Family Law for Financial Professionals

Statistics show that up to 50% of marital and common law relationships end in separation.  The financial and emotional cost of such breakdowns are significant.  This course will cover everything financial practitioners need to know when faced with family law issues of their clients, employers, or friends. 

16 May 2019, 9:00 AM

8.5 CPD hours


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Course Description

The following topics will be covered during this event:

1. Overview of the FLA, Completing Form 13.1, Defining Valuation Date and Treatment of the Matrimonial Home (9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.)

Speaker: Joanna Harris, LL.M. of Miller Thomson LLP

2. Child and Spousal Support - The Basics and Common Issues (10:05 a.m. to 11:05 a.m.)

Speakers: Lorne Fine, LL.B., Q. Arb. and Daniel Dominitz, J.D. of Fine & Associates Professional Corporation; Natalie Derbyshire and Elise Visco of Kronis, Rotsztain, Margles, Cappel LLP

3. Different dispute resolution areas, disclosure issues, timelines & disclosure obligations, and role of the financial professionals do's and dont's (11:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.)

Speakers: Todd Slonim, LL.B., Acc. FM, Diana Solomon, LL.B. and Timothy Deeth, J.D. of Devry Smith Frank LLP

4. The Emotional Side of Family Law Disputes (12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.)

Speaker: Risa Ennis, B.A., AccFM (OAFM), M.A. of Risa Ennis Family Mediation and Counselling Services

5. Marriage and Co-habitation Agreements, and Marriage Date Issues (1:20 p.m. to 2:20 p.m.)

Speaker: Richard Diamond, LL.B. of Bales Beall LLP

6. Double Dipping - Not All Dip is Equal from Boston to Halliwell & Excluded Property - Treatment of Income from Excluded Property (2:25 p.m. to 3:25 p.m.)

Speaker: Geoffrey Wells, M.A., LL.B. of MacDonald & Partners LLP

7. Case Law Update: Property (3:25 p.m. to 4:25 p.m.)

Speaker: Serena Lein, B.A. (Hons), J.D. of MacDonald & Partners LLP

8. Tax Issues and the ‘Orderly and Equitable’ Settlement of Property and Equalization Matters in Family Law (4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.)
Moderator: Alison Pengelley, J.D. of Galbraith Family Law Professional Corporation
Panelists: Hon. Donald G.H. Bowman, Jesse Brodlieb of Quantum Tax Law, Todd Louie of Quantum Tax Law,  Vinay Khosla, M.Acc., CPA, CA of Bateman MacKay LLP and Melanie Russell

Please note that this is a full day event and will be held at the Donalda Club. The structure of the event is as follows:

  • Registration & light breakfast – 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
  • Presentations - 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (lunch at 12:15 p.m.)

If you can't make the event, your registration fee entitles you to unlimited access to the event webinar that will be posted shortly after the event and, of course, the PD certificate from listening to the webinar.  If you prefer a refund, please ensure that you give us at least 48 hours notice. 

We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events.  Should you have any ideas for topics, speakers, or anything else, feel free to contact Melanie Russell, CPA, CA, CBV, CIM, CFE, CFF, ABV at 416-488-9590 x 225. 

Course Walkthrough

  • Certificate: Family Law for Financial Professionals
  • Feedback / comments

About the Instructor(s)

Picture of Donald Bowman
Donald Bowman

As former Chief Justice of the Tax Court of Canada, the Honourable Donald G.H. Bowman has extensive experience in resolving tax disputes. Mr. Bowman has made significant contributions to Canadian tax law having spent his entire legal career as a tax litigator. He joined the Federal Department of Justice – Tax Litigation Section soon after his call to the Ontario Bar, and was appointed Director in 1968. Mr. Bowman joined the law firm of Stikeman, Elliott, Robarts & Bowman in 1971, and was a partner there until his appointment as a Judge to the Tax Court of Canada in 1991. Mr. Bowman was appointed Associate Chief Judge in February 2000, Associate Chief Justice in July 2003, and Chief Justice in February 2005. Mr. Bowman also is former counsel to Dentons’ National Tax Group, and he continues to share his expertise with numerous firms as a mentor and adviser.

Picture of Jesse Brodlieb
Jesse Brodlieb

Jesse is recognized across Canada as an expert in corporate tax planning, and was previously a tax partner in the world’s largest firm – Dentons.

Picture of Timothy Deeth
Timothy Deeth

Joining Devry Smith Frank LLP (DSF) is very much a homecoming for Tim.

Following his call to the bar in 1975, Tim practised with (what was then) McClintock, Devry & Pierce for 11 years before leaving to start his own firm.

