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Gittens & Associates Blog

From family law to criminal law, if you are looking for advice about legal matters in St. John’s, Gittens & Associates is here to help. Take a look through our blog to see if we have addressed your concerns. If you have a more specific question or you would like to speak with one of our experienced lawyers, call us to set up your free consultation.

  • Little girl sad at table with parents fighting in background.
    26/05/2017
    Why Challenge An Emergency Protection Order (EPO)

    In Newfoundland and Labrador, Emergency Protection Order's (EPOs) are granted under the Family Violence Protection Act. Their main purpose is to protect spouses who are in danger of being injured by their partner. The rationale is to provide protection before the harm occurs, especially in situations where there has been past incidents of family violence.

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  • Close up of man with hands behind back in handcuffs
    05/05/2017
    What to Expect if You Are Arrested in Newfoundland

    Being arrested can be a terrifying experience. For most offences in Newfoundland, the police will just issue a Promise to Appear at court along with a date for you to attend at the police station for photograph and fingerprinting. You will then be sent on your way and expected to attend at the police station or the court house on your given dates. For more serious offences the police will hold you for a bail hearing. This will be dealt with in another section.


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  • Pencil and paper with “immigration” text
    01/03/2017
    4 of the Most Common Reasons for Immigration Refusal

    Every year, thousands of applications are refused or rejected by Citizenship and Immigration (“CIC”) for a myriad of reasons, most of which are completely avoidable. The consequences are costly delays, disappointment and unnecessary stress for the applicants and their families. CIC has a great variety of immigration options available to foreigners, but maneuvering through these options can sometimes be very challenging for the applicant. Below we will explain the most common reasons for CIC to refuse an application. Our team of lawyers at Gittens & Associates is here to help you through your immigration process, approaching all aspects with experience and professionalism.


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  • Woman and upset man back to back
    23/02/2017
    Do Women Have A Better Chance Of Winning Child Custody?

    The concept of custody and particularly joint custody has changed substantially in Canadian courts. Custody no longer refers to the physical placement of children with one parent or another, rather it refers more to the responsibility parents have for the control and care of their children.

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  • 03/02/2017
    Penalties of Impaired Driving and DUI Charges in Newfoundland and Labrador

    Drinking and driving is one of the most common offences in Newfoundland and Labrador and at the same time is one of the offences that can have the most devastating long term effects.


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  • 29/11/2016
    Wrongful Dismissal

    For anyone, one’s employment is a fundamental part of their identity and an integral part of their day to day lives. When the employment relationship ends abruptly it causes significant stress and anxiety and raises many questions.


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  • 28/11/2016
    Should You Obtain a Prenuptial Agreement?

    While couples who marry generally do so for love and plan to have their relationship last for a lifetime, it is important to always be ready for unexpected contingencies. The likelihood of divorce in Canada is over 40 percent and the divorce rate is even higher for second and third marriages. Pressures in life can draw people together or away from each other and often couples simply grow apart. Regardless of what triggers a divorce, couples still have obligations to each other.


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  • 26/11/2016
    How an Adjuster Makes a Personal Injury Settlement Offer

    Many individuals get injured in automobile accidents each year and file a claim with the insurance company. It can often be a challenge, however, to get a fair settlement for the injuries incurred. Without knowing their rights, many injured victims accept a settlement which is much lower than the real value of the claim because they failed to obtain legal advice.


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  • 25/11/2016
    Getting a Divorce

    Divorce can be a difficult matter, especially after a challenging separation. Divorce proceedings are often initiated after the couple has been separated for a period of time. If both individuals agree to the divorce and have resolved any issues at hand, such as child custody, the divorce may proceed uncontested. Sometimes, however, there are matters in dispute, such as issues of child and/or spousal support, custody and access of children, or division of property, that make proceeding with an uncontested divorce problematic. In Newfoundland and Labrador, a divorce is often held off until these matters are resolved. With the help of legal counsel, often the parties will each revise their positon in order to come to an agreement. A divorce order normally becomes final 31 days after being granted, which is after the appeal period has expired.


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  • 24/11/2016
    Frequently Asked Questions about Car Accident Claims in Newfoundland and Labrador

    Many car accidents and car accident claims occur in Newfoundland and Labrador each year. To protect road users, vehicle owners in the province are required by law to buy a mandatory amount of insurance coverage. After a car accident, two claims types may be possible in Newfoundland and Labrador: an accident benefits claim and a personal injury (tort) claim. These two claims can occur at the same time.


