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Divorce Parenting And The Vaccine Passport

Divorce Parenting And The Vaccine Passport

Ontario has announced a vaccine passport system for non-essential businesses starting September 22, 2021. The certificate will be necessary to access public spaces such as indoor restaurants, gyms, movie theatres and concert venues. As the Delta variant continues to spread, the necessity to prevent a fourth COVID-19 wave increases.  

While the pandemic pushes us to change routines, many parents struggle to agree on what is the best way to protect their children. It is no surprise that divorce parenting disagreements will arise, especially during a time when global political conditions are changing so quickly. In this article we will guide you through what you need to know before having those inevitable conversations and how the mandatory vaccine passport might affect your situation.  

Dealing With Disagreement  

Considering the safety and wellbeing of your children is the most important part of parenting, so what happens when two parents disagree on what is considered safe? Divorce parenting through COVID disagreements can be a major challenge. If you are currently struggling to come to an agreement with your ex about how to manage co-parenting through COVID, here are some helpful things to keep in mind:  

        • Speak with your ex about what is best for your child given their specific lifestyle and situation. For example, if one or both of you live in a highly populated area and your child has weekly soccer practice, their needs may differ from those of a child who has less frequent exposure to others.
        • Small sacrifices go a long way. For example, if your ex prefers that you wear a double mask when dropping off your kids, doing so can ease a lot of tension and make communication easier.
        • Practice acceptance and be respectful. Everyone’s opinions come from their personal life experiences. Practicing acceptance does not mean that you need to approve an opinion you do not stand for, but rather that you accept the reality of something you may not be able to change. This process shows respect and can help you and your ex build the trust needed to co-parent well.

COVID Safety & Custody Issues  

As Ontario prioritizes the requirement for vaccination, it is becoming more clear that our current systems will soon rely on it. This reality may cause issues for parents and children who remain unvaccinated as the vaccine passports become a necessity. In regards to COVID and child custody, the court’s main objective is to review the needs of the child and push for their safety and wellbeing. While the government remains in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, judge’s will make decisions based on medical and scientific data. This will determine if the parent’s idea of COVID safety is healthy for the child.  

Judge’s may revoke custody or limit visitation to online contact based on the situation at hand. Although a judge cannot order a parent to get vaccinated, here are some reasons a custody order can change: 

        • If a party requires vaccination due to a health risk in the family  
        • Evidence is shown that a party is not following safe COVID protocols  
        • When the lack of a vaccine passport prevents the child from going to school 

How The Passport Could Help Parenting 

During divorce, when family time can seem like a fleeting activity, spending time with your kids is highly important. The reality is that an individual’s choice against the vaccine can severely limit the contact they have with their children. The vaccine passport allows entry into  restaurants, theatres, cinemas, event spaces, recreational facilities, and more. These spaces provide the ability for spending quality family time and can be a great way to help you parent throughout divorce. Considering the wellness of your children during COVID, being for the  vaccine passport may be in the best interest for you and your family during this time.  

Every family is different and making divorce parenting work for you will depend on your situation. Even through the stresses of divorce and COVID, it is important to prioritize healthy communication skills with your family in order to build trust, ease discomfort and maintain positive relationships. So, if the requirement for vaccine passports causes conflicts between you and your family, it is best to take some time and determine what to do based on the needs of you and your children. For more information about Ontario’s vaccination requirements click  here

At Hussain Law we focus on helping our clients navigate the emotional and financial challenges of separation and divorce. Our office remains fully operational, and we have implemented various new procedures that allow us to continue to advise clients seamlessly during this time. If you have a family law issue that you need assistance with, please contact Ayesha Hussain at  647-428-3919.

The Division of Family Property After Divorce In Ontario

The Division of Family Property After Divorce In Ontario

Once you and your spouse have decided to separate, it’s crucial that you also decide what will happen with your assets? Alongside the many questions you’re dealing with at the start of separation, figuring this out can be both emotional and stressful. It’s one of the most frequently asked divorce questions and often carries a lot of financial worry. You might have heard about Ontario requiring equal sharing of property within the Family Law Act. This can often be difficult to understand and raises questions about how assets will be divided fairly. In this article we explain how family property is divided after divorce, so you can get a better understanding of where your marital assets will go.

What Is Family Property?

In Ontario, any asset or property acquired during a marriage (meaning after the marriage date and before the date of separation) is considered family property. This includes all assets, joint bank accounts, debts, pensions, business property and real estate. To the court, marriage is an economic partnership and confirming your separation date is very important.

What Does Ontario Law Require?

The Family Law Act states that the division of family assets should be done equally. This does not mean that the property will be equally split, but rather that spouses will determine what they owe, based on equalization of net family property or NFP. This means that spouses will equally share what was earned during their marriage based on the NFP calculation. During the process each spouse is required to complete Form 13.1 in order to determine their NFP.

