Family Lawyer and Divorce Lawyer
Simplifying Your Family and Divorce Matter – Family Lawyer Free Consultation
Simple Divorce understands the emotional and financial impact that a matrimonial matter can have on you and your family’s life. Mix in the legal complexities involved in dealing with such matters and it can become overwhelming. During such a sensitive time the expertise of a family and divorce lawyer becomes essential to assist with the variety of issues that arise in family law. Our network of lawyers simplify the process during this turbulent time by upholding to the standards of the legal profession in their commitment to ensure the highest level of professionalism and expertise. Contact us to get a free family and divorce consultation and case evaluation.
Our vision since our inception has been to provide competent legal services while simplifying the process for our clients. In order to facilitate our mission, our firm provides a free initial consultation for eligible clients.
FAMILY LAW DEFINITION – Free Consultation
Family law in Canada is governed by a combination of federal and provincial laws. ‘Family law’ is an overview term relating to family-related legal issues. This includes topics such as marriage, separation, divorce, custody and access, child protection, division of property, child support, spousal support, and adoption. In a lot of cases, family lawyers are hired to deal with matters relating to financial negotiations on these subjects as well as inheritance issues. Family law firms in Toronto also offer assistance in the drafting and interpretation of prenuptial contracts and separation agreements.
Family law is primarily statute-based, meaning it is guided by statutes that apply to married people residing in Canada. The federal Divorce Act is an example. There are also lots of subcategory issues and issues relating to couples who are not married governed by provincial statutes. What these statutes vary from province to province and relate to matters such as division of property, child protection and child custody, and support matters relating to people who are not married.
Family lawyers are trained to represent clients in court and settlement negotiations. They prepare documents tied to prenuptial arrangements, separation, divorce, and custody. Family lawyers can also aid in dispute resolution, either through bringing a matter before the courts and asking a judge to make a determination, or negotiating directly with opposing counsel. In certain cases, family law firms in Toronto may offer mediation assistance, as in acting in a non-partisan manner and assisting both spouses to reach an agreement.
A family lawyer is there to help you through a difficult time. They can be leaned on as a resource and someone experienced in matters such as divorce. A family court lawyer can help you navigate complex family legal disputes, achieving the most favourable outcome for your given situation. Especially in areas where tensions are high, a family lawyer brings to the table extensive knowledge that can be put to use in your favour. As families make a transition following the breakdown of a relationship, a family lawyer is there to help and it all starts with a family lawyer free consultation.
FAMILY LAWYER – FREE CONSULTATION
Our family law services range from the simple to the most contested matters. We understand that our clients are not generic and their needs vary from case to case. Different needs mean different solutions, and our fees have been structured to reflect this reality. In our experience, depending on the particular situation, individuals require one of the following three solutions:
1) Simple Divorce: A simple divorce is just what it sounds like. The parties in a divorce proceedings are only looking for a divorce and are not advancing any other claims. A simple divorce may be initiated solely by one spouse or jointly by both spouses.
2) Separation Agreement: A separation agreement is an amicable way to resolve all outstanding issues relating to your divorce matter. Negotiating a separation agreement with a family lawyer is an out of court solution to resolve your family law matter in a private manner. This is an ideal solution to protect your rights while saving you the acrimony and costs associated with the formal court process.
3) Contested Divorce: When negotiations fail it will become necessary to utilize the formal litigation process to uphold and protect your legal rights. Whether you are the main applicant or are responding to a family law claim, we can assist you.
4) Asset and Property Division: Upon separation, a major goal for two married spouses is to come to an agreement on a fair division of property and assets. In Ontario, the Family Law Act stipulates that property division is subject to a regime called ‘Equalization of Net Family Property.’ The cumulative net worth acquired during a marriage is subject to equalization between spouses. This is to ensure each party is fairly compensated. To this point, ownership of a given asset does not hold legal relevance. If a spouse has accumulated more net family property over the course of a marriage, that spouse is then required to pay forth an equalization payment to the other. This equalization does not apply to unmarried or common-law spouses. For them, arrangements that relate to asset and property division will have to be made differently. A family lawyer understands the uniqueness of every family law case. The right solution in asset and property division for one family may not be the case for the next. We can help.
5) Children and Parenting: In a separation or divorce, when it comes to children and parenting matters, this is when emotions can flare. It is not uncommon for there to be significant disagreement about living arrangements, parenting schedules, and financial responsibilities tied to children and who has the decision-making rights in handling matters relating to healthcare, education, and religion. Custody is perhaps the area that is divorcing couples struggle with the most, although residential parenting schedules and physical time-sharing between parents can also be problematic. When tensions are high, a parent may conduct themselves to alienate the child from the other parent. These are difficult challenges for any parent or couple. Our family lawyers are here to help, prioritizing the child’s best interests and providing individualized advice to help guide you through dispute resolution.
