WISDOM + COMPASSION
Toronto Family and Civil Litigation Lawyer
Family/Divorce Law｜Civil Litigation
We practice primarily in family law,
divorce law and civil litigation
Ran Tao, Barrister and Solicitor is the Principal Lawyer at Tao Law Professional Corporation. A fierce advocate in the courtroom, Ran appreciates the value of timely resolutions and other intangible benefits informed by the client’s objectives. Specially in some cases, preserving an ongoing relationship is as important as maximizing one’s own legal interests.
On the other hand, Ran does not shy away from difficult matters, as many other lawyers may. Ran shines in complex matters that are either “numbers heavy”, overly contentious, or involving complicated allegations, for example those involving fraud or abuse of some sort. In high conflict litigations, litigators often undertakes to determine the truth of the matter, so the client’s interests can be protected.
An academic and professional background in business has proven highly beneficial and have allowed Ran to navigate the often-complex factual mazes in difficult litigation matters, particularly those involving financial disputes. Ran also prides himself in his ability to think outside-of-box to generate creative litigation strategies or settlement proposals.
Ran regularly takes on cases involving foreign legal systems or foreign judgments, and Ran has considerable experiences in matters involving jurisdictional issues, which require understanding of private international law (i.e., conflict of laws).
Ran regularly appears before the Superior Court of Justice. He has also appeared before the Ontario Court of Justice and the Small Claims Court.
Ran is a member of the Law Society of Ontario, the Advocates’ Society, Toronto Lawyers Association, the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers.
Family Law & Civil Litigation
Prenuptial Agreement; Postnuptial Agreement (Marriage Contract); Cohabitation Agreement; Separation Agreement.
Simple Divorce Application; Joint Divorce Application; other uncontested court applications for parenting and child-related issues.
Major decisions (custody); parenting time (access); supervised access; education decisions; holiday access; relocation; unauthorized removal of child (parental abduction), incl. Hague Convention cases for return of the child.
Allegations of domestic violence and surrounding issues; restraining orders.
Child support; spousal support; imputation of income (e.g. self-employment income, investment income, cash income); lifestyle analysis; entitlement to support; variation/review of support payments.
Equalization payment; net family properties; title issues (e.g. real property, investment, pre-built property, family trust); trust claims (i.e. constructive trust, resulting trust, unjust enrichment); exclusive possession; partition and sale; freezing assets; non-depletion of family assets.
Disputes involving business operations, business purchase, real estate investments, commercial contracts, shares in private corporation, shareholder relationship, corporate governance, debt repayment.
Other Civil Litigation
Other civil litigation involving contract or tort based disputes; invasion of rights; unjust enrichment; equitable reliefs.
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Most commonly asked questions in family law, divorce law and civil litigation
Family and Divorce Law
In Canada, a court order from the Superior Court of Justice is required in order to dissolve a marriage. In Ontario it is the same. This is the only way to divorce. There are three grounds for divorce: adultery, cruelty, or that the parties have separated for more than one year (i.e. the divorce judgment will be issues after they have separated for one year). With the above said, the most commonly used ground is having separated for one year. Feel free to contact our firm and learn about the different grounds and how to obtain a divorce order in Ontario in a fast and economical manner.
An uncontested divorce refers to obtaining a divorce after the parties have reached an agreement with regards to the relevant issues (e.g. custody/major decisions, access/parenting time, child support, spousal support, property division/equalization, etc). Where possible, it is usually recommended to settle the outstanding issues before seeking a divorce order. Not only it would require must less time, efforts and money, it reduces the stress and headaches associated with the litigation process. The family lawyers at Tao Law have plenty of experiences representing clients in an amicable manner and/or in negotiation settings, so as to maximize the parties’ chance reaching a settlement.
Studies show that, most family law matters, even if contentious, would resolve outside of court. Usually this requires lawyers with specialized knowledge in family law to participate in the process. Our family lawyers can accurately access the matters, provide legal advice based on the applicable statutes and case laws, preserve the good will in a dissolving family unit, which often involves child-centered considerations. In the event the negotiation breaks down, our family lawyers will quickly prepare court materials in order to reduce any undue delay in your matter.
