Family Lawyer Ontario | Family Law Firm Oshawa & Whitby | TMB Law
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Family Law

FAMILY LAW

Separation and/or Divorce can be a very overwhelming process. Issues regarding custody, parenting time and property division are not only complex legal matters, they are also emotionally draining.

We see the impact of relationship breakdowns daily. We advise clients on how best to minimize the inevitable upheaval of the process and stress, and avoid costly litigation. We work closely with all our clients to devise strategies to address all their concerns and matters by either formal Separation Agreements, Cohabitation/Marriage Contracts, Mediation/Arbitration or Litigation.

If you are considering separation and need to understand your legal rights and options on what might lie ahead, please call us.

AGREEMENTS

Separation Agreements:

A separation agreement is a legally binding contract between two people who were living together, or have children together, and they have decided to separate. An accurately drafted separation agreement is equivalent to a court order and equally enforceable. 

The agreement will deal with division of property, including matrimonial home; equalization of assets; child and spousal support; custody and parenting time as well as all necessary estate and property releases. Full financial disclosure is exchanged between the parties to ensure that the agreement is solid and protects your rights.

Cohabitation Agreements/ Marriage Contracts:

Cohabitation Agreements and Marriage Contracts are binding agreements that will essentially protect your assets in the unfortunate event of a separation from your partner in the future. It allows you to retain your property and investments on the date of cohabitation and/or marriage and not be divided equally upon separation. The Agreements include thorough and complete financial disclosure to ensure that the Agreement cannot be set aside if contested during a separation at Court. Cohabitation/ Marriage contracts can be very complex depending on the clients’ assets. 

We strongly recommend that people have a lawyer draft any agreements, whether it be for separation or a marriage. A lawyer will not only give you legal advice but ensure all the necessary financial disclosure has been exchanged to maintain the validity of the Agreements.  A lawyer is familiar with all the necessary releases in the Agreements to protect your future assets and/or estate.

DIVORCE

Ontario has a no-fault approach when it comes to Divorce. As long as the parties have been separated for a minimum of one year (some exceptions apply), either party can proceed with a Divorce. Courts are extremely reluctant in granting divorces if custody, support and property issues are not resolved between the parties, particularly issues in relation to custody/parenting time and child support. You can either resolve the above issues by way of a separation agreement and proceed with an uncontested divorce or litigate your matter in Ontario Family Court.   

Our office specializes in assisting clients with uncontested divorces when one party is residing out of the country. For simple divorces (uncontested) our office generally completes the entire divorce under a flat fee (not including HST and Disbursements).

CUSTODY/ PARENTING TIME

“Custody” is a general term describing who has the responsibility for a child’s care, who makes the decisions about the child’s medical, educational and religious needs, and where the children will reside.

CHILD AND SPOUSAL SUPPORT

Child Support:

It is obligatory for both parents to take financial responsibility for their children. Child Support isn’t a matter of who makes the most to pay to the other spouse. It is support for your children based on your income  and parenting arrangements. Child Support is generally based on Federal Child Support Guidelines. 

Child support is not deductible by the payer nor is it taxable in the hands of the recipient.  Full financial disclosure is paramount in determining child support.

Spousal Support:

Spousal support is an order made by the court to one spouse to allow them to transition from a relationship where they did not work or took a job paying substantially less so they could care for the children, elderly relatives or simply maintain the home and support their higher earning spouse. It allows the spouse to maintain a relatively similar lifestyle as they did while they were in the relationship.

PROPERTY DIVISION

Child Support:

It is obligatory for both parents to take financial responsibility for their children. Child Support isn’t a matter of who makes the most to pay to the other spouse. It is support for your children based on your income  and parenting arrangements. Child Support is generally based on Federal Child Support Guidelines. 

Child support is not deductible by the payer nor is it taxable in the hands of the recipient.  Full financial disclosure is paramount in determining child support.

Equalization of Net Family Property:

Division of assets and property in Ontario are governed by the Family Law Act (FLA). Settlements between married couples are conducted by way of Equalization of Net Family Property. This entitles married couples to equalize on their assets regardless of the circumstances surrounding the parties separation/divorce. 

Our team of experienced lawyers and law clerks can assist you with making the right decisions regarding your separation and/or divorce. Contact us at TMB Law for a complimentary consultation for further advice.