6) International and Multi-Jurisdictional Matters: As a family law firm in Toronto, we see more family law cases than ever that engage in international, multi-jurisdictional affairs. These are more complex family law cases, requiring specific knowledge from your family lawyer as well as collaboration with other experts and professionals in other jurisdictions. In these matters, some of the disagreements couples may encounter are not only broader international issues but also prenuptial and marriage agreements, international divorces and separations, international relocation, division of property and assets, asset-tracing, remarriage, international child custody, and even child abduction. To this latter point, parental child abduction occurs when a parent takes or conceals a child from the other parent. As this applies to international matters, it is when a child’s taken from their home country or held in another country without a guardian’s consent. Regardless of the international or multi-jurisdictional matter, the earlier you get set up with a family lawyer in Toronto, the better. Early advice and swift action are key to resolving these matters as amicably as possible.
7) Litigation and Representation: Litigation is sometimes needed in family law cases. Matrimonial matters cannot be resolved through negotiation or mediation. There may be safety or hardship issues as well that can necessitate the immediate involvement of a family court lawyer. Litigation refers to court proceedings. A lawyer engages the judge on your behalf to resolve a conflict and/or make a legally-binding court order based on the evidence and documents that get presented. An effective litigator argues in court in favour of your priorities. A family lawyer in Toronto will also work hard to resolve conflicts early on as opposed to putting you and your family through an extended court battle.
8) Child and Spousal Support: When a relationship ends, and a child is involved, family law has two glaring priorities to manage: child support and spousal support. The courts view cohabitation as a financial partnership. As a relationship ends, that partnership concludes, and financial assistance may be payable to either child or spouse. Whether it is or isn’t is decided on by a rather complex framework of federal and provincial guidelines. A family lawyer in Toronto can help negotiate, mediate, and participate in arbitration and litigation on your behalf relating to child and spousal support matters. Steps in this process may include looking at different child support and spousal support arrangements, retroactive support, income analysis and investigation, and enforcement and security for support. We will ensure your rights are advocated for every step of the way.
Family Lawyer Free Consultation: Things to Consider Before Hiring a Family Lawyer or a Divorce Lawyer
The best divorce lawyer in Toronto is one who is compatible with your needs, experienced with cases similar to yours, and knowledgeable about how to move forward. Not just any family lawyer in Toronto will do. You will want to understand what services are being offered. Do your research. There is a lot to look at when it comes to searching for a divorce lawyer in Toronto. It’s more than who has the best-looking website, the biggest practice, or the most publicity. Read reviews. Look at costs. If you know of friends who have gone through a separation, you can ask them for what family lawyer they used. Here are some tips, tricks, and things to keep in mind as you search for a divorce lawyer.
+ Opt For Calm and Level-Headed Lawyers Who Are Focused on Settling Your Case
First things first, you do not want to hire a lawyer who is focused on making money, making a name for themselves with publicity, or not prioritizing settling your case as quickly as possible. Divorces can be long, emotional battles. You want a lawyer who is aware of the financial challenges a long battle may present and who you don’t feel could be exploiting you for other reasons. A lawyer’s desire to put down your spouse and use your anger or emotions in that way is an immediate red flag.
Any family lawyer in Toronto who is successful with divorce cases is that way because they take pragmatic approaches. They are calm and collected. Find a lawyer who isn’t looking for the most conflict. A divorce lawyer in Ontario should be a problem-solver. Remember, you aren’t hiring a lawyer to be vindictive. You’re hiring them to ultimately arrive at an agreement with your opposing spouse and move forward. A lawyer shouldn’t be stirring up negative, angry emotions, wanting to draw things out for longer than they need to. You want a negotiator, not a gladiator.
For example, a lot of divorce cases can be settled out of court through mediation. It’s a lot less expensive and is a way faster result than waiting around for court dates and putting yourself through the stress of trying to ‘one up’ your former spouse.
You might be asking, “How do I know my lawyer is determined to advocate on my behalf, resolve disputes, and act towards settling my case?” Ask questions. Most family lawyers offer a free consultation. No obligations. You can pose questions to them. See how many cases they take to trial every year. Their answer shouldn’t be any higher than four. Above that and it’s a sign that they aren’t working hard enough to settle cases out of court. Ask how many of their divorce cases get settled out of court. If it’s anything less than 95%, that’s another warning sign.
Litigation is a last resort. It’s not something that’s promised in a divorce. Most couples can settle out of court, limiting expenses and working together to arrive at an end-point. A family lawyer in this capacity should realize the importance of your long-term well-being and the need to resolve legal disputes, not in front of a judge. It’s also a lot kinder to your former partner and any children involved to keep things as amicable as possible in the lead-up towards the divorce agreement.