In vast majority of the cases, children would benefit from contact and interactions with both parents. The family courts in Ontario routinely order parenting time with both parties, often (but not always) with a view to maximize parenting time with both parents. Where special considerations are required in a case, the court would carefully assess different factors in order to determine the best interests of the child. If you are being denied parenting time (i.e. access) to your child, it is imperative to reach out to a family lawyer immediately to receive timely legal advice. You will want to avoid any unjustified delays and any negative inferences from the same, so your legal interests will not be prejudiced.
Fortunately, parenting issues are not based on one’s economic circumstances or wealth. Parenting issues are determined in the best interests of the child, which in turn depend on the parents’ relationship with the child, the parents’ abilities and willingness to care for the child, and sometimes the parents’ circumstances at work. A low-income primary caregiver often is entitled to child support and also spousal support. While spousal support is on top of child support, it may surpass the amount of child support. The determination of spousal support is quite fluid and discretionary, and you want to make sure you talk to an able family lawyer (such as our lawyers) for legal advice on this point.
For the roughly 15% population of Ontario who are self-employed, family law have special treatments for you guys/gals. Very rarely would the court equate the support payor’s taxable income to be the person’s “family law income for support purposes”. Ran Tao, Barrister and Solicitor, frequently utilized his previous experiences in the business/startup sectors to help his clients to navigate this interesting area of water. In some cases, we also achieved satisfying results and proved cash-based incomes after performing financial analysis.
It is not rare for a party involved in a family law proceeding to have case or unreported income. In these family law cases, it is often a challenge to determine a party’s income for support purposes. The Court must engage in comprehensive analysis to impute income upon this party. The Court typically treats the issue seriously and will employ various strategies to ascertain the truth. If you are involved in a situation like this, you may want to give us a call, and our experienced family law litigator can assist you based on your unique circumstances.
Foreign connections in a family law case bring up many additional considerations: will the ex-spouse hide assets from me? will the ex-spouse pack up and leave? can he/she take the child overseas? There usually options to protect one’s legitimate interest, but careful planning, taking appropriate actions, the right timing are all very important in these cases. Ran Tao, Barrister and Solicitor have extensive experiences dealing with interjurisdictional family law cases. You can call or email us for a consultation.
It is true that typically the party who defaults under a contract, including a purchase agreement for real property, may have to pay compensation (legally called “damages”) to the innocent party. It certainly can be a substantial amount.
However, the amount of damages may vary significantly depending on the relevant factors in a case. In some cases, the damages calculated are rather small. In some cases, the Court may even order what is called “nominal damages”, which means a very small amount.
A hint: timing matters a lot in situations like this. Our experienced litigators can assess your case and properly guide you through a difficult time like this.
The short answer is “yes” – the Superior Court of Justice can grant several interim remedies in the appropriate cases, including for the preservation of property (interim injunction), to prohibit dealing of a real property (Certificate of Pending Litigation), freezing all assets including bank accounts (Mareva injunction or freezing order), or “civil search warrant” allowing for legal search and seizure (Anton Piller order).
Note that most of these interim remedies are considered extraordinary remedies, and they require strong evidence (that is available in the interim). Please contact us immediately if you find yourself in a situation that may require urgent legal assistance.
A contract or an agreement usually becomes effective the moment both parties sign on it. In some situations even earlier than that when an offer is accepted. This can include even oral agreements.
However, the law and equity do not permit anyone to take advantage of others by exploiting their vulnerabilities. In many cases, an unfair agreement can be set aside. If someone is pressured into the agreement, did not understand the agreement, or if there were mutual mistakes or unmet conditions, the Court could declare the contract is terminated and no longer in effect.
Depending on how significant the “issues” are, you may or may not be entitled to terminate the contract. If a party walks away from the contract without proper reasons, the other party may allege “anticipatory breach”, meaning it is clear that the first party is not honoring the agreement, and can sue the first party for damages. Sometimes, even if one does not actually want to terminate, his/her behaviors can be interpreted (reasonably) to mean just that. If so, the other party may still succeed in an action for anticipatory breach.
For minor issues that are not significant enough, it may be appropriate to ask the seller for a reduction in the purchase price instead.
An agreement is very often essential in a construction project. It is not only for the prevention of predatory/shady business practices. In construction projects, there will always, always be unforeseen circumstances and issues – the recent hikes of raw material prices and interest rates related to COVID-19 are good examples. It is important that the parties understand who bears what risks and what happens to delays. Even pre-COVID and where both parties are dealing with each other in good faith, delays are a common occurrence in construction projects. A perfect world where the parties just shake hands and nothing bad would happen, simple does not exist.