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What does the Children’s Lawyer do?

The Children’s Lawyer acts as legal representative for the child where custody and access or child protection is at issue. In general, the Office of the Children’s Lawyer (OCL) serves as a third-party investigator to provide the Court with unbiased recommendations with respect to requirements for proper child care, custody, and well-being. An assessment can be ordered by the Court at any stage of the proceedings in furtherance of this objective. When engaged, the Children’s Lawyer will build trust with the child by meeting as often as necessary to determine... MORE »

Most Recent FAQs

What is the Children’s Lawyer?

The Children’s Lawyer is a qualified lawyer who works for the Office of the Children’s Lawyer (OCL), a government-funded office that represents children under the age of 18. The Children’s Lawyer presents to the Court what they believe is in the child’s best interest in cases involving custody and access or child protection. Despite common misconceptions, the Children’s Lawyer is not the children’s legal guardian, and is rather an advocate for children.

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I am the recipient of the Universal Child Care Benefit. Is this taxable income?

If one parent has sole custody of the child(ren), then the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) will be paid to that parent. Under shared custody, you can apply to split the payment equally between the two of you.

As a general rule, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) considers payments received under the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) to be taxable income. If you were a single parent on December 31, 2017, you may choose one of the following options:

  • Report the UCCB income as income of an eligible dependant;
  • If there is no... MORE »

Am I free to claim personal tax credits and deductions in the same way as I did when I was married?

A change in your marital status will require some planning and coordination between you and your former spouse where claiming personal tax credits and deductions for your dependent children are concerned. For example, only one spouse is entitled to claim a deduction for an eligible dependant. If you have at least two eligible dependants, you and your former spouse may claim the deduction for only one eligible dependant. If you have only one eligible dependant, you and your former spouse will have to agree on who will claim the deduction.

Another... MORE »

Will my Canada Pension Plan be affected by my divorce?

Married and common-law spouses who cohabited for at least 12 months may apply for equal division of Canada Pension Plan (CPP) credits upon being granted a divorce or legal annulment. CPP credits accumulated during each year of cohabitation will be combined and split equally between spouses. Credits can be divided even if one spouse did not make contributions to the CPP.

Either you or your former spouse can request the CPP credit split. Your lawyer may also make the request on your behalf, provided at least one spouse signs the MORE »