+ Pick A Lawyer Who Does Not Plan to Use Dirty Tricks and Tactics
A lawyer is there to work within the confines of the law. When they want to resort to dirty tricks, that will only reflect negatively on you. It’s not going to help you arrive at an amicable divorce and could, in fact, make things worse. A divorce lawyer should not be willing to do whatever it takes to get the result you want. At all times, they should be operating within the standards of the law. Anything beyond is a sign of walking away.
Some of the dirty tricks a lawyer may advise their client include things like withdrawing all the money from a family bank account, using threats such as threatening a custody battle to secure certain financial terms, and/or threatening to seize family assets. Any divorce lawyers that are engaging in tactics like this should be wholly avoided. Their recommendations are highly flawed, and it will surely result in your former spouse becoming angry. With that, tensions increase, costs increase, and before long, you’ve extended your divorce proceedings for virtually no reason.
The unexpected benefit of meeting with dirty divorce lawyers like this, however, is that it ‘conflicts them out’. Unfortunately, this means your spouse won’t be able to be represented by them.
+ Your Family Lawyer or Divorce Lawyer Should Always Have Time For You
Some divorce lawyers and family law firms in Toronto will load up their case count in an effort to do the most business and make the most money. We don’t think that’s right. You should have a family lawyer who has the time for you. A lawyer’s who is just starting out, for example, has lots of time. A divorce lawyer with only a few clients right now has lots to dedicate to you time-wise. Any lawyer who comes across as being overwhelmed with work, overly stressed, or who isn’t from a well-managed background, might not have to time to take on the amount of work that a divorce can involve.
There are lots of signs that a lawyer does not have time for you. They are not responding to calls in a timely manner. They’re missing calls from your spouse’s lawyer and possibly putting your rights at risk or delaying a possible quick mediation agreement. You may also find your lawyer seeking delays and adjournments because they didn’t have the time to prepare. A lawyer who is overworked will likely come in very stressed and they won’t be able to give you full attention nor their best effort. You will almost definitely end up paying more in the long run for a result that is probably far from ideal.
A family lawyer who does have the time won’t be missing calls. They’ll come in prepared and with a strategy. Their helpfulness and response time can be what saves you time and money and brings you closer to a final divorce agreement.
+ Your Family or Divorce Lawyers Should Be Prepared to Help You in Mediation
Even if you are determined to settle your divorce in mediation, you will still need a divorce lawyer’s help. They will advocate on your behalf and can also work to avoid having mediation fail. Sometimes, it’s inevitable that mediation attempts will fail, or you may end up with a partial resolution. In any case, a family lawyer should be able to help. Contact us today to get a free consultation with a family lawyer.
Unfortunately, not all divorce lawyers like meditation. Those types of lawyers prefer to be more adversarial and take divorces to court as opposed to resolving them privately. Avoid that attitude. If you want to settle in mediation but a lawyer’s telling you to take it to court, that’s bad advice. Instead, hire a divorce lawyer who will help and who understands the benefits of mediation. They are there to support you in hopefully arriving at an amicable agreement. Ask your lawyer how many times they have participated in a successful mediation. Most should be able to state multiple cases that they’ve completed a successful mediation for. If a lawyer does not support the mediation process, or should you feel they’re trying to steer you away from going the meditation route, it’s a good sign that that lawyer is not the one for you.
+ Between Aggressive and Assertive Divorce Lawyer, Choose the Assertive One
Professional lawyers in Toronto are not aggressive. They are assertive. When looking for a family lawyer near you, an aggressive, hyper-determined lawyer is the type to avoid. You do not want someone who will antagonize your partner and their legal representatives and possibly cause a lot of trouble for you.
An assertive divorce lawyer is more rational. They will assert their point of view but won’t be aggressive nor angry in communications. In mediation or divorce proceedings, you can generally get more done on a legal front by being positive, constructive, and assertive than being any other way. In addition, in a lot of cases, an assertive family lawyer will save on costs as they work to reach a settlement out of court without having to put your family through the complex and emotionally difficult processes of family court.
When you first meet a lawyer in consultation, consider whether they are leaning more towards assertive or aggressive. How they see the world and the sort of advice they are providing to you should be fairly clear. They shouldn’t be someone who is pessimistic or who sees your spouse as dangerous or indecent. A family lawyer isn’t there to judge or encourage you to feel angry about the person you are trying to resolve conflict with. How the best divorce lawyers in Toronto think is not in a way that is suspicious, hostile, or pessimistic. This is important. They simply want to arrive at an amicable divorce that respects your rights, and that will work in your favour for how you want to move forward.
+ It is Better When Your Family Or Divorce Lawyer Has at Least 10 Years of Experience?
