Law Times

February 11, 2019

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LAW TIMES 12 COVERING ONTARIO'S LEGAL SCENE | FEBRUARY 11, 2019 and, after a child is born, you don't have to have this pre- conception intention. For my practice, hopefully, we get an- other situation where we can challenge the family adoption provisions of the act to elimi- nate the requirement to be ei- ther spouses or blood relatives to adopt." Tanya Davies, a sole practi- tioner in Ottawa, says the case provides a useful, well-reasoned Charter analysis in striking down the definition of "spouse" in the act. "I see the decision as being very much focused on the end result — to broaden the pool for parties seeking to adopt chil- dren and youth who are Crown wards," says Davies. Davies says the "infringe- ment of s. 15 rights was not saved by s. 1 of the Charter in this case." "Does this mean that other legislation, which includes a more, shall we say 'traditional' definition of spouse as 'a couple in a conjugal relationship,' can be successfully challenged? I don't think that will happen," she says. Davies adds that S.M. (Re) had a particular fact situation and that s. 1 of the Charter will keep other Charter challenges of discrimination by the definition of "spouse" in check. Siemiarczuk says the Canada Revenue Agency is going to have difficulty figuring out how to deal with tax credits and the Canada Child Benefit as a result of this decision. "I know my clients have al- ready had some issues with what to apply for and how," says Si- emiarczuk. LT Tax challenges ahead Cultural roles also a factor Continued from page 11 "If the payor doesn't have life insurance, in grey divorc- es, those premiums are going to be through the roof, so that would be another challenge in crafting these agreements," says Frenkel. "When couples' finances are limited, it may be harder to tell the payor to pay for life insurance to ensure that their support is covered." Lorisa Stein, a sole prac- titioner who does collabora- tive family law in Toronto, says that, in her practice, she often comes across "senior separations" rather than divorces because, for some people of that generation, there is still a stigma attached to divorce. "We have a lot of discus- sions, often pretty heated, about being entitled to keep the friends, too," says Stein. "That's significant, be- cause that's a support net- work." Stein says discussions can become difficult because money and health may be very private matters for her clients. Stein says that, in one situation where a couple was separating on friendly terms, a collaborative solution was to renovate the home into two units. "This allowed them to stay put in a comfort zone," says Stein. "They didn't have to have that psychological jarring to worry about losing their so- cial networks." In situations where there has been a disparity between spouses, such as where one has always worked and the other stayed at home, Stein says a collaborative model would introduce a neutral professional such as a social worker to deal with the an- ger that comes from a sole provider having to share ev- erything they have accumu- lated. "Having to have to ask for money, where you didn't before, or having to say that what you gave me over the years for the household . . . there's a financial cost to those roles, particularly when one person wants to main- tain the family home and the other one can't afford to fight or buy out their interest," says Stein. Stein adds that, some- times, it's not just gender roles but cultural ones that require additional navigation with these separations. "Collaborative practice is not only how we can be cre- ative and imaginative. I also see it as 'do no harm' within a larger circle," says Stein. "The family may very well shun the individual who needs the most support." LT FOCUS Continued from page 10 Lorisa Stein says she often comes across 'senior separations' rather than divorces because, for some people of that genera- tion, there is still a stigma attached to divorce. Fresh Canadian legal news and analysis available on any device. Get More Online The Canadian Lawyer InHouse Innovatio Awards is the pre-eminent award program recognizing innovation by members of the in-house bar within the Canadian legal market. These awards celebrate in-house counsel, both individuals and teams, who show leadership by becoming more efficient, innovative and creative in meeting the needs of their organizations. The Innovatio awards program draws on a panel of in-house counsel judges to determine the winners, based on a range of criteria. NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN NOMINATE AN INDIVIDUAL OR TEAM IN THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES: • Law department leadership • Law department management • Legal operations • Diversity • Best practices in compliance systems • In-house M&A/Dealmakers • Working with external counsel • Litigation management • Risk management • Tomorrow's leader in innovation Accepting nominations from large, small and public sector/non-profit legal departments. NOMINATIONS CLOSE MARCH 29, 2019 For more information or to nominate visit Questions? Contact Jennifer Brown | THE E B O L G AND MAIL SIGNATURE SPONSOR BRONZE SPONSOR MEDIA PARTNER GOLD SPONSOR PLATINUM SPONSOR COCKTAIL SPONSOR SILVER SPONSOR Untitled-1 1 2019-01-31 10:36 AM

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