Frequently Asked Family Law Questions

When it comes to family law issues most people have questions.  As an experienced family lawyer we often answer some frequently asked family law questions.  Here are some of the most common questions and their answers:

  • Q: Why you should choose Hardy LAW over the other firms?
    • Answer: Hardy LAW is compassionate and we deal with each case differently depending on the person that we are representing.  Every client is important to us and they are not just a number.  We take the time to understand what is going on in each case and also what is going on in the client's lives in order to be able to understand and represent them to the best of our abilities. Our firm does the best we can to make sure that each client feels comfortable and understands all of their options and potential outcomes.   
  • Q: How much does a family lawyer cost?
    • Answer: There are various factors that go into the cost of each service.  Therefore, It is hard to determine what the legal process is going to cost until a consultation is performed.  It will depend entirely on what needs to be done (court application vs. negotiating an agreement), how agreeable/non agreeable the other party is, etc.  To better determine the cost of engaging us as your lawyer, please call the office to discuss your particular needs. 
  • Q: What are the benefits of hiring a family lawyer?
    • Answer: When dealing with the issues that come up after a separation, you need to make sure that you understand what you are legally entitled to and what your rights are.  Dealing with the process, whether it is negotiating a separation agreement or going to court can be very daunting and stressful.  With the heightened stress, anxiety and emotions that each person encounters can make the process much more frustrating.  When you hire a lawyer, that lawyer is able to separate emotions from the issues at hand and deal with them from a law perspective versus an emotional perspective.  We become your advocate and help you navigate these challenging situations.
  • Q: How does divorce work in Ontario?
    • Answer: You legally have to be separated for one year before the court will grant a Divorce.  There are bars to having to wait that full year, which is something that can be discussed during the consultation / advice appointment.  There are also other factors that will delay the process of being able to obtain a divorce after the one year of separation, depending on what the other issues of your separation are.  If you have questions about a divorce, please contact the firm to schedule a consultation. 
  • Q: How is separation defined in Ontario? 
    • Answer: The court deem that when parties are "living separate and apart" they are separated.  However, sometimes "living separate and apart" is not always possible due to certain circumstances (not financially able to, children, etc).  Therefore, this does not mean that the parties have to have separate addresses.  Parties can still live under the same roof, "separate and apart" from each other and this will still be considered separated.  However, the court will need proof that the parties were "separate and apart" from each, which can sometimes be a difficult thing to prove. 
  • Q: What does child custody mean?
    • Answer: Custody refers to which parent will have authority to make major decisions about the children (education, religion, medical, etc).  One parent can have this decision making authority, or it can be joint between both parents.  
  • Q: How is child support determined?
    • Answer: Child support is determined by the annual income of the payor and based on the Federal Child Support Guidelines.  It is usually the access parent who will pay child support to the custodian parent or the parent with primary residence of the children.  However, when the parties are sharing residence of the children or there is a different parenting arrangement set up, then the child support calculation will get more complex.  
  • Q: What’s a separation agreement?
    • Answer: A Separation Agreement is a contract that two parties enter into with terms that are agreeable to both.  When parties enter into a Separation Agreement this negates them having to go to court to deal with the issues from their separation.  Separation Agreements usually work for parties that are amicable and are able to negotiate terms that they can both live with putting into a contract.
  • Q: How is spousal support determined?
    • Answer: Spousal support is much more complicated to calculate than child support, if it is determined that one party is eligible for this support. Every case is unique and spousal support will be determined on a case-by-case basis.  However, when determining spousal support, along with many other factors, both parties incomes will come into play for this calculation. 
  • Q: What geographic area does Hardy Law cover?
    • Answer: Hardy LAW is centrally located in Barrie Ontario and provides services throughout the surrounding areas including: Innisfil, Orillia, Midland, and Collingwood.  If you live in an area that we haven't listed, please contact us to confirm we can serve your area.

Still have questions about family law, divorce, separation, child custody or other issues, call us at (705) 797-2690 or schedule a consultation.

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