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I have practiced primarily in the field of Family Law since 1984. During this time period I have appeared before the Family Court in the Province of Ontario. Within the litigation process, couples ask and allow the judiciary to make the most important decisions concerning their lives as well as the lives of their children. As a Collaborative Lawyer, I help couples separate and divorce intelligently and creatively, considerate of one another and their children’s needs. I believe that couples should be given the opportunity to choose a process for resolving their differences that honour their participation and trust their ability to make decisions for their families. Collaborative practice invites couples, even those in very high stress relationships, to explore all of the various options available to resolve their differences so that their family can move on after separation.
I have extensive experience in all aspects of family law, including legal separation, divorce, custody, access, child and spousal support, division of family property.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS A SEPARATION AGREEMENT?
A Separation Agreement is a document by which a couple resolves all outstanding issues pertaining to their relationship. Those issues include a division of their property, spousal support, child custody and child support. It also includes clauses dealing with whether or not either party may have the right to share in the Estate of the other party upon their death. A Separation Agreement is a very important document. It has the same force and effect as a court order, provided that each party has received independent legal advice, made full disclosure of all of their assets and debts, that the agreement was not made under duress, threat or compulsion by any party, and that the agreement has been duly executed and witnessed.
WHEN AM I LEGALLY SEPARATED?
A couple is legally separated on the day that they no longer live with each other as man and wife. A couple may be legally separated when they are still living under the same roof. This situation is common when either the husband or wife removes themselves from their commonly used bedroom and lives and sleeps in another part of the house. The date that a couple separates is very important for the purpose of dividing their property. Under the Family Law Act of Ontario, the date used for valuation of the property, for the purpose of division, is the date that the parties no longer lived together. Should either the husband or the wife accumulate assets or debts after the date they separate, in most cases, these assets and debts will not be included in the division of property, unless that property was jointly owned by the husband and wife.