Busted! Don’t Believe These Legal Myths!

Author: Paul Chadwick | | Categories: Business Law , Employment Law , Real Estate Transactions , Wills And Estate Planning

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Very often, a lack of information about a law coerces people to turn to the internet to learn more about a legal matter they’re facing. However, in doing so, the information they obtain is could either be wrong or generalized information. Television shows have also given rise to several myths that are relied on by people in real legal situations.

One commonly believed myth is that in a child custody battle, the courts favor the mother and will let the children live with her. This is false as in reality, the court considers what is in the best interests of the child and may order that they live with either parent.

These myths and misconceptions if believed, as the truth have the potential to hurt you both financially and emotionally. To help you avoid falling prey to these myths, I’ve debunked some of the most common myths about legal matters.

Myth 1: Two people living common law for three years are deemed to be married

This is one myth that can have serious consequences. It is believed that two people who live in common law for three years have all of the legalities of marriage attached to their relationship. This is patently wrong! The Family Law Act only provides for the party being supported to claim support from the other.

However, there are no automatic provisions for asset distribution to the spouse being supported as no assets are considered family assets. Accordingly, if common-law spouses live together for i.e. twenty years and then the relationship ends, support aside, the spouse who has been supported cannot claim an entitlement to a division of assets simply on the basis of having lived together, without being legally married.

Myth 2: If one incorporates his/her business, the shareholders/owners are totally protected from creditors and liabilities.

This is only partially true. Firstly the Directors of the corporation can be held personally liable for unpaid wages to employees for the previous six months, or for failure to pay trust monies to the government i.e. employee remittances and H.S.T.

In addition, Directors and Officers can be held personally liable for directing the corporation to commit fraudulent actions. Moreover, many lenders and trade creditors may demand "Personal Guarantees" from the principles of the corporation, thereby becoming liable in addition to the corporation.

Myth 3: The government gets your money and assets if you die without a will

It is commonly believed that if you die without a will, the government gets your money and assets. This is false! The Succession Law Reform Act provides for distribution of the assets and money to the deceased's relatives in order of proximity to the deceased person. The only time that the government would get your money/assets is if the deceased, dying without a will, has no living relatives anywhere in the world.

If you’re looking for experienced legal advice, reach out to Paul Chadwick Law. I have provided representation to a variety of individual and business clients for more than thirty-five years. I don’t believe in up selling my services, I instead rely on commitment, compassion, personal attention, and professionalism to get the best outcome for each client. To learn more about services that I provide, please click here. If you have any questions about legal matters, get in touch with me here.