Throughout his career, Tim’s practice was focused mainly on Family, Real Estate and Wills and Estates Law and he has vast experience in all three of these areas of law. He has appeared as counsel in family law matters in all levels of courts throughout Ontario.

Tim particularly enjoys meeting and dealing with clients on a one-on-one basis and always welcomes the opportunity to get to know new clients and help them with their problems, whether it be navigating through a difficult separation or divorce, assisting with the administration of an estate, advising clients on Estate Planning issues and preparing their Wills, or witnessing the excitement of clients in their purchase of a new home.

As a resident of Don Mills for 35 years, Tim has also been very active in the Don Mills Civitan Club, a community and social service club which, among its numerous projects, operates the hockey programme at the Don Mills Civitan arena for over 500 participants a year ranging in age from seven to 18.

In the past, Tim has been a panel member of the Office of the Children’s Lawyer (formerly the Official Guardian’s Office), has sat as a Dispute Resolution Officer (a pilot project in the Scarborough Family Court), and has provided volunteer services at the Agincourt Community Services Association. He is currently a member of the Consent and Capacity panel of lawyers each of whom must be specifically designated and approved to appear before the Consent and Capacity Board.

Tim graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1973, and after articling with (what was then) McClintock, Devry & Pierce, joined the firm upon his call to the bar in 1975 and practiced with them until 1986 when he opened his own law firm.

He is happily married, has four grown children and one grandchild. In December, 2013, Tim received his black belt in Karate.

Picture of Natalie Derbyshire
Natalie Derbyshire

Natalie was called to the Ontario Bar in 2006.  She has been practicing family law for roughly 12 years.  She graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2005.  In 2002, she earned a Bachelor of Arts with Honours from York University, having double-majored in Sociology and Law & Society.   She graduated (cum laude) with distinction on the Dean’s List in the top 5% of the student body.

Natalie has significant experience negotiating and drafting domestic contracts, including cohabitation agreements, marriage contracts, and separation agreements. Her practice involves helping clients resolve the issues of property division, divorce, child and spousal support, custody and access. She also provides advice in relation to step-parent adoptions. She has strong litigation skills and significant experience advocating for her clients at various provincial and superior court locations across Ontario and helped prepare for Court of Appeal appearances. 

While litigation is sometimes necessary, particularly when power imbalances exist between parties or there is a lack of co-operation on the part of the opposing party, when appropriate, Natalie encourages clients to engage in alternative dispute resolution processes which can be cost-effective and help clients to maintain control over the outcome of their family law matters.  Natalie is a certified collaborative family law lawyer, an active member of Collaborative Practice Toronto, York Collaborative Practice and the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO), having served on FDRIO’s Board of Directors from 2015-2017. 

Natalie is a mother of an energetic 19-month old.  When she is not at work, she is happiest at play or rest with her daughter who is the light of her life.

Picture of Richard Diamond
Richard Diamond

Richard Diamond is a Partner at Bales Beall LLP, practicing  almost exclusively in the areas of family law and civil litigation. He is called to the bar in both Ontario and Manitoba. His practice focuses heavily on the resolution of disputes through negotiation and alternative methods of resolution. He provides advice to clients on matters surrounding separation and divorce, custody, child and spousal support, the division of marital property and guidance on domestic contracts such as pre-nuptial and cohabitation agreements. Prior to law school, he served as an assistant in the offices of several federal cabinet ministers as well as an intern in the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada. He also served as national president of the youth wing for a major Canadian political party.

Picture of Daniel Dominitz
Daniel Dominitz

Daniel is a lawyer at Fine & Associates with a focus on family law. Prior to joining Fine & Associates, Daniel commenced his legal career practicing family law at a leading family law firm in Toronto.

Daniel earned his J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School, where he received several awards including, The Honourable F.H. Barlow Scholarship for highest standing in Commercial Law, the Rudolph P. Bratty Award for academic achievement and the Dean’s Scholarship. Daniel received his H.B.A. from the University of Toronto, in 2012.

Picture of Risa Ennis
Risa Ennis

After being an at home mom for thirteen years with her three daughters, Risa became certified as a Parent Educator in 1997 to pursue her passion of helping other parents develop strong self-esteem in their children.

It was through her work as a Parent Educator that she realized that so many parents were struggling with uncooperative ex-spouses and were looking for assistance in developing efficient co-parenting strategies. This lead her to pursue becoming a Family Mediation professional to continue providing parenting expertise along with drafting parenting plans and educating co-parents on how best to cooperate for the best interests of their children.