The calculation process goes as follows:

          • Value of assets and liabilities at the marriage date is calculated
          • Value of assets and liabilities at the separation date is calculated
          • Marriage date total is then subtracted from the separation date total to equal the NFP
          • Lower NFP is subtracted from the higher
          • The equalization payment is then determined by dividing the NFP difference by 2

The Matrimonial Home

The Family Law Act considers the matrimonial home differently and states that both spouses have equal access to it. This is because the home is usually considered the most valuable asset to the family and often holds a lot of emotional importance. The right of possession of the matrimonial home prevents one party from forcing the other out without a court order. If you and your spouse are disagreeing over who will continue to live in the home and cannot come to a decision, the court can make an “exclusive possession” order. Some of the factors considered when making the order include: the best interests of the child who will reside in the home, the financial situation of the spouse seeking possession, concern for family violence, and any existing property orders.

Dealing with family property division can be difficult, especially while the reality of the divorce may be causing grief, confusion and stress. When the process is complicated based on the specifics of one’s situation, an experienced family lawyer can help you through each step while also providing the understanding and support you need at this time. At the end of the day, make sure you are aware of your rights and what you should be enforcing so that you can positively move forward after divorce.

At Hussain Law we focus on helping our clients navigate the emotional and financial challenges of separation and divorce. Our office remains fully operational, and we have implemented various new procedures that allow us to continue to advise clients seamlessly during this time. If you have a family law issue that you need assistance with, please contact Ayesha Hussain at 647-428-3919.

How To Have an Amicable Divorce Through Mediation

How To Have an Amicable Divorce Through Mediation

Having an amicable divorce doesn’t usually come easy. Although it may seem like an impossible outcome, with courage and dedication, many individuals find a way to achieve it. Choosing to work on a relationship even through separation can be beneficial to you and your family in many ways. There are many advantages to divorce mediation that help couples reach separation agreements, sometimes even allowing them to avoid litigation altogether. The process guides you through open communication and provides space to listen and time to understand the perspective of your partner. If having a simple divorce is your goal, the extra patience and strength to work through mediation may be just enough to ease your experience. If you are considering divorce mediation, follow these 5 steps to a successful and productive journey through it.

1. Go Into It With Understanding

Before you chose whether or not to being divorce mediation, it is important to understand the purpose of it. While couple’s therapy helps you resolve issues from the past to progress well in the future, mediation doesn’t deal with the past at all. Although it does happen, the outcome isn’t to convince you to get back together. Mediation helps you work on your relationship to benefit the future of your divorce. It can help you find common ground before making big decisions for you and your family and prevents the outcome of a judge making those decisions for you.

2. Take Time To Prepare

There are many ways you can prepare for successful divorce mediation. First, talk to your lawyer and get familiar with your rights. Put together a list of your assets including everything you possess such as vehicles, bank accounts, real estate, any personal property, etc. Your mediator may also ask you to bring relevant financial statements and any documents required by the court. After you have prepared your paperwork, take time to ask yourself questions about what you want and need from the outcome of the divorce. Review what is most important to you and what you may be willing to give up or negotiate on. Having a detailed conversation with yourself about your boundaries and needs ahead of time will benefit you when you need to talk about them.

3. Don’t Hold Back Information

Your mediator is there to facilitate a productive conversation between you and your spouse. Their job relies on what you share as well as your honesty. When you hold back information during a mediation session, it makes it difficult to identify the issues that need to be resolved. Disclosing all relevant financial information is also crucial. Although lying or holding back information during mediation is not considered a crime, it can lead you to lose your negotiating potential. If you believe that your spouse is making false claims, you should gather evidence to disprove their points. A divorce attorney can help you uncover the truth you need to protect you and your children.

4. Be Respectful

One of the most important factors of successful mediation is the choice to be open and listen respectfully. Giving your spouse space to speak their mind even when you don’t agree shows maturity and emotional control. No matter how ridiculous you think your spouse is acting, it is your mediator’s job to be neutral and therefore in your best interest to remain open and calm.

Here are some ways you can show emotional maturity during mediation:

    • Do not talk over your spouse. If you worry about forgetting your train of thought, take down quick notes while they speak and bring them up when it is your time to do so
    • Practice breathing techniques to remain calm when you begin to feel triggered
    • Try not to take things personally. Instead of questioning why your spouse may think the way they do, try accepting that you disagree and focusing your time on solving the problems

5. Take Breaks To Recenter

Divorce mediation is hard. It’s a very sensitive process and can be triggering. Knowing your emotional limits and setting boundaries can help you remain focused and productive during your sessions. During times of distress, mental health prioritization and self care can help you make decisions that you truly stand by. It is okay to take it slow and ask for breaks when you need a moment to recenter and gather your thoughts.

