SEPARATION AND DIVORCE
Separation and divorce are already emotionally difficult decisions. Financial uncertainty can make the situation even more stressful. We will negotiate the terms of the separation into a Separation Agreement or take the matter to Court to protect your interests. Whether you require an uncomplicated divorce or are drawn into complex issues and disputes, we are here to help and advocate for you.
COURT PROCEEDINGS AND LITIGATION
Court can be stressful and expensive. However, it may be necessary and unavoidable in some situations. We understand the effects of court proceedings and our goal is to ease you through these difficult times.
Keep in mind that the processes for initiating Court may differ according to circumstances. We need to consider what the issues are and whether you’ve already been in Court and had an agreement or a final Order. We are here to provide you advice on court proceedings and advocate for your rights at the Ontario Court of Justice and Superior Court of Justice.
If you are disputing an existing Order, this may require proceedings at the appellant courts as well. Our office can guide you through the complex processes of Appeals for final or temporary Orders.
Our office is equipped with the tools to negotiate and settle all issues during the separation process. We can draw up Separation Agreements to protect your interests.
At any time after deciding to get married, you and your spouse can agree to the terms of the marriage through a Marriage Contract (otherwise called a “Prenuptial Agreement” or “Prenup”).
Or if you and your partner enter into a cohabitation partnership, the terms need to be detailed in a Cohabitation Agreement.
It is a good idea to outline the terms of your relationship with your partner. Our team is here to help in explaining what can and cannot be included in such contracts as well as the drafting and execution of such agreements.
OUR AREAS OF EXPERTISE WITHIN FAMILY LAW
- Domestic Contracts
- Domestic Violence
- Parenting & Decision-making (formerly known as Child Custody)
- Parenting Time (formerly known as Child Access)
- Child Support
- Spousal Support Beneficiary
- Property and Asset disputes and division (or Equalization)
- Variations in Court Orders or Agreements
How it works
Negotiations outside of Court is highly recommended when possible. Typically, this is through collaborative family law settings, wherein a four-way meeting takes place between the parties with their representatives. Typically negotiations outside of Court lead to domestic contracts. Ways to allow an easier and more structured method of approaching negotiations can be through mediation. Mediation Agreements can be binding as well. Alternatively, there is also the option of arbitration, which is similar to a formal trial in court and where the end result is a binding and enforceable decision by a impartial third-party.
Child support calculations are determined by the Child Support Guidelines which take into consideration income and parenting arrangements. The Guidelines list child support Table amounts. But child support factors also consider the age and dependent/independence of the child. Further, on top of the Table amount, there is also a payment referred to as section 7 or Special and Extraordinary payments, that have to do with other expenses of the child, including extra curricular, medical (including dental), and child care costs, among others. Section 7 expenses are also found in the Child Support Guidelines.
Spousal support is dependent on a variety of factors and is not an automatic right and is not restricted solely to married couples. It may be based on the need of one party for financial support due to the relationship breakdown; compensation; or, as per a written agreement (or domestic contract) between the parties.
Family Law does not provide monetary compensation for violence, abuse or psychological circumstances that derived out of the relationship. Compensation for personal injury or psychological harm may need to be sought in an alternative proceeding, such as in Civil Court.
Common law division of property differs from a married couple’s situation as it is not legislated. The factors that are considered are dependent on the specific relationship. However, such things as the length of the relationship, the co-mingling of assets, or if one party has gained a benefit to the detriment of the other party, among other things, are considered.
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