Cheryl Goldhart

Cheryl’s dedication to family law is unparalleled, with nearly 40 years of exclusive practice in this complex field. Her expertise ranges from negotiating complex agreements to litigating at all levels of courts in Ontario, including the Court of Appeal. Her recent success at the Supreme Court of Canada in a child support case is a testament to her determination in ensuring her client’s interests are vigorously represented.

In addition to her years of experience, Cheryl has also achieved certifications and designations which reflect her extensive experience and expertise.  In particular, she is certified by the Law Society of Ontario as a Family Law Specialist and is designated as an Accredited Family Mediator by the Ontario Association for Family Mediation and a  ADR Professional of the ADR Institute of Ontario.

Cheryl’s contributions to family law extend beyond the courtroom. As a past member of the Panel of the Children’s Lawyer of Ontario, she has represented children’s interests in various cases. Her role as a family law instructor and frequent lecturer has enriched the legal community, and her numerous articles have become valuable resources. Recognized as the only family lawyer in Ontario to receive the Lexpert Zenith Award, and certified as a “Best Lawyer in Canada” for family law since 2008, Cheryl’s accolades culminated in the prestigious Ontario Bar Association’s Award for Excellence in Family Law. Her legacy in family law is both inspiring and influential.

  • Bachelor of Arts, York University, 1982
  • Bachelor of Laws, Western University, 1985
  • Masters of Education, Counselling, University of Toronto, 1986
  • Called to the Bar, Law Society of Upper Canada, 1987
  • Certified Specialist in Family Law, Law Society of Upper Canada, 2010
  • Certified Mediator, Ontario Association for Family Mediation, 2012
  • Certified Family Law Arbitrator, ADR Institute of Ontario, 2015
  • Lexpert Zenith Award, 2014 (only Family Lawyer to receive this Award)
  • Lexpert Directory, Consistently Recommended Family Law lawyer, 2011 – present
  • Best Lawyer, Best Lawyers, 2008 – present
  • Ontario Bar Association Family Law Award of Excellence 2016
  • Fellow, International Academy of Family Law Lawyers (IAFL), 2017 – present (International association of selected family law professionals)
  • Family Law Bench and Bar Committee, 393 University, Member, 1998 – present
    • liaise between judges, court administration and family law bar
  • Dispute Resolution Officer, Chair, 2010 – present
    • management of program, conducts education and training, prepares statistics
  • The Advocates’ Society, Family Law Practice Group, Chair, 2012 – 2015
  • Family Law Arbitration Executive Committee, FDRIO, Member, 2015 – present
  • Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO), Director, 2022 – present
  • Unified Family Court Expansion Group, Member, 2015 – present
    • dedicated to expanding Unified Family Court throughout Ontario
  • Attorney General Committee, Member, 2015 – present
    • developing protocols for reform re: complaints against custody/access assessors
  • Judicial Advisory Committee, 2019 – 2021
    • Committee tasked with vetting applications by lawyers to become judges of the Superior Court of Justice and recommendations to the Federal Government re same
  • Lexpert Practice Advisor, Contributing Member, 2014 – present
  • The Advocates’ Society, Board of Directors, Director, 2012 – 2015
    • member of a number of subcommittees including: Court Security Standards Committee, Practice Group Standing Committee, Civil Trial Reform Committee, New Toronto Courthouse Committee, Grassroots Family Justice Reform Project, Trinity Western University v LSO, Expert Task Force: Moore v. Getahun
  • Self-Represented Guide Committee, Chair, 2014 – 2015
    • created materials to assist self-represented litigants, published on SCJ website
  • Practice Direction Committee, Chair, 2013 – 2014
    • Developed practice direction for 393 University for all matters heard 
  • Ontario Bar Association, Family Law Executive, Chair, 1999 – 2003
    • involved in numerous subcommittees relating to advancement and reform of family law issues including pension reform and expansion of Unified Family Court