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  • 23/11/2016
    Frequently Asked Questions about Spousal Support

    It is an emotional time when a relationship ends. Your financial position could be uncertain and stress levels could rise. You may be wondering if you are entitled to spousal support and, if so, how much. If you are entitled, spousal support (sometimes referred to as alimony outside the court) will be based on a number of factors, including how long you and your spouse resided together, your career paths, and the need for support based on the degree of financial dependency you have on your partner. If your partner’s success in his or her employment is due in part to you giving something up in the relationship, then support is given to compensate you for making sacrifices. You may have supported your spouse so he or she could attend school, obtain a profession, or develop a career in a new jurisdiction. Or, you may have sacrificed your career to stay home and care for the children.


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  • 22/11/2016
    Steps to Take after Being in a Car Accident in Newfoundland

    Car accidents can happen in a matter of seconds. One moment, you are driving along and the next moment, you are at a standstill, in agonizing pain, trying to piece together what just happened. A collision can cause serious injury, significant stress, expense, and unwanted time off work. The responsibility for the collision and extent of your injuries will need to be determined in order to arrive at whether you have a personal injury case for compensation. In order to ensure that your legal interests are protected, there are certain steps you should take after being in a car accident.


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  • mother fighting for custody
    21/11/2016
    Do’s and Don’ts in a Custody Dispute

    For many separated families, making child custody arrangements is emotionally difficult. Parents may have different views about the best interests of their child. Mothers no longer automatically get sole physical custody as courts recognize that children tend to develop best when they have significant parenting time with each parent. Joint custody, (which refers to decision-making) has become the norm unless a parent is abusive or otherwise harmful or the parents are unable to communicate in any manner. 


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  • family lawyer helping with custody dispute
    20/11/2016
    Factors and Outcomes in Custody Disputes

    Custody disputes sometimes arise during a separation and are often predicated on issues that existed prior to the separation. A number of factors contribute to a custody dispute, including high conflict between the parents, the child’s role in disagreements between the parents, and poor relations between a child and parent, such as in situations of neglect or abuse. Whatever the circumstances, decisions about custody are not taken lightly by court judges because they realize their decisions will affect the emotional well-being and growth of the child.


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  • 19/11/2016
    The Benefits of Working with a Newfoundland Full-Service Boutique Law Firm

    If you have a single legal problem that is complicated or is a high stakes matter, you will want to engage a lawyer who has experience handling the type of matter with which you are dealing and you will want to find the best lawyer you can afford. If you have multiple matters and a need for ongoing legal services, you may prefer a firm that can effectively service your different legal needs.


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  • 18/11/2016
    Mediation Lawyers to Settle Disputes in Newfoundland

    Mediation is a collaborative dispute resolution alternative used to try and settle issues instead of having a judge make decisions in court. Unless the mediation is mandated by court order (which could be possible in civil, non-family, cases), the process is voluntary. The parties can attend mediation voluntary at any time by consent. The mediation led by a trained independent individual who is a neutral third party. The mediator does not decide the case and does not provide legal advice to the parties. Many will not give their own views if asked. 


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  • 17/11/2016
    New Family Law Rules on Dispute Resolution in Newfoundland

    Family law disputes have traditionally been resolved by litigation. Recently the provincial government has introduced measures to try and reduce the number of cases that end up before the Supreme Court of Newfoundland.


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  • 16/11/2016
    What Happens if You Don’t Pay Your Taxes

    Actions Taken by CRA Collections

    Sometimes a taxpayer does not pay Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) the taxes owed when due. An individual may have significant income tax owing where tax deductions are not made at source, such as in the case of self-employment income and spousal support. Or, a small business may have run into difficulties paying GST/HST by failing to separate HST funds from revenues and not making GST/HST remittances more frequently than the minimum annual requirement.


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  • 15/11/2016
    Do You Need a Will?

    A Will is a legally binding document prepared during your lifetime that takes effect upon your death outlining how you wish to have your estate assets and possessions distributed. It is common to prepare a new Will at least every five years, especially as your assets are changing and relationships in your life are developing, ending or transforming.


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