Derek Fisher: Filing for Divorce

TMZ has reported that Derek Fisher, the coach of the New York Knicks and former point guard of the LA Lakers, has filed for divorce from his wife Candace. The parties were married for ten years prior to Fisher filing for divorce. According to TMZ, Fisher has asked for joint legal and physical custody of the children.

In Ontario, joint legal custody means that the parties will make the major decisions regarding their children's education, religion, health and welfare together. Further, in Ontario, an equal time parenting regime is often referred to as a shared custody arrangement.

In Ontario, when a spouse decides to "file for divorce" this is done by commencing an Application. The Application can include claims, in addition to that for a divorce, that arise out of the breakdown of the marriage, including, but not limited to, custody, access, child support, special/extraordinary expenses (often referred to as section 7 expenses), spousal support, equalization, and costs.

The party who commences an Application must have it issued by the Court and then proceed to serve the Application on the other party. In the event that the Application includes a claim pertaining to support or property division (i.e. equalization), the party must complete a Financial Statement, which must be served with the Application. In the event that the Application includes a claim for custody or access, the Application must be accompanied by an Affidavit in Support of Claim for Custody or Access (Form 35.1), which must also be served with the Application.

After serving the other party with the above-mentioned documents, the documents must then be filed with the Court. After being served with the court materials, the other party then has thirty (30) days to serve and file their responding materials. The responding document is referred to as an Answer, and may be accompanied by a Financial Statement and an Affidavit in Support of Claim for Custody or Access (Form 35.1), depending on the claims included therein and the claims being responded to.

Given the above, if the parties were resident in Ontario, Candace would have thirty (30) days to serve and file her Answer, Financial Statement and Affidavit in Support of Claim for Custody or Access (Form 35.1).

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