Remember that mediation should not be a fight. With an open mind and determination to come to an agreement it can be a very effective process. Amicable divorces carry many advantages. If you are able to collaboratively come together you and your whole family will benefit in the future.

At Hussain Law we focus on helping our clients navigate the emotional and financial challenges of separation and divorce. Our office remains fully operational, and we have implemented various new procedures that allow us to continue to advise clients seamlessly during this time. If you have a family law issue that you need assistance with, please contact Ayesha Hussain at 647-428-3919.

Preparing Children For Back-To-School After Divorce

Preparing Children For Back-To-School After Divorce

With September approaching and Ontario’s new school plan in place, the back-to-school season is among us once again. For most, this time of year brings up many mixed emotions. The anxiety and excitement felt for the coming school year is often paired with sadness about the ending summer. This is a stressful time for both children and parents, but especially for those who are preparing to go back to school after divorce.

Many families experienced divorce and separation over the second pandemic summer. Navigating those highly distressing life changes during an already difficult time can be very confusing for everyone involved. Children starting classes after going through these experiences may be predisposed to a more difficult school year. Planning for new teachers, subjects and friends may seem simple now that there are different schedules, routines, and possibly even a new school to consider.

In this article we share tips on how you can prepare yourself and your children for going back to school after divorce. Our suggestions can help you practice better parenting and set you up to feel less overwhelmed over the coming months.

Plan Ahead

Before your child’s first day of school, it is important to sit down with them and start a conversation to discuss how they feel about going back. Be open to any apprehension, fear and confusion they express. You may want to spend more time helping them feel confident and excited about school if need be.

This is also a good opportunity to bring up the topic of boundaries. Ask your child about what they are comfortable sharing with their schoolmates, because they may have not thought about it yet. Going over the situation in this way can help them prepare for questions they may receive from friends. Help them practice setting boundaries and let them know that they don’t need to answer questions they don’t want to.

You may also want to notify their teachers about the recent divorce especially if it is evidentially affecting your child. In some situations, it is helpful for educators to be aware of a student’s hardships outside of school. With the knowledge, they can be better prepared for any unexpected behaviour and show more understanding towards learning difficulties.

Make Sure They Have A Strong Support System

Through difficult life moments, it is our support systems that offer us guidance and a positive outlook. No matter our age, it is vital to have people who can show us love. For children going back to school after divorce, reassurance will make all the difference. Make sure you are aware that your child has a strong support system rather than assuming that they do. Help them make a list of people they trust and can go to for support (for example: grandparents, cousins, friends, teachers, social workers).

Remember that it is common to feel overwhelmed while trying to support your child during this time. If you are struggling to handle your own self care as well as care for others, consider looking into professional help, such as a therapist. When we take on many responsibilities

during difficult times, an unbiased point of view can help us recenter and find the strength to move forward.

If you’re tackling it all on your own, here are some ways you can maintain a strong support system for your child as they go back to school:

        1. Be encouraging and sympathetic towards their downfalls
        2. Allow them to see their friends more often while understanding that home can bring up confusing feelings after divorce
        3. Reassure and remind them that they always have a place to come to for support and love
        4. Check in every couple weeks to ask if they are being supported at school

Taking time to plan ahead and ask your child about their perspective will help them have a positive experience going back to school. Being reassuring towards them can strengthen their trust in you and better your relationship. You’ll want to provide them with comfortable spaces where they can feel grounded and supported during the difficulties of divorce. If possible, communicating with your ex about ways you can make their back-to-school experience easier can offer them more help.

At Hussain Law we focus on helping our clients navigate the emotional and financial challenges of separation and divorce. Our office remains fully operational, and we have implemented various new procedures that allow us to continue to advise clients seamlessly during this time. If you have a family law issue that you need assistance with, please contact Ayesha Hussain at 647-428-3919.

How Do I Overcome My Divorce Guilt?

How Do I Overcome My Divorce Guilt?

During a wedding ceremony, vows are spoken to set promises for a lifelong marriage. While they may be a representation of true love and great trust, they are also embedded with hope, expectation and prediction. As with anything else in life, the future is uncertain and that is okay. It is important to put trust and hope into relationships that you feel strongly about, for this often amplifies love and passion. Exploring the truth in our feelings helps us create positive judgments  and allows us to make healthy decisions. When we strengthen our feelings with trust, hope and expectation, we create outcomes for our uncertain futures. This process is natural and also important, but what happens when things don’t go as planned?

