Family law is complex practice area. There are dozens of statutes and thousands of cases.

Nonetheless, Judges who hear family law cases in Southern Ontario have a list of the leading 63 case authorities dealing with:

  1. parenting;
  2. child support;
  3. spousal support;
  4. property;
  5. marriage contracts;
  6. separation agreements and disclosure obligations;
  7. summary judgment;
  8. interim costs and disbursements;
  9. partition and sale;
  10. occupation rent;
  11. trust doctrines;
  12. preservation orders;
  13. prejudgment and post judgment interest;
  14. costs; and
  15. motions before case conferences.
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Bhamra v. Bhamra is an example of a case that you don’t see very often: one that seems to be a complete waste of time and money.

The case dealt with two issues — property equalization and spousal support — after a relatively short (6 year) marriage. If both parties had been willing, their dispute could have been resolved during an afternoon settlement meeting. Instead, they fought about many minor valuation and property issues, and a modest spousal support claim against a payor spouse who made no more than $20,000.00 per year.

The parties dispute took up 8 days of trial — almost two weeks — resulting in an order that the wife pay the husband an equalization payment of about $3,200.00 and that the husband pay the wife $5,000.00 in spousal support. A net gain to the wife of $1,800.00 (until one considers the costs of paying two lawyers for four years).

It seems obvious that there were “unresolved emotions” stemming from the parties’ 2006 separation. At separation, the wife charged the husband with assault, and he was removed from the home. Then, the husband’s parents kicked the wife out of the home, too. Four years later they were fighting over minor issues.

There is not a lot of law in this case. Just misery.

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