Even when it’s for the best, divorce is a major life change. You’re separating from someone you once thought you’d be spending the rest of your life with. When you’ve had children with them and built a significant marital estate together, you need to address urgent but highly emotional matters like child custody and support, asset division, and spousal support. An experienced and compassionate Toronto divorce lawyer can help you navigate these changes.
At Galbraith Family Law, we know what you’re going through. Many of our lawyers, including founder Brian Galbraith, have experienced divorce themselves. We support clients through the most complex divorce issues and fight to ensure that you have what you need to start over.
Are You Getting Divorced?
Whether you are looking for a simple uncontested divorce or facing a complex morass of issues including the division of assets and liabilities, child custody, parenting time/parenting orders, child support, spousal support or the division of business interests, our lawyers can help you to navigate the complexities of divorce law. Our lawyers:
- Work closely with you to meet your needs and address your concerns
- Have extensive experience in the area of divorce law and family law including common law relationships
- Diligently strive to protect your rights
Is a Divorce Lawyer Necessary?
When the circumstances and finances of the couple are simple, the divorce process is also typically quite simple and may even be expedited.
However, in most cases the services of an experienced divorce lawyer will be necessary to ensure your rights are protected.
Many married couples have complex financial assets to untangle, including real property, business investments, retirement assets, and joint assets.
Debts also need to be untangled and allocated in a fair way.
It may also be that one of you has a right to receive spousal support payments. This complex arrangement certainly requires the services and advice of an experience family law lawyer. Spousal support issues are usually complex and require the expertise of our legal team.
Perhaps the most complex of all situations is when the couple has children. In these cases, it is necessary to establish custody (how decisions will be made), visitation agreements and child support payments.
How Do You Determine Child Support in Divorce Cases?
The amount of child support depends on the income of each party as well as the number of children and how much time they spend with each parent.
The court may also consider special circumstances and may deviate from the written guidelines on occasion.
Child support ends when each child reaches the age of 18 unless they are unable to become independent due to health issues or if they are continuing to attend school on a full-time basis.
We deal with child support every day. Thus, we can explain your options and obligations and help you to get this issue resolved quickly.
Can Divorce’s Financial and Emotional Stress be Reduced?
The goal in any divorce proceeding is to dissolve the marriage while placing the least amount of financial and emotional stress on all the parties involved.
An experienced divorce lawyer will help make this happen smoothly, cost-effectively and in a timely manner. Galbraith Family Law lawyers have the experience you can rely on.
In an ideal situation, the two parties will be able to reach agreements regarding all their issues in an amicable fashion. Then, they will simply require the signature of a judge to make the divorce final.
If your situation is more complex, our divorce lawyers will help you understand your legal rights and obligations. They will advocate on your behalf whether in the negotiations or in family court divorce proceeding.
Divorce court can be expensive and emotionally draining so our lawyers will try to reach an agreement out-of-court whenever possible. Our Plan A is a negotiated agreement. Plan B is divorce court or family court. We only commence court actions when necessary.
Contested divorces can take a long time to finalize and are often messy. If court is necessary in your case, we will vigorously represent you in the proceedings. We will be on your side throughout the process working hard to get you the best results possible.
What Are the Keys to Finding a Good Divorce Lawyer?
Our lawyers are specialists in divorce law and family law in general. They are highly skilled in resolving all the nuances of a divorce from the equitable distribution of assets and liabilities to the complexities of child custody, parenting orders, child support and spousal support.
We will work non-stop to get the best possible settlement or court order for you now. We will also be available in the future should any modifications to the divorce or custody orders be required.
In addition, we will investigate your divorce case and identify all of the factors that might be relevant to your case. We will discuss all of the issues surrounding the marital assets and debts, retirement assets, child custody/parenting time, and spousal support and even tax issues in a way that makes complex legal issues easy to understand. We take the mystery out of family law and divorce so you will enjoy better results.
Types of Divorce
In an uncontested divorce (also known as a simple divorce), all issues between you and your spouse have been resolved. Although you’ve decided to end the marriage, you have done so jointly, by agreement, and without involving the courts. The judge is not required to make a decision other than whether to grant the divorce, as you’ve already agreed on matters related to child custody and support, alimony, and division of any shared property.
An uncontested divorce still requires a divorce application as a legal formality. After the responding spouse has been served and does not file an Answer within the required time period, the divorce automatically becomes uncontested.
