Family Law Services
In Ontario, there are three criteria for divorce: one year’s separation; proven adultery; or acts of physical or mental cruelty by one partner toward the other. To finalize your divorce, an Ontario court will grant you a divorce decree. If you have children, appropriate arrangements need to be made for the children before a judge will grant the parties a divorce; if you do not have children, an agreement is – still recommended. Regardless of your unique situation, divorce is a difficult time, and an experienced, compassionate family lawyer can help you through it. The team at Radley Family Law can guide you through all aspects of the divorce process, and will always treat your interests as our top priority.
Child Custody and Child Support
Issues of child custody are among the most emotionally charged aspects of the divorce process, and a Radley family lawyer can help you make the right decisions for both you and your children. Our team will help negotiate a fair, reasonable child custody, access, and child support scenario that places the well-being of your family front and centre. Child custody and access agreements determine with whom the child or children will live, and how often the non-custodial parent will have access. Your family lawyer will examine what set-up will best serve the child, and negotiate joint, sole, shared, or split custody arrangements. We understand that this is an extremely sensitive and emotional issue. No parent wants to be separated from their kids. It is our duty to ensure our client’s best interests, and the best interests of their children, are represented.
In many cases, couples must undergo a separation prior to being granted a divorce decree. A Radley family lawyer can help you draft a Separation Agreement that meets all – requirements while ensuring your rights are protected. Some couples who are on good terms attempt to complete this process on their own. While this is understandable, especially from a cost perspective, you will run the risk of incurring unnecessary legal fees if the contract is incorrectly produced. By hiring Radley Family Law, you are ensuring that your rights are protected throughout Ontario’s divorce process.
Ontario Family Responsibility Office (FRO)
Most people voluntarily live up to the expectations of their divorce agreements, such as child support and spousal support. But when a person fails to meet their obligations, the Province of Ontario Family Responsibility Office (FRO) may step in. Rachel Radley, our founding partner, spent nine years working at the FRO, and drafted laws to help FRO ensure individuals obtain the money they are owed by their former spouse. Needless to say, Radley Family Law understands how the FRO works, and how to leverage its influence to ensure our clients are protected.
Restraining orders are only required in rare, extreme cases. However, these situations do occur: if your child is under serious emotional or physical threat from a spouse or ex-spouse, or if you feel directly threatened by a former partner, a restraining order may be necessary. In this scenario, your Radley family lawyer will file a restraining order on your behalf. If granted, it can prevent your spouse from contacting yourself or your child in any way.
Not all divorces are complicated, combative experiences. In cases where spouses have settled issues relating to their children, spousal support, and their property, they may be eligible for an uncontested divorce. In these situations, the couple will file a joint divorce application or an uncontested divorce. This process is much faster than other forms of contested divorce, and as such is generally much less expensive. A Radley family lawyer will charge just $499 for -our fee for preparing the paperwork for uncontested divorces.
A divorce decree granted by a court is the last step in the process of ending your divorce. In Ontario, a couple can divorce if they have been separated for one year, if there is proof of adultery, or if one partner subjected the other to physical or mental cruelty.
One of the advantages of a healthy, committed marriage is the financial stability it provides. In some scenarios, this benefit is lost when a divorce is finalized. Your Radley family lawyer will work to ensure that you do not experience undue financial hardship as a result of your divorce, and that your children have access to the resources they need to thrive.
Prenuptial Agreements / Cohabitation Agreements
Sometimes called a “pre-nup,” it is often disparaged because some people say it coldly takes the romance out of a pending marriage and assumes the couple will end up divorcing.
Division of Property and Assets
Once you’ve determined who your children will live with and established spousal and child support agreements, your next most important step may be dividing properties and assets. The team at Radley Family Law will represent your interests in this process to ensure that you have access to an equitable share. In Ontario, properties and assets acquired over the course of a marriage are subjected to “equalization” – that is they must be -equalized between the two parties. For couples that have spent a considerable amount of time together, this can be a complicated process. Who will take possession of the family cottage? The matrimonial home? What about the car, or the dog? What will be done with shared finances? In all of these scenarios, an experienced family lawyer can be invaluable. They will make sure that you receive your fair share of the assets accrued over the course of your marriage.
Alternatives to Court
Not all separations or divorces need require going to trial, and avoiding the court room is a great way to keep costs down. If you are interested in avoiding trial, a family lawyer can advise you on alternative practices, like mediation and arbitration. The team at Radley Family Law has helped numerous couples negotiate a mutually agreeable end to their marriage while avoiding litigation. In the mediation process, a neutral third party will help the two parties reach a consensus. With the help of a family lawyer, the mediator can help find common ground on issues like child and spousal support, and child custody. If terms are agreed upon, a separation agreement is drafted and signed. Unlike in the mediation process, arbitration involves both parties agreeing upon a neutral third party, who becomes a decision maker for them both. In other words, the arbitrator will come to decisions that become binding.