We help clients with a variety of legal issues surrounding separation and divorce. Sometimes that might mean summary legal advice at a single meeting, and other times it could mean a court case lasting several years. Regardless of the complexity in a given case, certain legal principles and procedures always tend to govern the result, and thus provide the foundation blocks of the service we offer to clients. Below, are links to information designed to assist clients with some of these concepts. 


In Ontario, divorce is ordered by a judge of the Superior Court upon reviewing evidence provided, usually in Affidavit format. In order to obtain a divorce, the judge must determine either that the parties have lived separate and apart for a year, or that there has been adultery or mental cruelty. The latter two grounds for divorce are seldom used.  



Separation agreements allow parties to customize the details of their future dealings with each other, whether that takes the form of an ongoing support obligation, relationships to a child, or complete independence. Parties can often save a great deal of time and expense by resolving issues by way of a negotiated agreement.


The division of property can be simple or complex, and will depend on the facts of each individual case. To divide property, the parties must establish their assets and debts on the date of marriage and the date of separation. Subject to some important exceptions, the parties are entitled to split any change in the value of this property.


When it comes to property division, common law couples do not have the same rights as married couples. At the end of a common law relationship, one party often holds more property than the other. Where appropriate, the courts will order that the economic consequences of relationship breakdown be shared fairly between the parties.

There is no such thing as “filing” for legal separation in Ontario. Rather, separation is a word that describes the point in time when spouses begin to live separate and apart. The concept can apply to either married or common law couples. The date of separation is important as it is the primary way of determining divorce eligibility. Even for parties who do not require a divorce, the separation date can have a significant impact on their rights and obligations.


Spousal support awards are designed to share the effects of a relationship (whether married or common law) on the income generating capacity of the partners. The Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines provide the starting point to calculate potential entitlement.


Child Support awards seek to ensure that children do not suffer economic disadvantage from relationship breakdown. The appropriate amount of support depends on incomes of the parties, as well as the circumstances of a particular case. The Child Support Guidelines establish the amount of child support payable as a function of the payor's income.


Each case has its own unique facts and features. The issues involved and the position of the parties will determine the steps required, This section provides a general overview of the court process which is sometimes long and complex process. John adopts a streamlined approach to court procedure to achieve client objectives as efficiently as possible.


Unless parties can agree on these issues, this area of often presents one of the greatest challenges to settlement of a case. The needs of children change as they mature and this means that the optimal plan for their care can change over time. This calls for a flexible and child focussed approach to the ongoing needs of children. 

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