She became accredited as a Family Mediator with the Ontario Association of Family Mediation in 2000 and opened her own practice. 

In 2005, Risa earned a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Counselling focusing on grief and relationship counselling and in 2012, earned a Bereavement Education Certificate.  The specialty in grief work has been extremely helpful in assisting clients while they wrestle with grieving the multiple losses that separation presents, while at the same time, assisting them in finalizing their separation agreements.

In 2006 and 2008, Risa had earned her Level 1 and Level 11 Certifications as a Collaborative Professional and frequently works in with collaborative teams in the Collaborative Law Model.

As a Parent Coordinator Risa also assists clients with implementing, amending and maintaining legally binding parenting plan agreements.

Risa cares deeply about helping the clients and their children successfully grieve through this challenging transition in their lives in a kind and respectful way. 
Picture of Lorne Fine
Lorne Fine

Lorne J. Fine B.A., LL.B., is a well known and experienced lawyer in Toronto, Ontario, whose practice is solely dedicated to the area of Family and Divorce Law. Lorne graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. He graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1990 and was called to the Bar in 1992.

In addition, Lorne has furthered his law studies in Oxford University in England. After articling with Minden, Gross, Grafstein & Greenstein, Lorne established his law practice. Shortly thereafter, Lorne and his long-time friend and associate, Brian Belmont, established Belmont, Fine & Associates Barristers & Solicitors. He is also the founding member of Fine & Associates Professional Corporation.

Since being called to the Bar Lorne has furthered his studies and obtained Certificates in the fields of Negotiation, Collaborative Law, and Mediation. Lorne has mediated numerous cases and is a qualified Arbitrator (Q.Arb).

Picture of Joanna Harris
Joanna Harris

Joanna Harris practices primarily in family law. She is located in Miller Thomson's Vaughan office and regularly meets with clients in our Toronto office. Joanna offers her clients the skills and knowledge necessary to resolve the legal issues related to separation, divorce, custody and access, spousal and child support, equalization of property, as well as international family law issues (including Hague Convention matters).

When child related matters are involved, Joanna’s approach is child focused and every reasonable attempt is made towards resolving contentious issues without protracted litigation.

Joanna has experience working on matters that involve the complex intersection of family law and business, including working closely with valuators and accountants. Joanna also has experience working on high conflict custody and access cases, including cases involving court appointed assessors.

Joanna has authored and co-authored several book chapters and articles, particularly on the issue of children’s evidence. Prior to joining Miller Thomson, Joanna was a judicial clerk at the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto and practiced family law in Toronto at two leading firms.

Picture of Vinay Khosla
Vinay Khosla

With over 20 years experience, Vinay provides small-medium enterprises with innovative tax and sound business advice that translate into bottom line savings. As a specialist in Tax Planning and Optimization, Vinay also leads our Business Advisory Services and has extensive experience in areas of: tax planning; mergers and acquisitions, estates and trusts, corporate reorganizations and divestitures, creditor proofing, income tax appeals and other domestic and international tax planning strategies.

Vinay has a reputation for attention to detail, helping him to successfully support a range of industries, such as manufacturing & distribution, transportation, real estate, healthcare, technology and others. 

As a subject matter expert, Vinay has presided over lectures and presentations to law firms, financial institutions and other professional associations, covering diverse topics in tax services and strategic risk management.

Outside of Bateman MacKay, Vinay volunteers his time to several charitable organizations. He has held several leadership roles such as: Director with the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce SME Committee, Soccer Coach with Oakville Soccer Club, amongst others.

Picture of Serena Lein
Serena Lein

  • B.A. (Honours) in Psychology, with Distinction at Wilfrid Laurier University, 2007; J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School, 2010
  • Called to the Ontario Bar in 2011
  • During Law school, Serena participated in the Family Law Project with Pro Bono Students Canada where she assisted unrepresented litigants in family court and gained valuable experience in drafting court materials and working with clients
  • Articled in Family Law at a downtown Toronto full service firm where she further developed her interest in family law and gained experience in family law litigation and alternative dispute resolution
  • Contributor to Handling a Family Law Matter in Ontario, which publishes serveral updates a year regarding changes to family law legislation and jurisprudence for family law practitioners
  • Experience in assisting clients resolve their family law issues through negotiation, mediation, mediation/arbitration and litigation

Picture of Todd Louie
Todd Louie

Todd specializes in the effective implementation of corporate reorganization strategies for CCPCs across Canada.  In addition to being a tax educator and lecturer, Todd also assists corporations and individuals with matters involving tax dispute resolution with the CRA.

