Frequently Asked Questions


Family Law Questions

What is divorce?

A divorce is only necessary if one of the parties intends to remarry. At law, a divorce only gives a married party the right to marry someone else. It is not necessary if neither party intends to remarry.

How long does a divorce take?

In Ontario, a divorce typically cannot take effect until 1 year after the date of separation. The policy reason for this is to encourage reunification. There are exceptions such as in cases of adultery and abuse, but the typical procedure is to wait one year. 

What is better legal separation or divorce?

This is a confusion of terms. A divorce simply gives the parties the right to remarry. The divorce in and of itself does not deal with corollary issues such as custody and access, child support and section 7 expenses, spousal support, and division of property and debt. Those issues can be resolved via separation agreement or litigation. 

How long can a person get spousal support?

It depends on a number of factors including the length of the relationship as well as the comparative conditions, means, needs, and circumstances of the parties at the time of relationship breakdown.

Do you pay taxes on spousal support?

The payor does not pay income tax on support, the recipient does pay.

Do I need a lawyer for child support modification?

No, you do not need a lawyer to bring a motion to change but the procedural and substantive law to successfully prevail or defend such a claim is a complicated minefield of difficulty for most people.

Police Misconduct

How to report a police officer for misconduct?

While you are at liberty to file a complaint with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, the better course is to consult a lawyer to discuss the possibility of a civil claim against the officer and police force. 

How to prove police misconduct?

Police misconduct is a specialized area of tort and constitutional law. We are most frequently dealing with the torts of negligence, misfeasance in public office, assault, and battery. From a constitutional perspective, we typically examine whether to life, liberty and security of the person meet the principles of fundamental justice. We also look whether discrimination occurred and whether the treatment constituted cruel and unusual punishment.

Sexual Abuse

How to help someone who was sexually abused?

Sexual abuse engages both criminal and civil law. It is a crime to sexually abuse someone. If you are sexually abused, contact police as soon as possible for assistance. On the civil aspect, a lawyer can help you obtain monetary compensation for pain and suffering as well as any out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the abuse. 


Is it illegal to bully someone online?

Yes, in addition to possible criminal charges, there may be civil consequences. The torts of negligence, harassment, and intentional infliction of mental suffering, for instance, may apply depending on the scenario. If you’ve been bullied online, it is best to speak with a lawyer at Hartman Law to understand whether you are entitled to compensation.