Ontario Family Law Lawyers, Family Mediators & Arbitrators

Joel Skapinker LLP is a small Toronto law firm which restricts its practice to all aspects of Ontario Family Law including marriage contracts, separation, divorce, child & spousal support and division of property. We represent spouses in court, in negotiations and in mediations/arbitrations and we offer mediation/arbitration services for both unrepresented and represented spouses.

Joel Skapinker
Joel Skapinker

If you need some help in deciding if you need a lawyer or would like to know more about Ontario Family Law, please refer to the Free Info section which contains free legal information as well as links to other sites dealing with Ontario Family Law.

Refer to the About page for information on about lawyer Joel Skapinker

New Developments in Family Law:

Are pre-nuptial agreements which provide for no division of property on marriage breakdown valid? The Supreme Court says yes provided certain rules are followed.

What rights to a division of property do common law spouses have on separation. The Supreme Court has recently clarified the law. See details under Free Info for the case of Kerr v. Baranow, Vanesse v. Seguin.

Can a parent move with the children if it means disrupting the relationship between the children and their other parent? See Mobility under our Free Info section.

Same sex marriages have been sanctioned by the Court of Appeal. See Same sex equality.

Severance packages received after separation are not considered property and Worker's Compensation Benefits are income and not property says the Court of Appeal.

A court has decided that child support may be payable until a child has completed a second university degree. See Neufeld. The Court of Appeal has said that university students must contribute to the cost of education from their own resources. See Lewi.

The highest court in Ontario has indicated its reluctance to order joint custody where there is no communication between the parents. See Kaplanis and Roy.

Does a support payor have an obligation to pay child support before a court orders him/her to do so? There are many factors a court looks at. See Park v. Thompson.

Does a support payor who lives in a country which has a significantly higher cost of living than Canada pay less child support to his former spouse living in Ontario? The Ontario Court of Appeal says no. See Connelly.

Is conduct relevant to how long or how much spousal support is payable? Only if the need for support is the result of the misconduct. See Leskun

A company is considered a separate legal person from its shareholder(s). Is income to a spouse's company condered part of that spouse's income when determining support? Yes - where the spouse is sole owner of company and he diverts income to the company for his personal use says the Court of Appeal in Wildman.

Does the surviving joint owner of a joint bank account inherit the contents of the account automatically? No, says Supreme Court of Canada, it depends on the intention of the deceased. See Saylor v. Brooks.

Payment of an equalization of the assets existing at separation may not need to be made if the paying spouse declares bankruptcy. See the Supreme Court of Canada decision of Schreyer v. Schreyer.

Site last updated: Jan 1, 2017


We offer mediation services. If you and your spouse have separated and you have not resolved your case you will first meet with your lawyers to obtain advice about your issues and the law. You and your spouse, with or without lawyers, would then attend at our offices where Joel Skapinker, acting as an independent family mediator accredited by the Ontario Association for Family Mediation will assist you and your spouse in arriving at an agreement. Once an agreement is reached, you and your spouse will then return to your lawyers, who will give you independent legal advice and draft a separation agreement. If you cannot arrive at an agreement in mediation, Joel Skapinker will arbitrate your dispute. For the benefits of mediation/arbitration, see Free Info for further information. See also further mediation details at www.TorontoFamilyDivorceMediation.com


We believe that we should not only guide you to the day your case is settled but that we should also assist you with managing your finances following that settlement. As part of that process, we will introduce you to Christian Steinbock ( http://dir.rbcinvestments.com/christian.steinbock ) an Investment Advisor at RBC Dominion Securities. By bringing Mr. Steinbock into your case before it is settled, you will have the comfort of knowing that your settlement attempts to obtain the best financial solution for you. It will also demonstrate how to best manage that settlement to try and meet your financial needs.