Costa Law Firm has a team of family lawyers dedicated to the practice of Family Divorce, Child Custody support, Child Adoption, Division of Assets and other family law or legal matters.
Separations are often times of emotional upheaval, tough negotiations and difficult decisions. Your emotions may interfere with the ability to make the right decisions. With the assistance from our family lawyers you will be guided to make informed decisions. Our firm will help you to determine the issues in your case, assist and advise you of your rights and obligations, explain what you may expect to achieve, and outline the costs involved.
Our family lawyers have successfully argued issues before the Ontario Court of Justice, Superior Court of Justice and Divisional Court. We have significant experience in litigation, but at all times encourage where possible negotiation toward settlement. Our lawyers also have experience in mediation.
It is important to the lawyers of our group to ensure that a client feels comfortable, informed, and confident with his or her choices.
Family law is the body of law concerning family relationships, marriages and divorces. It is primarily statute-based in Canada. The federal government has exclusive jurisdiction to deal with marriages and divorces, pursuant to s. 92(6) of the Constitution Act, 1867. Under the Divorce Act, the federal government also has jurisdiction over custody and access of children as well as spousal and child support during and after a divorce. The provinces have exclusive jurisdiction over the solemnization of marriage, pursuant to s. 92(12) of the Constitution Act, 1867. The provinces also have jurisdiction over spousal and child support, property division, custody and access, adoption, and child protection under property and civil rights in s. 92(13). An in-depth knowledge of these statutes and federal and provincial guidelines on support is necessary in order to deal with the various family issues that may arise in your life. In cases of international child abduction, it is also important to address whether the multilateral treaty of the Hague Convention applies to ensure the expeditious return of children from one member country to another.
Negotiation and Drafting of Domestic Contracts (eg. prenuptial, marriage [contracts], cohabitation and separation agreements)
Our Family Law group can assist you in negotiating and drafting cohabitation agreements, separation agreements, and marriage contracts, which are all domestic contracts used to settle the various difficult issues arising upon a breakdown of a relationship or a family. It is important for couples to obtain legal advice prior to entering into a domestic contract in order for them to be fully aware of their rights and obligations.
Contested and Uncontested Divorces
Contested and Uncontested – An uncontested divorce is one where the spouses agree on all the issues raised by the divorce. Where spouses agree on the issues, court officials will generally process the divorce without requiring the spouses to appear in court. When the divorce is granted, the court mails a divorce order to each spouse. For contested divorces, spouses disagree on some or all of the issues raised by a divorce, such as child and spousal support, division of financial assets, etc. In a contested divorce, both parties must file court documents with their respective positions on the issues in dispute.
Custody and Access Disputes
When parents are going through a separation or divorce, it is important to work out a parenting arrangement, so that their children are cared for and supported. A family law lawyer can assist in preparing the terms of a parenting arrangement, such as where the children will reside and with which parent and who will be responsible for making important decisions in relation to their health and schooling.
Children have a legal right to receive financial support from their parents upon separation or divorce. Parents can agree on the amount of child support to be paid or ask a court to decide. The court will use the relevant guidelines (federal or provincial) and consider the parents’ financial situation in order to determine child support payments.
Under the federal Divorce Act, spousal support is most likely to be paid when there is a significant difference between the spouses’ incomes after they separate. Nevertheless, a court may always decide that the spouse with the lower income is not entitled to support if that spouse has a lot of assets, or if the difference in income cannot be traced to anything that happened during the relationship. Under provincial law, a common-law partner may be eligible to receive spousal support depending upon the length of the relationship prior to separation.
Representation in Child Protection Proceedings (Children’s Aid and Crown Wardship)
Division of Assets
Same-Sex Family Issues
Canadian provinces and territories have reciprocal arrangements with one another to enforce support orders in family disputes. Under the Ontario Inter-jurisdictional Support Orders Act, 2002, a family support order filed by one spouse may be registered and enforced in another province or territory, where the other spouse resides. The same is true for support orders from other countries with which the province or territory has a reciprocal arrangement.
Family Responsibility and Support Arrears and Enforcement Proceedings