    • review, commentary and critique of Family Law Rules when introduced, proposed continuing record when introduced, and child support law prior to Guidelines being introduced
    • chaired the Honourable Justice Walsh Gala (for 750 people)
  • Ontario Bar Association, Family Law Executive, Member, 1990 – 2003
  • Canadian Bar Association, Family Law Executive, Member, 1999 – 2003
  • Dispute Resolution Officer, Member, inception – present
  • Office of the Children’s Lawyer, Panel Member, 1995 – 2004
  • Pro Bono Students Canada, Campaign for Family Justice, 2013 – 2014
  • Art Committee, SCJ – 393 University, Chair, 2001
    • arranged artwork project at 393 University Avenue, Toronto
  • Mandatory Information Session, Member, inception – 2000
    • member of original committee originating the program (in 1990s)
    • facilitator at sessions for first several years of program and developed text
  • 2023/04/27: Osgoode: Osgoode Family Law Skills Certificate– Teaching, “Arbitration Panel” and lead Case Conference Workshop
  • 2023/04/05: Osgoode: Osgoode Certificate in Family Law Skills Certificate – Leader, Motion Workshops
  • 2023/02/13: FDRIO: Speaker: CBVs and Family Law
  • 2022/11/21: FDRIO: Chair and Speaker: Annual Conference
  • 2022/11/11: LSO: Speaker, Annual Child and Spousal Support Program
  • 2022/10/29: Osgoode: Chair and Speaker, Arbitration for Family Lawyers
  • 2022/04/14: National Family Law Arbitration Course, Panelist: – Issues in Mediation-Arbitration
  • 2022/04/02: Riverdale: Mediation Course, Speaker: Mediating Spousal Support Issues
  • 2022/03/23: Osgoode: Osgoode Certificate in Family Law Skills Certificate – Leader, Motion Workshops 
  • 2022/03/10: Osgoode: Osgoode Family Law Skills Certificate, Panelist:  Judges and Arbitrators Roundtable on Motion Advocacy
  • 2022/02/18: International Academy of Family Lawyers: Conference, Speaker Jurisdictional Issues in Family Law
  • 2021/06/02: Osgoode: Osgoode Family Law Skills Certificate – Teaching, Motions Workshop
  • 2021/05/05: Osgoode: Osgoode Family Law Skills Certificate– Teaching, “Arbitration Panel” and lead Case Conference Workshop
  • 2021/02/22: The Advocate’s Society: Speaker “The Art of Settlement”
  • 2020/09/21 and 2020/10/08: Osgoode: Osgoode Family Law Skills Certificate – Speaker and Group Leader: Motion Advocacy
  • 2020/07/07: The Advocates Society: Panel Member, “So You Want to be a Judge”
  • 2020/05/21: Speaker, “ADR Skills for Family Lawyers”.
  • 2019/11/17-19: Speaker, “Family Law Forum for Senior Family Lawyers – Mediation and Arbitration throughout Canada”.
  • 2019/10/22 – The Advocates Society: Speaker, Skills Instructor, “Conduct of the Family Law Motion – Advocacy in Arbitration: An Overview”.
  • 2019/05/03: The Advocates Society, Co-Chair, “ADR Skills for Family Lawyers – Mediation and Arbitration Advocacy”.
  • 2019/04/17: FDRIO – Speaker, “Advocating Effectively”. 
  • 2019/01/30; Law Society Ontario: Chair, Amendments to the Divorce Act.
  • 2018/11/18: LSO: Speaker, “Effective Use of the Case Conference Process and Marshalling What is Needed to Resolve the Matter”. 
  • 2018/01/18: Ontario Court of Justice Annual Family Law Program (Judicial Development Institute), Speaker, “Update on Retroactivity, Reviews and Variations”.
  • 2017/11/19: Canadian Family Law Forum (Langdon Hall), Speaker, “Support Issues in Ontario Family Law”.
  • 2017/11/13: Osgoode – 7th Annual Advanced and Recent Issues in Child and Spousal Support, Speaker “Changing Things Up: Variations”.
  • 2017/10-17: Advocates Society: Conduct of the Family Law Motion, Skills Instructor 
  • 2017/10/12: Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (“FDRIO”), Annual Conference, Speaker: Family law issues
  • 2017/09/19: OBA: Family Law Section, Eight Annual Bread and Butter Issues in Family Law, Speaker.
  • 2017/02/10: OBA: The Pitfall of Family Law and How to Avoid Them, Speaker “Essential Advice on How to Resolve a Case Efficiently”
  • 2016/09/23: OBA: Family Law Section, Seventh Annual Bread and Butter Issues in Family Law, Speaker, “Is Your Irrevocable Beneficiary Designation Sufficient? Life Insurance Lessons from Daag v. Cameron