The media depicts contested divorces as vicious courtroom battles, but they don’t have to be. If you and your spouse disagree on any of the key issues that need to be resolved, that area of disagreement may have to be litigated, even if you’re amicable and in agreement about everything else. Often issues can be resolved through mediation, Collaborative practice or just negotiations.
In some cases, however, divorces become contested because one spouse is determined to be difficult or makes unrealistic demands. Your Toronto divorce lawyer at Galbraith Family Law will protect your rights during negotiations and any necessary court proceedings. Our goal is to obtain the outcome you need to rebuild your life and move forward after divorce.
High Net Worth Divorce
Because high-net-worth divorces typically involve the division of numerous high-dollar assets, they are more complex. They often include multimillion-dollar real estate holdings, businesses, trusts, stocks, and valuable possessions.
Divorce is especially challenging when there are many assets at stake. Hiring a family lawyer who handles divorces for wealthy couples is the best way to ensure a fair outcome. A Toronto divorce lawyer at Galbraith Family Law can help you address common issues, such as asset concealment and questionable prenuptial agreements. Our team will work for you to ensure the best possible outcome.
Grey divorce refers to a divorce involving members of the Baby Boomer generation, regardless of how long they were actually married. While divorcing couples in their fifties and sixties do not normally have to worry about child custody issues, they do face certain financial challenges, such as the division of retirement benefits, investment accounts, pensions, and marital property accumulated over decades.
If you are getting divorced after age 50, it takes careful planning to live comfortably with half of the equity you have acquired over the years. Galbraith Family Law can help you address the unique legal and financial challenges you may face during and after your divorce.
Although same-sex marriage has been recognized in Canada since 2005, same-sex couples often face a number of unique family law issues during divorce. To properly navigate the legal system, it is important you seek advice from a qualified lawyer who understands the specific needs of same-sex couples.
The same-sex divorce lawyers at Galbraith Family Law have years of experience representing clients across Toronto. We have a clear understanding of the challenges facing same-sex couples and know how to handle them in a way that protects your best interests.
What Are The Grounds for Divorce in Ontario?
Ontario (and the rest of Canada) has a no-fault divorce rule. Under the Divorce Act, there is only one ground for divorce: the breakdown of the marriage. You can prove your marriage has broken down if any of the following applies:
- You and your spouse have been living apart for at least one year.
- You have been abused physically or mentally by your spouse.
- Your spouse has committed adultery.
If you apply for a divorce after a year of separation, you can live together for up to 90 days (either before or after you file the application) to reconcile. Then, if things do not work out, you can proceed with your divorce as if you had not spent time together at all. The vast majority of divorces proceed on the basis of a one year separation. It is easier for everyone.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in Ontario?
In general, simple divorces can be completed in a matter of months. However, more complicated divorces that require litigation can take longer. In addition:
- Normally, you cannot take the final step for divorce in Ontario until one year has passed since you separated from your spouse.
- A divorce takes effect after 31 days from the date of the divorce order.
Your Toronto divorce lawyer can answer your questions regarding possible timelines for your unique case.
What if My Spouse Doesn’t Want to Divorce?
In some cases, one spouse wants to end the marriage but the other one does not. If you’re concerned that you might have to stay married because your spouse refuses to cooperate, don’t worry. In Canada, you can obtain a divorce without their consent as long as you can prove that the marriage has broken down. If you have concerns about how your spouse may respond to the divorce, let your Toronto divorce lawyer know.
My Spouse and I Live in the Same House. Can We Still Be Considered Separated?
Yes. If you are living in the same house with your spouse, but there is no prospect of reconciliation and you satisfy certain factors, you are still considered separated under the Act. These factors include withdrawing from the marital relationship, filing tax returns as ‘separated,’ holding yourself out to friends and family as having separated, and maintaining a physical separation from your spouse. If you aren’t sure about your own situation, we can answer your questions and advise you accordingly.
Questions? Contact a Toronto Divorce Lawyer
At Galbraith Family Law, we have years of combined experience helping individuals and families going through a divorce. Legal issues related to marriage dissolution can be extremely complex, so having an experienced lawyer on your side is important during this difficult time.
Let us use our experience and skills to achieve a settlement or outcome that best meets your needs. For more information or to schedule a no-obligation consultation with a Toronto divorce lawyer, please call 647-264-9525 or contact us online. We also serve clients in Barrie, Oakville, Newmarket, and North York.