Ask a Lawyer with Iain Sneddon

Ask a Lawyer on Country 104


Announcer 1: Welcome to Ask a Lawyer time and Iain  Sneddon from Cohen Highley Lawyers is joining us right now on the phone and you know we reached out and we said hey, you know if you’ve got any questions about the law, things that are personal to you, you can ask and maybe Iain has an opportunity to answer some of those for you. 
Announcer 1: We know Iain that your specialty is more geared towards Family law, but you do, you are able to go outside and talk about, you know, vaccination statuses and employment, and marijuana laws, and all that stuff. So it’s nice that you have all that depth, and we’ve actually got a few different questions that were submitted earlier on this morning. 
Announcer 1: There is so much that I want to bring up about Britney Spears Betty, and I know you don’t have too much time. But coming up, we will talk about the competency side of things, and why can’t Brittany just hire her own lawyer? 
Announcer 2: Yeahwe’re going to toss them out to Iain and see what we can do here and help some listeners.  We got one that says I have a lawyer question; basically, how long can someone keep delaying a divorce? Is there a cap on it if you’ve been separated for more than six years already? 
Iain Sneddon: Wow, OK, well there’s a lot going on there. The first thing is that if parties separate, they do have a limitation for making claims. One of them would be for the equalization of property. So essentially that’s a calculation of the increase in value less the debts over the course of the marriage, and then you share that.  A divorce, until the 1960’s, you have to establish adultery or cruelty. Now, the most common one, I see it 99% of the time, is living separate and apart for a year. You can live separate and apart within your own home, so a lot of people will ask me “Am I legally separated?”  The answer is if you have formed an intention to end the marriage and there’s no reasonable prospect of you two living together again and reconciling, then you are separated. 

And that’s where it’ll run.  You have six years from the date of separation to claim an equalization, and two years for divorce.  With a divorce, there aren’t a lot of reasons to delay it, other than maybe one side just doesn’t want the relationship over. There are some legitimate reasons, but normally what I’d advise your listener to do is speak to her lawyer, if she has one, or if she gets a lawyer, what she wants to do is sever the divorce from the rest of the claims being made.  So she has been separated for a year. She can ask a judge say look, can you deal with the divorce now and we’ll deal with the rest of the issues later. And ordinarily, that would be granted. 

Announcer 2: OK, well hopefully that one is is helpful.  We also got another one involving divorce, it says good morning, what is the  reason benefit of a legal separation before filing for divorce? 
Iain Sneddon: Well, I think the benefit is it keeps you out of court. So, when you do a separation agreement, for example, that’s a contract you never have to set foot in a court, or these days appear via zoom, so that would be the biggest advantage, and if you know what you’re going to work out, particularly when there are kids involved or quite frankly, one that’s coming up more and more dogs are involved. don’t know what it is with dog loversThe goldfish community does not, care but dog lovers do. You know they  care about their dogs and that can be an issue for a separation that can cost a lot of money and I better have that worked out before you go through the actual divorce. 
Announcer 1: Yeah, that’s a tough situation because Kendra, you’re dog owner and I’m a dog owner, multiple dogs and like it’s just. It’s just kind of one of those things where they become a part of your life, and especially I feel if a split does in fact happen and your dog is no longer around and a part of your life I can understand how difficult that can be. 
Announcer 2: They‘ve lost two people. 
Announcer 2: Yeah, weirdly enough, is speaking about dogs...before we we take a little break here from questions and get more sent our way in, we did get someone that says they are having a difficult time finding an apartment because they have a dog. They keep getting turned down. 
Announcer 2: They’re very respectfulthey’re very quiet, their dog is trained, they’re fantastic, but they keep getting turned down. They want to know if there is a landlord rule that legally allows you to deny a dog. 
Iain Sneddon: OK, well as you mentioned Kendra I’m certified by the Law Society as a specialist in family law, not landlord tenant law, though we do have people who do that, my recollection, and I hope it comes from law and not from my guilty pleasure of occasionally watching Judge Judy, but I’m pretty sure that you could exclude a dog, but if you’re doing so, ihas to be in the lease.  I think the key thing is the lease. That’s about as far as my knowledge of landlord tenant law goes, but you can contact somebody who does that area or if you Googled either tenant rights, landlord rights, or those sort of things you’ll get there, there are people who could give that advice, but my my best guess is that if you’re going to deny something, whether it’s smoking in the apartment or having a dog there, or those with their pets snakes that would need to be in the lease or it have to be precluded in the in the lease meaning you had to specifically say I won’t have a dog or won’t do whatever in here. 
Announcer 2: OK, interesting.
Announcer 1: All right, a lot of a lot of different legal advice going out there, Iain we’ll try and hang on you here for a couple more minutes an see if we can get some last minute questions in before we let you go, but if you’ve got anything, if there’s a question that you need, answer legal advice now is the time to do it. Give us a text. 
Announcer 2: We are getting a lot of questions involving custody battles and things like that involving vaccinated families and unvaccinated families. That is the that is a big conversation right now and I do encourage you to get a hold of Iain at Cohen Highley Lawyers directly. If you did have one of those questions this morning that you text us. 
Announcer 2: We got a lot this morning to get through, and one that I didn’t really think aboutIainthat we received this morning. He said I have a question for Iain, my daughtershe’s 18 years old and has just had a baby were over the moon and unfortunately her boyfriend doesn’t want us seeing the baby.  Do grandparents have rights?
Iain Sneddon: It’s a great question and it’s becoming more and more prevalent in family law for grandparents to try to assert some rights with respect to grandchildren because they’re you know, fitter, healthier than they were, say, 50 years ago, the more actively they can be involved and the short answer is that grandparents did not have any statutory rights until fairly recently, but there was the common law.
Announcer 2: OK
Iain Sneddon: When people talk about the common law just means a series of decisions rendered by judges you read through them, come to some conclusion that grandparents are getting more rights, particularly grandparents who were involved from the get go because the overall test regarding parenting, and custody was removed from our language and has been replaced with parentingis the best interests of the of the child, so if the child closely attached with the with a grandparent, or there is a benefit to the child having time with the grandparent, then a court can order itIt won’t be the type of parenting time that a parent would get, but you could maybe expect once a month or it depends on the age of the child and all those circumstancesBut yes, even against the parents wishes, it’s possible a court could order right of access or visitation to a grandparent. 
Announcer 1: We’ve gotten so many questions today Iain of things that I never would have even considered, and like I said, a lot of them this morning involving, you know, a divorce and children involved in one family vaccinated and their families not vaccinated or one is going to be losing their job because of that and they won’t be able to pay support. There are a lot of questions that may be fired your way Iain, because we aren’t going to be able to to get to them.  This morning, but how do people contact you if they they want to ask further questions, Iain? 
Iain Sneddon: Well, they can always call us, but we’ve just redone our website and it’s very very very user friendly now. So if they went to, or send me an email. 
Announcer 1: Lots of different ways to get in contact with you and there’s a plethora of different areas of expertise that multiple lawyers from the firm can cover, so you know that any question that you do have regarding law will be answered by one of their experts. Iain, thank you so much for joining us today. I really feel like today we we answered a lot of questions and a few different people reached
Iain Sneddon: Sounds great.


How to Connect with Us

We make it easy for individuals to connect with our legal team.
You can request a call back from our legal team in three easy ways.

Call Us

Call our toll free number.

Email Us

Email our legal team.

Online Form

Request a call back online.