In this video, I will be going over 3 Common Myths about Separation and Divorce.
Women Always Win in Family Law
One concern I hear from clients very often is that women come out on top in family law. There’s this prevalent idea that Ontario / Canadian Family Law – regarding spousal support, child support, custody and access – favours women over men.
This is a popular misconception and I am here to tell you that it is generally untrue. The law and the courts are neutral.
Both parties, whether they are men or women, breadwinners or homemakers have rights, entitlements, and obligations in family law.
Generally, whether a man or woman “wins” in a family law court depends on the particular facts and how the law applies to those facts. Every case is different.
But really, the reality is that there is no such thing as “WINNING” or “LOSING” in family law.
Taking a WIN / LOSE approach in your family law matter ends up with both parties losing – losing a lot of time, money, and sleep.
The WIN / LOSE approach is damaging to you, your wallet, your sanity, and your children. It is not the approach you should be taking.
Family law is about compromise and settlement. You and your ex both win if both parties try to negotiate a resolution that is best suited to your unique case and family circumstances.
My Kid Only Wants to Live With Me so The Court will Make It So.
In family law, there is something called the “Maximum Contact Principle”. While this principle is enshrined in the Divorce Act, it also applies to unmarried parents. Essentially, the Courts want to maximize a child’s contact with both parents where the parents are decent parents and able to care for their child.
The child’s wishes and preferences are not always paramount because children do not always know what is best for them or may be parroting another’s desires.
Whether a child’s wishes and preferences are considered by the Court in custody / access issues depends on the child’s age, maturity level, and whether Court suspects that one parent is negatively influencing the child’s refusal to see the other parent.
I Don’t Need a Family Law Lawyer
Of course, every family law lawyer will tell you to retain counsel at the start of your family law matter, but do they tell you why?
Going through the court process is time consuming and complicated, both procedurally and legally. Negotiating a resolution outside of court can be similarly complicated, especially when you are not familiar with the law and what rights, entitlements, or obligations you may have.
Many self-represented parties start the court process or negotiations themselves. Often, these parties only retain counsel when they become stressed, overwhelmed, and confused by everything that is going on. By this time, they may have inadvertently hurt their own case by prejudicing themselves.
Retaining counsel to represent you from the get go or to provide you with legal advice and opinions through the process can help mitigate unnecessarily complicating your matter.
As I mentioned before, family law is about compromise and settlement. As a family law lawyer, I want you to be able to move on with your life. Our job is to help you resolve your matter in the most amicable, timely and cost-effective way possible. We’re here to lessen your stress, not make it worse.