Picture of Alison Pengelley
Alison Pengelley

Alison Pengelley is an experienced family lawyer at Galbraith Family Law Professional Corporation which is a boutique law firm with 12 lawyers all practicing family law. Alison brings a wealth of work, academic, volunteer and life experience to the practice of family law. Before entering law school Alison worked for a large Toronto law firm while pursuing extramurally a BComm (Finance and Accounting) and serving on a Board of Directors for a non-profit organization, all the while raising a child as a single mother. In addition to a Doctorate of Jurisprudence, Alison also holds a Certificate of Negotiation from Osgoode Hall Law School. Alison has a track record of successful outcomes at various levels of Ontario Courts including matters with complex property and support issues, as well as jurisdictional, custody and access issues. Having herself experienced a separation and divorce, Alison is poignantly aware that a lawyer’s skillful use of the law can provide the necessary power and protection for her/his client. Alison is also aware that the needs/interests of clients dealing with the separation process are often multi-dimensional and complex thus requiring from the outset a careful analysis in order to help clients choose the right dispute resolution tool as well as the right team including where necessary a CPA, CBV, and/or tax experts. Alison is a passionate advocate who is committed to helping her clients through the difficult process of resolving family disputes.

Picture of Todd Slonim
Todd Slonim

Established family lawyer Todd Slonim received his B.A. in communication studies from the University of Calgary. While there, he created a documentary film that won Best Human Interest Documentary at the North West International Film Festival in 1999. Todd then attended Cardiff Law School in Wales and completed his LL.B. He returned to Canada to attend Dalhousie Law School, before returning to Toronto to complete his articles with a family law firm. 

Todd has practiced exclusively in family law at a boutique firm in Toronto since his call to the bar in 2005. He has been involved with many difficult and complex cases. In addition to appearing at all levels of courts in Ontario, Todd is a proponent of resolving family law matters through Alternative Dispute Resolution. He has achieved excellent results for his clients in mediation and arbitration while avoiding the pitfalls of court proceedings. 

Todd is an accredited family law mediator. He brings an insightful, practical and efficient approach to mediation to help guide the parties towards the resolution of their family law disputes. Todd promotes the mediation process as a positive and reliable alternative to litigation. 

Todd is a trained collaborative family lawyer. He advances the collaborative practice as a practical and alternative process to court to help families achieve settlement in a respectful, creative and cost-effective manner. 

As a family lawyer, Todd is a member of the Ontario Bar Association, Law Society of Ontario, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the Ontario Association for Family Mediation, Collaborative Practice Toronto and York Collaborative Practice.

Picture of Diana Solomon
Diana Solomon

Diana joined Devry Smith Frank LLP in June of 2018 as a Toronto family law lawyer. Diana has practiced exclusively in the area of family law since her call to the Bar in 1999. She regularly deals with complex property and support matters, and custody and access disputes.

Diana believes that settlement through negotiation and/or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods serve her clients and their family’s current and ongoing needs best. She has advanced ADR training and has been able to settle a significant number of her cases out of court. When a case is best served in court, however, Diana is also an effective advocate. She has had cases in all levels of the Ontario court system.

Diana was an instructor at the Toronto Family Information Sessions. She has written and co-written for Matrimonial Affairs, and sessions at the Advocacy Society and the Family Law CLE sessions. Diana has her certificate in family mediation from York University and holds ADR and Advanced ADR certificates from Stitt Feld Handy.

Diana received a B.A. from McGill University in 1993. She obtained her LL.B. from Queen’s University in 1997. While at Queen’s Law School, she was awarded the Cassels, Brock & Blackwell Centennial Award in Practice Skills. Diana also participated in Queen’s first French moot court competition in Brussels. Outside of the practice of law, Diana enjoys spending time with her family, reading, cooking, and tennis.

Picture of Elise Visco
Elise Visco

Elise realized her passion for family law in her first year at Osgoode Hall Law School and actively pursued opportunities to gain experience in this area. She volunteered with PBSC Family Law Project in her second and third year of law school and completed the Osgoode Mediation Intensive specializing in family law. She also spent a summer in Freetown, Sierra Leone working for the Defence for Children International.

Prior to law school, Elise received a Bachelor of Science in Biological Science with a minor in Italian from the University of Guelph.
Elise summered and articled with KRMC before returning to the firm as an associate.

Picture of Geoffrey Wells
Geoffrey Wells

Geoffrey Wells is an experienced trial and appellate counsel with financial expertise to successfully resolve complicated Family Law financial matters including valuation of business, trust interests and support issues. Geoffrey Wells is a Registered Student in the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators Program of Study.

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