While going through divorce, you may view your marriage as a mistake, a failed promise or a regret. There are many reasons why you may feel guilty during this time. Perhaps there was a specific action that you regret doing or you feel guilty about the outcome of your marriage in general. Though this feeling is highly uncomfortable and distressing, it is important to recognize that there is such thing as healthy guilt. These difficult emotions can become a source of guidance for individuals, helping them redirect their anguish towards a brighter future. Guilt only becomes unhealthy when people begin to irrationally blame themselves. So, in order to help you get back on track with healthy thinking habits, we have laid out 3 tips for overcoming divorce guilt.

1. Make Time For Forgiveness

Overcoming divorce guilt starts with finding the courage to forgive yourself. For some, this can mean forgiveness for your mistakes. It is important to remember that you are able to grow from the past and make better decisions in the future. For others, this can mean forgiveness for the stress that came from blame. Allowing yourself to welcome growth and change will strengthen your ability to experience a positive future. 

Try following these steps to begin your forgiveness journey:

          • Take time to form a trusting relationship with yourself.
          • Give yourself space to reflect on your true thoughts, feelings and emotions.
          • Realize that the benefit of not being able to change the past is so that you can grow and flourish as life goes on.
          • Understand that forgiveness may not happen overnight.
          • Remember that you are worthy of a positive life after divorce.

2. Start Your Path To Acceptance

When people are faced with distressing life moments, disbelief can prevent them from moving forward. Your guilt may sit hand in hand with the grief that you feel. The next step in overcoming divorce guilt is setting up a clear path to acceptance that you can follow. When an individual achieves acceptance, they are more likely to envision positives in the future, become motivated, inspired and excited to move on. Acceptance can counteract guilt and teaches us to move courageously through difficult times.

Here are some tips to help you start your path to acceptance:

        • Be honest with yourself and accept the truth.
        • Try not to fall into patterns of wishing for different outcomes and a better past. Instead, gear up for a better future.
        • Understand that it is okay to change your mind and evolve as a person.

3. Consider The Future

Making simple plans for the future can help us breathe in positivity. Spending time with your loved ones can help remind you of the love that you deserve. Processing your emotions with those who care for you can help you set up safe and strong foundations to build future plans upon. Guilt that surrounds the past and present has no place in the future.

Divorce does not mean that you are incapable of keeping promises, finding love or trusting others. In fact, it means that your life is evolving with you. It is time to start overcoming your guilt so that you can move freely into the future you were meant to flourish in.

At Hussain Law we focus on helping our clients navigate the emotional and financial challenges of separation and divorce. Our office remains fully operational, and we have implemented various new procedures that allow us to continue to advise clients seamlessly during this time. If you have a family law issue that you need assistance with, please contact Ayesha Hussain at 647-428-3919.

How Does Legal Aid Help Canadians Through Divorce?

How Does Legal Aid Help Canadians Through Divorce?

Legal aid is a program that gives low-income Canadians the ability to access legal services. It provides help for cases regarding criminal charges, immigration and refugee issues, mental health matters, domestic violence and more. By providing services such as legal advice, representation, duty counsel, online help and referrals, the program assists and supports individuals facing disadvantages.

In order to find out if you qualify you must first take a financial eligibility test. The results of your test determines if the program will help pay for your legal representation. Depending on your situation, legal aid could provide the support you need to get through divorce, but what exactly is required to qualify?

Eligibility In Ontario

Legal aid services and qualifications for eligibility differ based on the province you live in. To qualify in Ontario you must meet the guidelines can be found on

What Cases Are Covered?

Legal Aid Ontario only grants certificates for certain cases. When determining if an individual qualifies they look for things such as:

– Domestic violence
– The complexity of the case
– Setbacks related to literacy issues
– Cases where support is being paid by a self-employed individual

How Much Will Be Covered?

LAO is designed to cover all lawyer costs if you receive a legal aid certificate. In order to get a certificate, you must show that you have low income within your application (you can find the LAO’s financial eligibility rules at The certificate also permits your lawyer to ask for more hours if necessary for your case.

It is important to note that depending on your financial situation, some or all of your legal fees may need to be repaid. In most cases, this is only necessary if you have received financial help as part of a settlement or if you have assets such as a house. In these cases you will be required to sign a “contribution agreement” which states that you agree to pay back the money received.

Legal Aid recognizes the needs of low-income individuals and provides services they need to be properly represented in court. If your financial situation poses a direct disadvantage to your divorce process, legal aid may be able to provide promising services for you.

What If You Don’t Qualify?

If you don’t qualify you can still receive legal assistance. Most Lawyers offer services on a limited scope retainers.

At Hussain Law, we accept Legal Aid Certificates and provide services on Limited Scope Retainers.

At Hussain Law we focus on helping our clients navigate the emotional and financial challenges of separation and divorce. Our office remains fully operational, and we have implemented various new procedures that allow us to continue to advise clients seamlessly during this time. If you have a family law issue that you need assistance with, please contact Ayesha Hussain at 647-428-3919.