6.6 Legal Rights


  • For a basic understanding of family law see Dial-a-law Family Court.
  • If you feel ready for a high level explanation of family law you can purchase the Continuing legal education’s Family Law Sourcebook. This is a resource that is written by lawyers for lawyers. It is a very comprehensive book but is legally technical.

In Chapter 2 you were introduced to the key legal issues in separation and divorce. You also learned about the general principles that guide the courts for each of the issues. For example, you learned that the courts support the principle that both parents should continue to provide care for the children after separation.

Ideally, understanding the key issues in separation and the guiding principles of the court has helped you and your former spouse to reach agreements. For each of the issues, both spouses have legal rights. However, if there are issues that remain unsettled and you’re now faced with going to court, it is wise to revisit the key issues in more detail. You need to understand more about the legal rights for each of the key issues.

You need to be able to build a case, based on the law, that you will present in court documents, at hearings and if you go to trial. Knowing the law will help you have confidence in your position on the key issues and will help you build your legal case. This, in turn, will help you resolve your family issues more quickly and effectively.


Key Legal Issues:

  • Care of the Children- You’ll want to know the laws around how you are to divide your time and responsibilities as a parent. 
  • Child Support - There are legal requirements regarding your obligations to financial support your children. The laws set out how to calculate this support
  • Spousal Support – Knowing the laws about spousal support will help you determine whether you are entitle to receive support or responsible for paying it. 
  • Property Division – Your legal entitlement to family property and responsibility for family debt is important to know when determining how you will divide your things.