A separation and/or divorce is a highly personal and emotional undertaking. Couples often arrive at the decision to split after a prolonged period of reflection and several attempts to ‘make it work’. Once the decision has been made to move ahead with a split, the parties generally want to do so as quickly and simply as possible. Every situation is different, of course, and will involve different degrees of complexity. Working with the right family lawyer will ensure you have an effective advocate who will put your needs first, with an eye to resolving the matter as efficiently as possible.
At Boulby Weinberg LLP in Toronto, our family law lawyers work with clients from a range of socio-economic backgrounds to find the best solution for their divorce or separation. We are a results-focused firm dedicated to putting our clients’ needs ahead of everything else, to ensure their matters are resolved effectively and in their best interest.
Our partners, Sarah Boulby and Oren Weinberg are recognized by their peers for their vast experience resolving family law matters in Ontario and abroad. Both are Fellows of the prestigious International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL), a “worldwide association of practising lawyers who are recognized by their peers as the most experienced and skilled family law specialists in their respective countries.” This means our firm is uniquely adept at managing inter-jurisdictional family concerns, including foreign property division and international child custody arrangements.
While the two concepts are certainly linked, they are quite different under the law. Separation occurs when a couple makes a conscious decision to end their relationship and begin to live separate and apart from one another while remaining legally married. It is the first step towards obtaining a formal divorce and it is also when a couple typically begins negotiation a separation agreement, setting out the terms regarding child and spousal support, property division and parenting arrangements.
A divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage and must be granted by a court (though not necessarily through contested litigation). Generally, a couple will be required to have been formally separated for at least one year before a court will order a divorce; however, there are certain exceptions granted in extreme circumstances. A legal divorce formalizes the marital status of each party, enabling them to remarry in the future.
Whether you are legally married or have been in a common-law relationship for a number of years, the legal and financial fallout of a breakup is not the same. Marriage and common-law relationships are treated differently under Ontario law. Parenting and support rights are essentially the same for married and common-law couples, however, those in common-law relationships do not have any special rights or protections with respect to the family home. Of course, a couple can take steps to organize their own rights to property by sharing ownership of the matrimonial home or other property or by setting out terms in a domestic contract.
Many people envision a tense, drawn-out legal battle in a courtroom when they contemplate a separation or divorce, however, this is not always the case. In fact, our firm makes it a point to work towards a more efficient and simple resolution whenever possible. Even in high-conflict situations, it is often possible to work towards a mutually agreeable solution through the use of alternative options such as mediation or arbitration. These processes allow a couple to benefit from the experience of skilled lawyers while avoiding the delays and high costs often associated with litigation in court.
Boulby Weinberg LLP offers custom solutions for divorces and separations no matter how simple or complicated. We can assist with any family concern, either by traditional litigation or alternative methods of dispute resolution.
To arrange a consultation with a reputable and empathetic lawyer at Boulby Weinberg LLP, please complete our confidential online questionnaire, which will provide you with valuable preliminary information tailored to your situation. A representative from our firm will contact you within one business day to discuss your matter further and arrange an initial meeting. To contact our firm without completing the questionnaire, please reach out to us online, or call us at 647-494-0113 ext. 102.