  • 2016/08: LSO: Ethics in Family Law, Consent and Capacity.
  • 2016/04: OBA: Family Law Review, Working Group.
  • 2016/04/11: LSO: 10th Annual Family Law Summit
  • 2016/02/16: Riverdale Mediation Course, “Mastering Mediations”2016/03: Judge Walsh Moot, Toronto
  • 2016/02/04: OBA: As the Family Law World Turn, Panelist, “Maximizing Success at Mediation”
  • 2016/01/30: LSO: Domestic Violence Screening, Speaker, “Complex Issues for Arbitrators”
  • 2015/11/24: Osgoode: Family Law Ethics – Dealing with Self Reps, Faculty
  • 2015/11/14: Advocates’ Society: Fall Convention, Chair
  • 2015/11/06: Riverdale: Advanced Family Mediation, Speaker, “Mediating Financial Cases”
  • 2015/10/02: Advocates’ Society: Conduct of the Family Law Motion, Chair
  • 2015/06/25: LSO: Solo and Small Firm Conference 2015, Speaker, “Get Paid! The Art of Billing”
  • 2015/06/01: OBA: Litigation Costs, Speaker, “Costs in Family Law Proceedings” 
  • 2015/05/05: LSO: Modern Family: Symposium On Child Custody & Access, Moderator, “Joint/Shared Custody”
  • 2015/01/28: The Advocates’ Society: Civil Trial Symposium, Facilitator
  • 2014/11/20: OBA: Ethical Challenges (and Solutions) in Mediation, Arbitration and Collaborative Law, Speaker
  • 2014/11/17: LSO: Professionalism and Practice Management for Family Law Lawyers, Chair
  • 2014/11/07: The Advocates’ Society: Fall Convention, Speaker, “Current Issues in Family Law” 
  • 2014/10/06: DRO: Dispute Resolution Officer Training, Instructor
  • 2014/10/02: Osgoode Hall Law School, Professional Development (“Osgoode”): Comprehensive Guide to Handling a Family Law Case, Demonstrator, “Effective Use of Mediation” 
  • 2014/04/30: OBA: Family Law: ADR Interchange, Demonstrator, “Navigating the Initial Conference Call” 
  • 2014/02/07: OBA: Family Law: Issues for Today, Preparing for Tomorrow, Speaker, “Weighing the value of a Business Valuation”
  • 2013/11/01: LSO: Hot Topics in Ethics for Family Lawyers, Speaker, “Dealing with Bullying”
  • 2013/10/24: ADR Institute of Canada (“ADRIC”): Family Mediator’s Guide to Working with Counsel, Instructor
  • 2013/09/24: Dispute Resolution Officer Program, Family Court, Superior Court of Justice (Ontario) (“DRO”): Dispute Resolution Officer Training, Instructor
  • 2013/05/23: Solo and Small Firm Conference, Instructor, “Family Law and Wills & Estates Law: You need to Know This”
  • 2013/04/10: Riverdale: Speaker, “Power Imbalances and Family Violence in Family Law Cases”
  • 2013/03/20: LSO: Property Issues in Family Law – Part 1, Speaker, “Separation Agreements”
  • 2012/10/26: Riverdale: Speaker, “The Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of Screening”
  • 2012/10/20: The Advocates’ Society: Fall Forum, Instructor 
  • 2012/10/03: LSO: Social Media and e-Discovery in Family Law, Chair  
  • 2012/04/16: Women’s Law Assoc. of Ontario: Hanging Your Shingles, Panelist, “Practice Management”
  • 2012/01/28: LSO: Domestic Violence Screening, Panelist, “5 Common Arbitration Problems”
  • 2012/01/11: Western University: Family Law Dispute Resolution, Speaker, “Family Mediation Theory and Skills” 
  • 2011/10/21: Riverdale Mediation: Speaker, “Power Imbalances in Family Law” 
  • 2011/10/03: 311 Open Bar Series, Speaker, “The Current Law on the Common Law Spouse Support/Property”
  • 2011/09/26: Osgoode: Complex Issues in Child and Spousal Support, Demonstrator, “Are lump sum Awards Appropriate” 
  • 2011/03/30: LSO: Ethical Dilemmas in Family Law, Chair
  • 2011/02/04: Ontario Bar Association of Ontario (”OBA”): Family Law Boot Camp: Kicking It Up A Notch, Panelist “Dealing with Challenging Counsel and Judges”
  • 2010/11/02: Law Society of Ontario (“LSO”): Ethical Dilemmas in Family Law, Chair
  • 2010/10/21: Riverdale: Screening for Power Imbalances and Domestic Violence, Instructor
  • 2010/05/12: Riverdale Mediation Training and Consulting (“Riverdale”): Advanced Family Mediation & Negotiation Training, Instructor
  • 2022: 
    Nemetz v. Reiter Nemetz, 2022 ONSC 2825 (SCJ)
    Summary Judgment motion for dismissal of claim
  • 2021: 
    Colucci v. Colucci, 2021, S.C.C. 24 (SCC),
    Current leading case in Canada, setting out test for retroactive variations of the child support

