Act, the federal legislation that deals with parenting, child and spous...
Apr 14, 2021
Article

Why the court is blocking an Alberta man's request for a quick divorce so he can remarry

Laurie H. Pawlitza Financial Post The Divorce Act allows a divorce to proceed once certain criteria have been met, one of which is that the couple must have been separated for at least...
Jan 13, 2021
Article

Why family separations can get messy when the major asset is a corporation

Laurie H. Pawlitza Special to National Post It is trite to say that in law, a corporation has its own rights and liabilities, and that the assets of the shareholder are not the assets of the cor...
Nov 27, 2020
Article

Pandemic has forced Ontario courts to embrace the future, but questions over technology use remain

Laurie H. Pawlitza Special to National Post The pandemic has created chaos across the globe in almost every industry and profession. But one silver lining in Canada has been that, despite the tu...
Sep 10, 2020
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

How much is 'unconscionable'? Why a 2009 decision is suddenly relevant again in high-stakes Ontario separation cases

Laurie H. Pawlitza Special to the National Post The financial fallout from COVID-19 is being felt far and wide, but for some Ontario couples who separated before the pandemic hit, the consequences c...
Aug 17, 2020
Article

No surge in domestic violence cases during COVID-19 lockdown — but it’s happening

Laurie H. Pawlitza Special to the National Post The Ontario trial courts (the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice) in March 2020 closed their doors to all but the most urgent ...
Jun 2, 2020
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What you need to know about getting support payments varied during the pandemic

Laurie H. Pawlitza Special to the National Post A global recession, soaring unemployment rates and an uncertain timeline for recovery are among the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. In...
May 26, 2020
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Here's why your Zoom wedding might not stand up in court

Laurie H. Pawlitza Special to the National Post Spring is wedding season — or at least it was, before the pandemic hit. Couples who have had venues booked and plans in place for many months have be...
Apr 30, 2020
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Can I get divorced during the COVID-19 pandemic and more burning family law questions

Laurie H. Pawlitza Special to the National Post The COVID-19 pandemic has forced couples and families into close quarters, disrupting routines and, in the case of some separated spouses, custody arr...
Apr 16, 2020
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Antiquated technology holding Ontario's justice system back during COVID-19 crisis

Laurie H. Pawlitza Special to the National Post The unprecedented directive to minimize social contact in an effort to battle the novel coronavirus pandemic is having a significant effect on the Ont...
Mar 30, 2020
Article

Location really is everything when it comes to dividing family property amid bankruptcy

Laurie H. Pawlitza Special to the National Post Resolving the way a separated couple’s property is dealt with can be complicated, but it gets even more complex if one of the spouses declares bankrup...
Feb 14, 2020
Article

Trading your share of the house for reduced child support could leave you paying more

Laurie H. Pawlitza Special to the National Post In family law, agreements reached between separating couples often contain more creative and individualized terms than do court orders. One spouse may...
Jan 9, 2020
Article

Disorder in the court: When one spouse ignores rulings, the other often pays the price

Laurie H. Pawlitza Special to the National Post Family courts seem to have an abundance of litigants who view court orders as “suggestions” only. Orders for support and for the payment o...
Nov 12, 2019
Article

How a three-year relationship can lead to 15 years of spousal support payments

Laurie H. Pawlitza Special to the National Post The length of time spousal support is payable to a dependent spouse after the relationship has ended remains one of the most vexing issues in family l...
Oct 8, 2019
Article

Why spousal support doesn't always end when your ex remarries

Laurie H. Pawlitza Special to the National Post Most support payors assume that when their former spouse re-partners, their support payments will end. But as a case that recently came before the B.C...
Sep 12, 2019
Article

What is ‘table’ child support and why is it so hard to get it reduced?

Laurie H. Pawlitza Special to the National Post Separated spouses who pay child support are often surprised by the short shrift family lawyers give them when they ask why there is such strict adhere...
Aug 14, 2019
Article

Joint tenants or tenants in common? Don't leave it to the courts and your heirs to sort out

Laurie H. Pawlitza Special to the National Post Lawyers often say that estate litigation is like “family law with dead people” because, in both disciplines, emotions tend to run high. A ...
Jul 17, 2019
Article

Family fight over farm puts question of 'undue influence' under the microscope

Laurie H. Pawlitza Special to the National Post Wills and contracts can be challenged in a myriad of circumstances, including if there was fraud, duress or undue influence. Recently, a Saskatchewan ...
Jun 18, 2019
Article

Family law arbitration has advantages, but it's no guarantee you'll stay out of court

Laurie H. Pawlitza Special to the National Post Many see arbitration as a faster, more efficient way to resolve disputes, but there is reason to be cautious.
Jun 3, 2019
Presentation

ADR Skills for Family Law Lawyers

Laurie H. Pawlitza The Advocates' Society Program, Faculty
May 3, 2019
Article

Discretionary trusts prove problematic when it comes to dividing assets

Laurie H. Pawlitza Special to the National Post One of the most blurry property valuation issues in family law arises when a separating spouse has a discretionary interest in a family trust.
Mar 28, 2019
Article

Just because your ex failed to disclose assets, doesn't mean you get a cut

Laurie H. Pawlitza Special to the National Post Determining the effect of non-disclosure on a negotiated settlement can be a challenge as one case illustrates.
Mar 7, 2019
Article

Former Dragons’ Den star's divorce case highlights trouble with ‘expert testimony’ in family law

Laurie H. Pawlitza Special to the National Post Judge expressed frustration with experts who supported the positions of the party who hired them.
Jan 30, 2019
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