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Mississauga Family Law Blog

Prenups proving to be popular with millennials

Prenups, known as marriage contracts in Canada, are documents that married couples can draft to decide how best to divide any shared assets in the event they separate. A recent study conducted in the United States indicate that there has been an increase of young couples drafting prenuptial agreements with their lawyers before getting married.

According to a news report by, the same trend can be seen in Canada amongst millennials. While it may seem odd to discuss breaking up with your partner right before you begin building a life together, this conversation can help protect you in the long run. A marriage contract allows you and your partner to come up with your own solutions on how you wish to divide property, finances, and create spousal support arrangements.

What you need to know about common-law relationships

The legal rights of common-law couples are dealt with differently across the country. Some provinces, like British Columbia, offer more modern approaches to ending common-law relationships, providing similar protections to those of married couples.

Other provinces, such as Ontario, rely on other means of fighting for the rights of common-law couples, such as fighting for unjust enrichment when it comes to the division of property.

Two Important Rental Tips for Landlords

Becoming a landlord has many benefits, such as an additional source of income. But it’s important to remember that being a landlord and renting out a residence is still a business, and some basic business fundamentals are necessary for success.

A rental agreement comes with duties and responsibilities for which you and your tenant will be liable. As outlined on the Sun Life Financial website, there are a couple of key business management tips to help you manage these duties and responsibilities. Two noteworthy highlights are:

Evicting a difficult tenant

Whether you have a single property for rent or you own several multi-family dwellings, you have one thing in common with other landlords: tenants. Tenants are the lifeblood of your business, and you appreciate the ones who make your job easy. Unfortunately, you may have some bad experiences with tenants who expect too much of you.

You could ultimately reach a breaking point with a particularly obnoxious or frustrating tenant. The thought of dealing with this renter month after month throughout the term of the lease may be more than you can stand. Nevertheless, you must be careful to abide by Ontario law if you decide to evict your troublesome tenant.

Will you get a fair share if your common-law relationship ends?

If you are in a common-law relationship that is close to breaking down, you might have concerns about the potential division of property and debts. Many Ontario couples choose not to marry, thinking it would be easier to end a common-law relationship than to go through a divorce. However, it could be more challenging because cohabiting spouses have less protection than those who chose a legal marriage.

You will likely have many questions about the financial and legal impact of separation from a common-law partner. The laws treat child-related issues similarly for married and unmarried parents because the best interests of the child form the basis. However, spousal support eligibility will depend on various aspects of your unique situation.

Selling the family home in a divorce can be a daunting task

If you are in the throes of divorce, you likely know how challenging it is to decouple emotions from the critical financial decisions that you have to make at this time. The fact that many of the judgments and choices you make will have a significant impact on your future financial stability can add a substantial amount of stress into the equation. When it comes to property division, deciding what to do with the matrimonial home is oftentimes one of the most crucial decisions you will face.

In the aftermath of a divorce, there's a strong chance that each spouse may end up owning or renting a new home on his or her own. Since each party will now be operating on just one income, this could create some financial challenges. This is one reason that many couples consider putting the family home on the market because the proceeds could allow them a much more comfortable transition.

Steps to take when walking the path to divorce or separation

Getting a divorce isn't as easy as making the decision, snapping your fingers and going your separate ways. There are many issues to figure out, including what will happen to the home you share with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, how child custody will look and how to divide the marital assets, just to name a few things. Much hinges on the kind of relationship you and your ex currently have and will have after parting ways. Whether you have an amicable relationship or not, there are certain steps that need be taken in the divorce process.

Some rules in Ontario differ depending on whether you and your partner are legally married or in a common law relationship. Issues that are the same for both individuals who are legally married and common law partners are those concerning custody and access of your children, the future financial support of your children, and anything related to spousal support. Differences arise when it comes to a matrimonial home and property division. The relationship you and your partner have is unique, and your family situation will come into play when it comes to certain issues.

The rights and responsibilities of being a landlord

Being a good landlord is relatively simple when you have good tenants. As a landlord, your job is to make sure your rental property adheres to all municipal codes when it comes to maintenance, safety, zoning bylaws, health standards and municipal property standards.

When you find yourself with a tenant who is not paying rent or who violates any lease agreement, you will have to try to resolve the issue with the tenant. However, there are times when that won't be possible and you might have to go the legal route to resolve any issues.

Your house may no longer be yours if you are legally married

In Ontario, family laws see marriages as equal partnerships between spouses, and if that partnership ends, assets must be shared equally. Couples who want to take measures to ensure their separate property remains separate can sign a marriage contract to do so. Such an agreement can specify the assets each spouse brought into the marriage, and ensure that these items would once again be separate property in the event of a divorce.

This would be of particular importance if you owned a home before you got married. If that house then became the matrimonial home, the law will not see it as separate property if you separate or your marriage ends and you have no marriage agreement signed in which your spouse gives up a claim to the property.

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