There is one main thing that the CoViD-19 pandemic made clear. It is possible to do almost anything online. A family lawyer in Toronto can confer with clients over video conferencing apps. Services for filing court documents are also available online.
Technology has made significant changes to the practice of family law. It would be helpful to count the ways.
Online Child Support
Divorced parents in Ontario can now recalculate child support online. The service is only suitable when the existing child support has already been decided in court or online. It is also for when the case is not currently before the court. And if there are no modifications to certain expenses.
The applicant must be the parent or caregiver who lives with the child at least 60% of the time. They must also live separately from the other parent.
When the custodial parent requests a recalculation of child support, the other parent will get a notification by mail. The other parent must respond online within 25 days.
If the other parent does not respond, the system will automatically calculate the child support amount. The basis is the information shared by the applicant.
But, if the other parent denies the request, the applicant will need to use the court process to recalculate child support. If the other parent agrees, both need to provide income information for the recalculation.
Once the service receives all the required information, both parents will receive a Notice of Calculation or Recalculation. The notice will provide details on the revised child support terms. It will be enforceable in the same manner as a court order.
Filing for divorce online is now possible in Ontario without the benefit of a family lawyer in Toronto. You can file for two types of divorce online, specifically:
- Joint divorce, where both parties agree to a divorce and all aspects of family law on divorce. These include property division, parenting time, decision-making responsibilities, child support, and spousal support.
- Simple divorce, where only one spouse applies for a divorce and does not ask for any other orders from the court
Once an applicant submits the request online, they will receive immediate confirmation of the court filing. This should be printed out or screen captured.
The applicant may also receive a confirmation by email. The email includes the divorce application with a court seal. It will also have the assigned court file number, date issued, and court location.
If there are no issues and the court grants the divorce, the applicant will receive an email copy of the divorce order. But, it is still best to consult with a family lawyer in Toronto before applying for divorce under any circumstances.
The lawyer can provide a complete picture of the legal consequences of divorce. This is especially if there are children involved.
Social Media As Evidence in Family Court
Family courts are in favor of using social media content as evidence in family courts. The Rules of Civil Procedure have no rules against it.
It says that “every document relevant to any matter in an action that is or has been in the possession, control or power of a party to the action shall be disclosed.” As social media posts are in the control of the user, they are relevant as documentary evidence.
Ontario courts have ruled that if a party posts social media content related to the matter involved in an action, that party must include them in the affidavit of documents. The other party is also free to request the court for such content provided they can show it is relevant.
Social media posts can also be used as evidence in a child custody case, for example. So, it is always advisable to approach a family lawyer about posts that could be detrimental to a case. Meanwhile, a family lawyer can also use the other party’s posts to present a stronger case.
An experienced family lawyer in Ontario has probably taken part in many virtual courts. The Ontario Court of Justice encourages these as an alternative to in-person appearances during the pandemic.
The combination of high-speed Internet and powerful video conferencing apps has made this a desirable option in many instances. Depending on the circumstances, a judge may allow entirely virtual hearings or a combination of virtual and in-person appearances.
Technology has changed people’s lives in many ways, and family law and courts are no exception. A family lawyer in Toronto can attest to how Ontario has embraced technology in legal practice.
Technology has made the typically pedantic legal process much more accessible and efficient. It ranges from digitizing files for easy access to virtual court appearances. It also helps maintain the health and safety of all parties.