    MH v. L K
    2021 ONSC 560 (SCJ)
    Parenting – Equal time share for young children

    Roberts v D’Amico, 2021 ONSC 707 (SCJ)
    Variation of spousal support as a result of impact of Covid

    Solcz v. Solcz, 2021 ONSC 8457 
    Appeal of arbitral award re setting aside marriage contract

    Albaum v Albaum
    Interim Support in high income case

  • 2020: 
    Montemarano v. Montemarano, 2020 ONSC 1393
    Discovery of legal file and privilege
  • 2018:
    Veljanovski v. Veljanovski, 2016 ONSC 3803 (SCJ)
    Costs decision
  • 2016:
    Veljanovski v. Veljanovski, 2016 ONSC 2047 (SCJ)
    Parenting Decision
  • 2014:
    Zaldin v. Zaldin, 2014 Carswell Ont 15887 (ONSC), 2014 ONSC 6504
    Removal of counsel of record on the basis of conflict of interest

    Gray v. Rizi
    , 2014 Carswell Ont 12315 (ONSC), 2014 ONSC 5219
    Retroactive support

    Grossman v. Grossman
    , 2014 Carswell Ont 18864 (ONSC), 2014 ONSC 2090
    Bifurcation of proceedings to determine the validity of a marriage contract

  • 2013:
    Lemieux v. Mercer, 2013 Carswell Ont 15567 (ONSC), 2013 ONSC 3233
    Variation of temporary access terms

    (C.M.) v. G. (R.)
    , 2013 Carswell Ont 3932 (ONSC), 2013 ONSC 1636
    Costs in family law proceedings

  • 2012:
    Thomson v Thomson, 2012 ONCJ 182
    Entitlement to costs in family law proceedings

    Lemieux v Mercer, 2012 ONSC 7033 (SCJ)

    Parenting assessment and interim parenting

  • 2010:
    Himel v. Greenberg, 2010 Carswell Ont 8262 (ONSC), 2010 ONSC 4084
    Costs in family law proceedings

    Himel v. Greenberg
    , 2010 Carswell Ont 8261 (ONSC), 2010 ONSC 2325
    Production of documents in non-party’s control and sealing orders

    Condoyannis v. Foundos, 2010 Carswell Ont 2198 (ONCA), 2010 ONCA 279
    Interpretation of Minutes of Settlement

  • 2009:
    Condoyannis v. Foundos
    , 2009 Carswell Ont 215 (ONSC); [2009] W.D.F.L. 955
    Interpretation of Minutes of Settlement
  • 2007:
    Islam v. Rahman
    , 2007 Carswell Ont 5718 (ONCA), 2007 ONCA 622
    Costs in family law proceedings
  • 2006:
    Writer v. Peroff, 2006 Carswell Ont 7114 (ONSC), [2006] O.J. No. 4567
    Attribution of income to payor spouse

