Our family law team consists of established lawyers with many years of experience in resolving contested and uncontested divorces, custody and access disputes, child support, spousal support, division of assets, variation orders, adoption, drafting of separation agreements, prenuptial agreements, and more. Family law disputes often involve tough negotiations, difficult decisions, and a lot of emotions. We understand that family disputes can be very difficult to go through, which is why we ensure that our clients feel comfortable, informed and confident every step of the way.
Our family lawyers are among the most experienced lawyers in Toronto, and have successfully argued issues before the Ontario Court of Justice, Superior Court of Justice, and Divisional Court. Costa Law uses a team approach, which assures clients ready access to attorneys with varied backgrounds and specific set of skills and experiences. This allows us to manage cases efficiently and reach the best possible outcome for our clients.
Family law is the body of law that concerns family relationships, marriages, and divorces. In Canada, family law is primarily statute-based, and 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 disputes that involve spousal support, child support, custody, and access to children. Although the federal government has jurisdiction over many of the issues that arise in family law, some power is left to the provincial governments. The provinces have exclusive jurisdiction over the solemnization of marriage (pursuant to s. 92(12) of the Constitution Act, 1867), property division, adoption, and child protection (under property and civil rights in s. 92(13)). An in-depth knowledge of these federal and provincial statutes and guidelines is necessary in order to deal with various family law issues that may arise. Here at Costa Law we provide unmatched expertise and skill in family law, and can help you achieve a positive legal outcome.
Our family lawyers have extensive experience in negotiating and drafting domestic contracts such as cohabitation agreements, separation agreements, and marriage contracts. These domestic contracts are used to settle the disagreements that may arise 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 to fully understand their rights and obligations as per that contract.
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. On the other hand, contested divorces are ones where the spouses disagree on some or all of the issues raised by a divorce. These issues may include 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, after which the court will review the documents, and instruct the parties of the next steps.
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 lawyer can assist in preparing the terms of a parenting arrangement, such as where and when the children will reside, and who will be responsible for making important decisions in relation to their health, wellbeing, and schooling.
Children have a legal right to receive financial support from their parents upon separation or divorce. Parents can either agree on the amount of child support to be paid or ask a court to decide what amount of child support is appropriate. The court uses the relevant Federal Child Support Guidelines, and considers 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.
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.