IMPORTANT FAMILY LAW CASES IN CANADA

Child Support

Below are summarized cases which have been important to the development of the law regarding the payment and calculation of child support in Canada. The full text of these cases can be found online. One helpful site for locating case law (and which authorizing linking) is www.canlii.org.

These summaries have been prepared for general information only. The law in this area and the interpretation of the case law changes frequently. It is our intention to update our website from time to time. We cannot guarantee, however, that this information has been updated or that it reflects the most current statement of the law, due to the possibility of change. Please contact a lawyer to discuss these matters for more information.

The following issues are addressed in the cases below: (Click links to view PDF):

Spousal Support

Below are summarized cases which have been important to the development of the law regarding the payment and calculation of spousal support in Canada. The full text of these cases can be found online. One helpful site for locating case law (and which authorizing linking) is www.canlii.org.

These summaries have been prepared for general information only. The law in this area and the interpretation of the case law changes frequently. It is our intention to update our website from time to time. We cannot guarantee, however, that this information has been updated or that it reflects the most current statement of the law, due to the possibility of change. Please contact a lawyer to discuss these matters for more information.

Please click each link below to read more.

Matrimonial Property

Walsh v. Bona

2003. The Supreme Court of Canada decided that Provincial Legislation that did not provide property rights to common law couples did not infringe on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Married couples are entitled to rely on Provincial Property Legislation. Common law couples must rely on the equitable remedy of unjust and discretionary enrichment.

M v. H

1999. Supreme Court of Canada, 1999. The Supreme Court of Canada held that a portion of the Ontario Provincial family law legislation was unconstitutional as it refused rights to parties in same sex relationships that were available to parties in opposite sex relationships. The result of that decision is that all the Provincial Legislatures are going to have to invariably being their property legislation in line so that the remedies are available to both same sex and opposite sex couples, married or not.

Best v. Best

1999. The Court determined the appropriate method of valuing pensions was that the pro rata method, pro rating the value of the pension in relation to the number of years contributed versus the number of years the parties were in a marital relationship. The Court indicated that the alternative method, the value added method, where the majority of the pension was added during the latter years of a marriage (the higher income years), was not the proper way to value a pension.

Parenting and Access

Gordon v. Goertz

1996. The Court dealt with clear rules with respect to determining what is the children’s best interests and a variation application where the parties wished to move and affect an existing custody or access arrangement or Order. The Court discusses that there is no presumption in favour of the primary care giver, but determines that they have to give bona fide reasons for the move, recognizes the problems the move presents to the access parent maintaining his or her relationship with the child and whether there is any willingness to make alternate arrangements to accommodate the access parent.