    Writer v. Peroff
    , 2006 Carswell Ont 6218 (ONCA), [2006] O.J. No. 4061
    Appeal of Order striking pleadings and costs Order

    Writer v. Peroff, 2006 Carswell Ont 6438 (ONSC)
    Costs in family proceedings

    Writer v. Peroff, 2006 Carswell Ont 6437 (ONSC)
    Striking pleadings

  • 2005:
    Islam v. Rahman, 2005 Carswell Ont 1911 (ONSC), [2005] O.J. No. 1920
    Custody and access determinations in high conflict and protracted litigation

    Kimla v. Golds
    , 2005 Carswell Ont 1000 (ONSC), [2005] O.J. No. 1015
    Variation of support, imputation of income 

    Rosen v. Rosen, 2005 Carswell Ont 68 (ONSC), [2005] O.J. No. 62
    Availability of an urgent motion prior to a case conference

  • 2004:
    Sharf v. Sharf, 2004 Carswell Ont 4858 (ONSC), [2004] O.J. No. 3282
    Determination of income for interim support purposes

    Miller v. Shankman
    , 2004 Carswell Ont 515 (ONSC), [2004] O.J. No. 377
    Proportional sharing of section 7 expenses and extension of spousal support

  • 2003:
    Mason v. Mason, 2003 Carswell Ont 4548 (ONSC Div. Ct.), [2003] O.J. No. 4697
    Departure from the Guidelines
  • 2002:
    Butler v. Breech, 2002 Carswell Ont 2359 (ONSC), [2002] O.J. No. 2835
    Determination and quantification of section 7 expenses
  • 2000:
    Taylor v. Jenkins, 2000 Carswell Ont 2274 (ONSC), [2000] O.J. No. 2492
    Variation of mobility provisions in separation agreement
  • 1999:
    McCourt v. McCourt, 1999 Carswell Ont 3905 (ONSC), [1999] O.J. No. 4586
    Quantification of interim spousal and child support
  • 1997:
    Dennis v. Wilson, 1997 Carswell Ont 4396 (ONCA), [1997] O.J. No. 4663
    Impact of Guidelines on support
  • 1996:
    Merklinger v. Merklinger, 1996 Carswell Ont 4494 (ONCA), [1996] O.J. No. 4080
    Appeal of Orders for unequal division and lump sum spousal support
  • 1995:
    Dennis v. Wilson, 1995 Carswell Ont 4442 (OCJ Gen. Div.), [1995] O.J. No. 1724
    Application to vary custody and child support provisions in separation agreement
  • 1993:
    Blumenkranz v. Blumenkranz, 1993 Carswell Ont 1694 (OCJ Gen. Div.)
    Ongoing and retroactive child support
  • 2017: “Comparing Apples to Oranges: The Difference Between a De Novo Review and Variation, and What Constitutes a Material Change”
  • 2016: “Complex Issues for Arbitrators”
  • 2016: “Tips for Maximizing Success at Mediation: Before, During and After”
  • 2015: “Costs in Family Law Proceedings: How Much is it Really Worth?”
  • 2014: “Weighing the Value of a Business Valuation”
  • 2013: “Family Law: What’s New and Considerations with Other Areas of Law”
  • 2013: “You’ll Thank Me Later – Tips for Protecting your Client and Yourself”
  • 2010: “What’s Your Type”
  • 2009: “Initial Client Meetings”
  • 2008: “Get Your Costs While their Hot!”
  • 2008: “Domestic Contracts: Are they Worth the Paper They’re Written On?”
  • 2008: “Who Gets What? Property Division Following Separation”
  • 2008: “When I’m 64: Real Estate Issues for the Boomer Generation”
  • 2007: “The Unfortunate Rigours of Roguery”
  • 2007: “Mediation/Arbitration – Getting Started”
  • 2004: “Unusual Income Issues: A Jumble of Odds and Ends”
  • 2003: “Civility”
  • 2002: “Enforce your Orders: Contempt and Other Enforcement Proceedings”
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