If you are facing family legal issues, then you likely have questions. If that’s the case, then Fishman Beley Family Law Associates can help. On this page, find answers to some commonly asked questions about family law in Manitoba. For further information, peruse our links, or contact the lawyers at our Winnipeg firm.
If you stood "in the place of a parent", or in loco parentis, as it used to be called, during the relationship then in most cases you will be required to support the child after the separation even if you have severed the relationship. Your obligation will be secondary to the child's biological parent's obligation.
No, if it was given to you alone, you have kept it separate, and you have not intermingled it with your other assets. Family assets acquired with the inheritance will be shareable. Go to the Primer on Family Property or the statute for more information.
A truly uncontested divorce for a resident of Manitoba, filing for a divorce in Winnipeg, will cost in the range of $1,000 to $1,500 to complete, inclusive of fees disbursements and GST. This range is based on our current hourly rates.
Other lawyers, with perhaps a different type of practice or experience may undertake to perform the service for less, or for more, or perhaps a fixed fee. Each case is different, however. There are almost always unperfected, or unanticipated, services required that the client has not thought about.
The ramifications of a divorce, particularly to the adults and children, require an individual approach. It's the lawyer's job to canvas the larger picture with the client, and to make sure the client has been informed of his or her rights and obligations. This process of helping the client to understand those rights and obligations, in the context of his or her own situation and the broad application of the law, is an important one. It may turn up rights or benefits not considered, clarify myths or incorrect assumptions, or may help to avoid future costly proceedings.
If it is a truly uncontested divorce, the cost will be at the bottom end of the range. What constitutes a "truly uncontested" divorce depends on your perspective. If there are children involved, there are often issues that need ongoing input and advice.
The client has an input into the cost of his or her divorce. We encourage our clients to do as much for themselves as they reasonably can, such as organizing their documents, working out their own financial statements or tracking down other information needed for their case. These efforts can have a dramatic effect in keeping fees low.
This is our stock answer as of January 2017. The forgoing is a rough estimation, not a guarantee or quote of a fee. Each case will require its own fee discussion and arrangements and, before a case will be accepted, both the lawyer and the client must agree.
Ownership of the house may be a relevant consideration, but the court may award sole occupancy to either spouse. Where there are children involved, the court will usually let the children remain in the home to which they have grown attached, at least for the interim. The test is usually 'the balance of convenience".
Section 7 of the Guidelines allows the court to require the non-custodial parent to contribute additional amounts for special or extraordinary expenses. While items such as child care to enable a parent to work are added on, the court will only consider "extraordinary expenses for extracurricular expenses". Extraordinary expenses are those beyond the means of the parent who is in receipt of child support. If that is not necessarily the case the court can look at other factors such as:
The expenses must also meet the test of necessity and reasonability. Sometimes hockey and music lessons will be accepted and other times not.
The court can impute income if it is of the view that the regular sources of evidence such as income tax returns and paystubs are not giving a true picture. The court still requires proof that the money is being made. Mere suspicion is not enough. It may also impute income in situations where the spouse is under-employed or otherwise diverting income.
In Manitoba all parents have the right to information about the children, whether they are in that parent's custody or not, unless the court orders otherwise. This will include access to medical, health and school information, for example. It does not include the right, however, to create information. Many separated parents for example will have separate parent teacher conferences and will arrange with the school for individual mailings of school notices. The court has the power to prevent a parent from obtaining information from third parties. This would require proof that it is contrary to the child's best interests.
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled on 4 cases from Alberta that child support is the right of the child and that the payor who knows his/her income has a duty to provide the correct amount of support for the child, an obligation that they have held generally will go back up to 3 years.