We help you thrive through and beyond a separation and divorce.
Our lawyers have an excellent record in winning court cases and negotiating agreements (settlements) for our clients in the areas of:
If you and your spouse are parents, children related issues of custody and access will likely be the most difficult ones to resolve. However, more than 98% of custody issues that go to court are settled by the parents before trial, often with the help of various professionals like the lawyers, counselors, mediators, or a representative of the Office of the Children’s Lawyer.
This area of the law has undergone major changes in the last two decades, and the pace of that change has quickened in the last five years alone. Spousal support rules and agreements are likely to continue undergoing significant reform over the coming years as circumstances change within the family unit and the economy.
Domestic Contracts are signed by couples who want to agree upon a variety of issues at different stages of their relationships. The Family Law Act has various sections related to Domestic Contracts, of which there are three categories: cohabitation agreements, marriage contracts and separation agreements.
When a marriage or relationship breaks down, the parties’ assets have to be divided somehow. If you are legally married (including legally married same sex couples), the method for dividing assets between the spouses in Ontario is governed by the Family Law Act, unless you and your spouse have signed a valid agreement outlining a different process for division.
Zeidman Law Offices is a well-respected boutique law firm serving the Greater Toronto Area.
Our lawyers focus on getting the best results for you and/or your children in family law cases. If you face a separation or divorce, you need a lawyer with the strength to fight for you and knowledge of the law. But those mean little unless your lawyer also tells you like it is.
Frequently Asked Questions
It would be a conflict of interest and contrary to Rules of Professional Conduct for one lawyer to represent both spouses in a separation or divorce case.
There is no requirement under Ontario law for either you or your spouse to be represented by a lawyer in a separation or divorce case. Each person is entitled to represent himself or herself. However, negotiating a separation agreement and/or going to court when you are not an expert in family law can prove to be extremely costly. There’s an old saying that only a fool has himself or herself as a client when going to court, and there is considerable truth in that saying. At the very least, you and your spouse should each have independent legal advice before finalizing any agreement between the two of you. Again, although this is not necessarily a legal requirement under Ontario law, each party getting independent legal advice is the smart thing to do, and it can help avoid mistakes that could cost you upwards of tens of thousands of dollars in the future.
If you are successful in court, the judge may award you costs against your spouse. The extent of the cost award will depend on many things, the most important of which usually is whether you made your spouse an offer to settle early on in the process and whether your success in court exceeds what you would have received had your spouse accepted that offer. The extent of the recover can also depend on whether you took any steps in the proceeding that lengthened or complicated matters.
Under certain circumstances, you are allowed to deduct all or a portion of your legal fees and disbursements from your income taxes. For example, fees associated with pursuing a spousal support award can be tax deductible. Contact one of our lawyers if you have specific questions, or speak to your accountant.
Zeidman Law Office provides its clients with guidelines you can use to keep your legal costs to a minimum. Some useful tips from our guidelines include the following:
- prepare for telephone calls and meetings with your lawyer by reviewing your file and having all documents and information handy
- when providing documents to your lawyer, make sure you have organized them first instead of paying for the law clerk to do it
- focus on the legal issues when you are speaking with your lawyer; although other issues can be discussed, that’s not what you’re really paying for
- provide your lawyer with the information he or she requests promptly
- don’t make unnecessary calls to your lawyer or send numerous emails
- don’t repeat information to your lawyer unless asked to do so
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Introduction: Divorce is a complex and emotionally charged process, and understanding the legal grounds for divorce is crucial for anyone considering or going through this