Separation and divorce are very stressful. It is always helpful to know what to expect and how the process will unfold. Today, I will be discussing with you what you can expect from your family law lawyer.
Your family law lawyer should be well versed in the Federal and Provincial Statutes, prevailing case law and practice and procedure governing family law.
He or she will discuss with you:
- what constitutes separation;
- custody, access and child support if you have children;
- entitlement, amount and duration of spousal support;
- the sale or transfer of ownership of your matrimonial home;
- division of property, such as a cottage or investments; and
- other issues that arise upon the breakdown of a marriage or common law relationship.
You can expect that when you retain your lawyer, you will review and execute a formal Retainer Agreement and be given a detailed Memorandum advising you of practices and procedures of the Firm.
Because family law matters require substantial disclosure, your lawyer will be asking you for specific financial disclosure that will be set out in writing for your easy reference.
As your matter progresses, your family law lawyer will provide to you electronic copies of every correspondence, court document, items of disclosure, reports, and relevant legal research.
In this way, your lawyer ensures that you have a full copy of your file in real time. Your lawyer will encourage you to also keep hard copies of all such documents in a binder with tabs for different types of documents, for easy reference.
Your lawyer will, from time to time, prepare and provide to you various calculations including but not limited to:
- Net Family Property Statements (to determine the amount of an equalization payment to be made in your matter)
- Spousal Support Advisory Guideline Calculations (to determine the amount and duration of spousal support payment to be made in your matter)
- Calculation of arrears of support and/or carrying costs of the home
Your family law lawyer will keep you informed of all happenings in your case and will discuss with you options for settlement and strategies to resolve your issues. Your lawyer will generate options but will take instructions from you.
Ultimately, if you are able to resolve your matter on an amicable basis, your lawyer will draft a comprehensive separation agreement to be signed by you and your spouse.
Your lawyer will discuss with you all the terms in the separation agreement and what they mean in practical terms in your specific situation.
If you are not able to settle your matter amicably, your family law lawyer will draft your necessary court documents and will represent you in court at conferences, motions and at trial (if necessary).
Your lawyer will, throughout the process, attempt to resolve your matter in the fastest and most cost effective way possible, keeping in mind the circumstances of your case.
For more information on this and other issues or to make an appointment with one of our lawyers, please contact us at Feldstein Family Law Group at 905-581-7222. Thank you.