Experience matters with a lawyer of any background. That’s no secret. The more cases your divorce lawyer has managed, the more likely they are to be comfortable and knowledgeable with what it will take to handle yours. Why spouses hire lawyers is to help navigate what can be some very complex laws. A lawyer who is experienced is where you’ll find the best legal advice.
Also, a lawyer who has their own family or with children may be able to empathize with your situation better. In addition, they arguably may have more tact and skills at discussing parenting issues which can be fragile subject matter.
The only way to find out whether a lawyer is experienced is to ask. Do some research in your free consultation. Take the time to interview your divorce lawyer and get a sense of their background. They may not be able to empathize with your situation for any number of reasons. Experience isn’t the be-all, end-all in what you’re looking for in a Toronto divorce lawyer, but it’s fairly important. The lawyer you choose is going to form so much of your future, and you need someone with the right style, knowledge, and values to represent you in legal correspondence, mediation, and potentially court if your divorce gets that far.
At least 10 years of experience is a healthy guideline. If your family lawyer has less, they may not be the right choice for you. That said, if your divorce lawyer meets your other criteria and you have the right feeling about them and their personality, every divorce lawyer needs to earn their experience. Even the best ones have to start somewhere.
+ Why Hiring a Divorce Lawyer From a Smaller Law Office is More Beneficial?
Hiring a divorce lawyer from a small law firm certainly has its benefits. A lot of family law firms in Toronto grow and grow, ending up very big and overwhelmed with cases. When searching for a family lawyer, going to a full-service firm with busy lawyers isn’t necessarily the answer to the question of where to find the best lawyer for you. Bigger offices will generally charge larger fees, and the lawyers you meet will be pressured to maximize their billable hours within reason. How big law offices work is that work also gets delegated to associates and such, so you never know who has done the heavy lifting.
Compare that to a smaller law office. A small family law firm in Toronto that’s experienced is going to cost a lot less. Differences in price between small and large law offices can be sizable, even when comparing lawyers of identical experience levels and backgrounds. Larger offices will pour in more of their resources, sometimes increasing the cost of divorce by three or four times as much. In a small office, you aren’t paying for associates, admins, and paralegals. Your lawyer is the person who is in front of you, and they know your case better than anyone. That’s the approach a smaller law office brings to the table.
In most family law cases, a smaller law office with an experienced family lawyer is all you need – especially if they successfully meet the rest of the criteria included here.
+ Your Family Lawyer Must Understand the Needs of Children
If there are children involved in your divorce, it is vital that your family lawyer either has children of their own or that they’re coming to the table with significant experience handling divorce cases with children involved. It’s crucial. Discussions around parenting responsibilities can get heated. This is where a lot of disagreement can persist. A lawyer should have an understanding of the emotional and financial implications that a divorce will have on families with children. Throughout the mediation process, they should also proceed cautiously with what they suggest and/or recommend.
When meeting your lawyer for the first time, get to know them. Ask them if they have children. Don’t be shy about asking what sort of role they played in their upbringing. Ask them about their approach to children in a divorce and whether they’d be willing to work with you to minimize the impact of the divorce on your children. This is where things like mediation and settlements can save a lot of hurt and negativity. If you want to shield your children from the impact of a divorce, your family lawyer must understand the need and have the same priority as you as it relates to protecting your children.
+ Custom Retainer and Fee Agreements
Suppose you want to handle your divorce yourself without the involvement of a lawyer. In that case, however, you still have a few legal issues where you feel a lawyer can provide some assistance; we recommend a custom retainer. In addition, we offer a limited scope retainer in situations where a traditional retainer is not appropriate or affordable. A limited scope retainer allows us to work on your behalf, handling the preparation of court documents, making limited court appearances, and/or consulting with you regarding specific steps in the litigation. At the onset of such an agreement, we will discuss with you the limitations of this retainer and what we can provide.
In a lot of cases, we are hired under this type of retainer to provide an opinion relating to legal options or to give a professional’s perspective on the likelihood of success in litigation. Under a limited scope retainer, we do so under a flat-rate fee. We do not bill hourly. When you come for your first consultation, you will be charged an hourly rate and a lawyer’s ability to provide further guidance on how a custom retainer would work. They can offer valuable information and strategic advice regarding your unique circumstances. This is one way to have legal assistance still, albeit very limited, yet with drastically lower costs.
WE OFFER FAMILY LAWYER & DIVORCE LAWYER FREE CONSULTATION
Simple Divorce is owned and operated by a licenced family and divorce lawyer, Usman Sadiq, who handles divorce and family law matters. You may find Usman Sadiq registered as a licenced lawyer by visiting the Law Society of Upper Canada. Our firm provides a free consultation for eligible clients. Our office is committed to answering all your questions and completing your divorce in an efficient manner.