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Family Law Services

Areas of Family Law Practice

Separation Agreements

​A separation agreement is a contract designed to resolve issues between parties when there is a separation or divorce. A separation agreement can be created at any time. A separation agreement can cover whatever issues the parties want clarified in writing. Separation agreements must be fair to both parties or there is a risk it will be set aside later.



It may surprise you, but a divorce is usually the least difficult order to obtain from a court. It is the other things: child support, spousal support, custody and guardianship of children, and division of property that people fight over.

Even if never legally married, unmarried people are still entitled to resolve issues involving kids, property and support.


Custody & Access

Custody is the right to have a child or children with you and to make decisions such as school, health care, education, religion and extracurricular activities. It is often lumped with “guardianship,” which refers to the full rights and duties associated with the care and raising of a child or children. Custody has nothing to do with where the child lives, often referred to as “primary residency.” 


Child Support

Child support is money paid by one parent (the “payor”) to the other (the “recipient”), with whom the child or children primarily reside. Its sole purpose is to assist with the expenses of child care. Where children live is the determining factor in deciding who is the payor and who is the recipient. Both parents will pay child support to offset the cost of this arrangement if custody is shared.


Spousal Support

Spousal support is the court’s way of compensating a spouse who has come out of a relationship with less earning potential than the other spouse. The classic example of this is a homemaker who managed a household and raised children while the other spouse was the family breadwinner.


Property Division

This can often be the biggest issue in a divorce, particularly if the marriage was long and significant assets accumulated during the relationship. The Family Law Act has changed how property is divided. Now all property that a person owned prior to becoming a spouse is “excluded property.” 



Adoption allows a non-biological parent to assume the rights and responsibilities associated with parenting. It also removes these rights and responsibilities from one or both biological parents. Judges have the same concern for the child’s best interests during an adoptions process.



Mediation is assisted negotiation, or “managed negotiation.” It is useful when parties want an agreement but are unable to reach it without outside help. The mediator’s role is to facilitate the negotiation towards a mutually beneficial resolution, or facilitating a “win-win scenario.”



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