Family Law can be complicated. An internet site or other generalized source of information cannot possibly cover or consider all scenarios in order to provide comprehensive advice to parties contemplating separation. It is vital that the parties learn and understand their rights in connection with their specific scenario and that they get advice pertaining to their personal circumstance.
When couples decide to separate, there are many variables that will need to be decided. These decisions may be related to a variety of circumstances such as property, debts, assets, support, children, and the list goes on. Moreover, there may be specific arrangements made for the short term period that immediately falls after the separation, as compared to the long-term arrangements that follow an eventual divorce. The best resource for how to address these arrangements is through a knowledgeable Family Law lawyer.
After meeting with one or both spouses, a lawyer who is experienced in Family Law will be able to do a preliminary assessment of the specific issues within the couple’s circumstances. After narrowing the contentious issues down and assessing the likelihood of disagreement between the parties, the lawyer can then consider the likelihood of acrimony between the parties and the best path by which to achieve a resolution. The avenues for resolution may include alternative and less costly mechanisms such as private settlement, collaborative Family Law, mediation or arbitration.
If the matter is unable to be resolved through alternative routes and will have to go to court, it can be difficult for separating spouses to know where to start with the process, let alone navigate through the legal system. In Ontario, depending on where the parties live, the matter may be heard in one court that resolves all Family Law issues including divorce, division of property, custody access, adoption and child protection. However, there are some regions of the province where Family Law matters are dealt with by two separate courts. The best resource to help guide separating spouse through all avenues of the legal system and to navigate a path towards a successful resolution is an experienced Family Law lawyer.