DIVORCE

We help you understand your rights and obligations upon separation and divorce as there are consequences for both. Most often a divorce will follow a settlement of other family law financial and custody issues which have arisen upon married people separating.

Some divorces can be obtained on an uncontested basis which means by agreement of the spouses, however, others may have outstanding issues which may mean the divorce request could be contested by the other spouse.  Either way, we can help you obtain your divorce as quickly as possible.

The court process is always involved, even in what might be seen as the simplest or clearest divorce cases.  Let us help you by taking away your worries over the divorce court procedure.

We deal with the process and take the stress out of it for you so you can move forward with the next stage of your life.  Please call us at (905) 373-4747 or email us at info@maccormaclaw.com to find out more information about how we can help you.


SEPARATION

1/2 Hour Consultation – In addition to the emotional consequences, the decision to separate from a spouse has significant legal implications for all family members, whether you are married or in a common law relationship.  Let us help you navigate through the complex legal issues that you may encounter during this difficult time in your life.  Whether you need to involve the courts or you want to negotiate an amicable Separation Agreement, through mediation or otherwise, we are here to help you.

We offer a half hour consultation to assist our new clients in understanding their initial options and how private retainers work in family law.  Please call us at (905) 373-4747 or email us at info@maccormaclaw.com to find out more information about how we can help you.

CHILDREN

Custody and access of children is often the most emotionally taxing part of any family breakdown. Negotiating, settling or litigating child custody and access issues remains unpredictable and complex.  Stress levels often peak for all involved.  Parents need a calm and reliable advocate beside them through the process.  We can be there for you.

The Children’s Law Reform Act provides a legal test for claims related to custody of and access with children.  The best interests of the child are paramount.  As a result of the devastating effect which separation and divorce can have on children, the Courts generally favour a custody and access/residency plan which provides a child with maximum exposure to both of its parents.

If there are compelling reasons why a parent should not be involved in a child’s life or if that involvement should be limited, the Courts will always decide this issue on the basis of what is in the best interests of the child.

CHILD SUPPORT

Child support obligations are a first priority of financial support arising from separation or divorce.  Child support obligations can arise in many different types of custody and access circumstances and are generally enforced until a child is deemed to be independent of parental care and control.

While some child support scenarios are straight forward, others may be more complex involving issues of residency arrangements, a determination of a parent’s income especially for self-employed persons, and calculation of arrears or back child support payable.

Before agreeing to a child support payment regime, contact us to make sure you have the legal information you need to ensure that your arrangements are appropriate and enforceable.

Also, if your child support arrangement has changed since you arrived at your agreement or obtained your court order, you may need legal advice to revisit the support.  This can also include making arrangements to share in the payment of post-secondary education costs.

SPOUSAL SUPPORT

The obligation to provide financial support to a spouse after separation can arise with the breakdown of both married and common law family situations regardless of the length of the relationship.  It is a critically important and expensive issue.  We can represent you in finding your way through this often difficult and emotionally hostile landscape.

Whether you are applying for spousal support (alimony), defending against a claim for it, trying to vary or terminate it or negotiating a spousal support settlement, we are there to help on all fronts.

You don’t really know your rights or entitlements on this issue unless you have proper legal advice.  It is not common sense.  We are here to help make sure you understand the unpredictable and often long term consequences related to spousal support, especially in long term marriages.  This is an issue that requires the engagement of a trusted legal professional.

PROPERTY DIVISION

Under the current legal regime in Canada matrimonial property division or “equalization” laws apply only to married couples. Common law couples do not have the same protections. The Family Law Act provides for an “equalization” of matrimonial property between separating and divorcing married spouses.

Real estate, including the matrimonial home, rental or vacation properties, public and private pensions and investment portfolios are usually at the centre of property disputes.  While the equalization scheme in Ontario does not equalize debt, debt is also one of the key issues which needs to be addressed upon separation.

The valuation and financial disclosure process can be a challenge for all involved.  Make sure you have the legal advice needed to make good and realistic decisions with respect to property settlements.

COMMON LAW PARTNERSHIPS

Matrimonial property laws do not apply to common law partnerships currently.  Simply put, as a common law spouse what is in your name is your property and what is in your partner’s name is their property.  However, assets or liabilities which are jointly held in both parties’ names are generally divided 50/50 regardless of the nature of the asset or liability.  There are some exceptions to these rules whereby a specific interest in property can be claimed through an action in the Courts based in something called a “Constructive” or “Resulting Trust” claim.  The longer a common law couple stays together in a relationship the more their individual interests may begin to merge.

Common law couples must take a different legal approach to determining ownership interests in property.  Call us to find out how you can proceed to deal with your property issues.

SEPARATION AGREEMENTS

MacCormac Law is here to assist you in negotiating a clear and comprehensive Separation Agreement capturing the settlement terms of your separation on issues of custody, access, child support, spousal support and property division.  You want to ensure once you have an agreement on these issues that the agreement is valid and legally binding and enforceable on the parties by the courts.  Whether you are in need of a Separation Agreement to be negotiated and drafted or require changes to a Separation Agreement already in place, call us to find out how we can help you.

FAMILY LAW – INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE – FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

As part of the settlement of family law cases, whether in a courtroom or in mediation or simply a negotiation between lawyers and parties, financial disclosure and independent legal advice is critical.  You cannot agree upon a path forward or a settlement position without proper financial disclosure from the other side or without prudent legal advice.  These two components are key to achieving a binding and enforceable final settlement or outcome; whether it is through a Separation Agreement or a Court Order.

Just as you would not agree to a medical operation without as much information on the risks as possible, you should not agree to a family law settlement or order without as much financial and legal information as possible and practical.

Do not go it alone and do not make an uninformed family law decision, call us to find out what you may be missing and what information you need to obtain a final settlement of your issues.  You may also need a court order to get certain financial disclosure and of course we can help with this as well.

NEGOTIATION, MEDIATION, ARBITRATION OR LITIGATION

You will want to resolve your family law problems as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.  There are several options available to achieve resolution including negotiation of a Separation Agreement, mediation, arbitration or litigation.  Regardless of which path you choose all of these options include some level of negotiation.  Do not go into these processes alone.  You need prudent legal advice to assist you in your negotiations.

As a litigator, Ms. MacCormac is continually in negotiations to settle court cases.  That experience is also used daily to negotiate settlements for cases which are not in court.  So, whether you are mediating, arbitrating or litigating, you will need the expertise of a seasoned negotiator to help you with your case.