Lisa M. Dewar, Family Law and Medation  
Family Lawyer and Mediator   Email

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How am I supposed to get the support that we agreed to, or that the court ordered?

You may register your Agreement in Court for enforcement, and either an Agreement or a court Order can be registered with the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program for enforcement at no cost to the person trying to enforce. The Program can put a federal intercept on payments owing to the payer from Revenue Canada (for example, GST or income tax refunds) and can obtain attachments so the funds can be attached directly from the payer's employer. Contact FMEP website.

2. How can I separate from him when I am afraid of what he will do?

You have a right to obtain restraining Orders for the safety of yourself and your children and for protection of your assets, even before he is aware you are seeking such protection.

Restraining orders for your personal safety are filed immediately at the provincial Protection Order Registry for easy access by police officers who may be called to enforce such an Order.

3. How can I stay in the family home with the children once my husband and I separate?

You may be able to apply in court for an Order that you have the interim exclusive use of the family home, especially if you are primarily responsible for the day to day care of children of the marriage. At the end of the day, you may be able to trade off your interest in your husband's pension (or some other family asset) against his interest in the family home. It is important to explore the family resources and what is really important to you, so you may seek the best option (you may find a better result by selling the home in due course and using the equity in a different way to ensure your financial stability).

4. What will it cost me to obtain a divorce?

We work on an hourly fee. If a Separation Agreement is entered into to resolve all outstanding disputes, the divorce can be obtained as an unopposed desk Order without the necessity of a court appearance. Typically, a desk Order divorce will cost between $1,500 and $2,000 (including filing fees and other out of pocket expenses), depending on whether or not there are children of the marriage.

5. Do I have a right to spend time with my kids even if their mother won't let me see them?

Yes, it is the right of children to know both parents (subject to restrictions to ensure the child's safety if you have been hurtful towards the child in the past). Terms for parenting time can be set out in a Court Order if necessary. The specific access or parenting time can be set out with sufficient detail to encourage compliance by the mother, failing which remedies may be available to force compliance with the terms of a Court Order.

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