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Family Law

Barristers • Solicitors • Notary Public


Are you living in a common-law relationship with your significant other? Have you accumulated a significant amount of asset(s) such as property, automobile and investments?

Executing a Cohabitation Agreement will help ensure your assets are protected should you and your significant other separate in the future.


Are you ready to take the next step in your relationship and are contemplating getting married? Do you and/or your partner or fiancé have significant assets (i.e. investments or real estate) and/or wealth? Are you entering the marriage with (more) than your partner?

Taking a proactive approach before getting married and executing a Marriage Contract will define how property (accumulated prior to marriage or during the marriage) is to be dealt with as well as term(s) relating to financial support obligation in the event there is a breakdown of your marriage.


Are you and your partner or spouse legally separated with no chance of reconciliation?

Many spouses who separate are able to negotiate term(s) of a Separation Agreement which settle all (if not all, most issues) issues as a result of the breakdown of the relationship/marriage. Generally, negotiated Separation Agreement terms settle issues with respect to the child(ren) (i.e. decision-making responsibility/parenting time/holiday schedule/child support and section 7 expenses), spousal support, equalization and divorce.


Have you executed a Cohabitation Agreement, Marriage Contract, Separation Agreement or Parenting Agreement and a particular term(s) requires an update, change and/or amendment? Instead of rewriting and executing the entire Agreement, an Amending Agreement will specifically address the term(s) that require an amendment while all the other term(s) contained in your Agreement will remain in full force and effect.


If you and your partner or spouse separate and you have child(ren) together, you will need to consider decision-making responsibility (formerly “custody”) and parenting time (formerly “access”) for the child(ren).

You and your partner or spouse will also need to consider where the child(ren)’s “primary residence” will be (i.e. where the child(ren) will live most of the time).

Decision-making Responsibility (formerly “custody”):

A. Sole decision-making responsibility - the parent who has sole decision-making responsibility for the child(ren) has the authority to make major decisions for the child(ren)’s upbringing (i.e. health, education, culture, language, religion, spirituality, significant extracurricular activities).
B. Joint decision-making responsibility - both of the parents together make the major decisions for the child(ren)’s upbringing (i.e. health, education, culture, language, religion, spirituality, significant extracurricular activities).
C. Divided decision-making responsibility - both of the parents make major decisions for the child(ren) on specific issues (i.e. one parent makes healthcare decisions while the other parent makes decisions regarding education).

Parenting Time (formerly “access”):

Parenting time schedules (such as every other weekend with one overnight mid-week, rotating week about parenting time, etc.) are agreed upon and followed by the spouses and/or partners. During your parenting time, you have exclusive authority to make, during that time, the day-to-day decisions affecting the child(ren) (unless otherwise ordered). Parenting time is consistent with the best interest of the child(ren).


A Parenting Agreement is agreed upon terms (executed in an Agreement) between the parents that outline how the parents will raise their child(ren) after separation and/or divorce.


Child support is an obligation triggered as a result of separation and/or divorce. It is a monthly amount paid by the access parent to the parent with primary residence of the child(ren) for the ongoing care of the child(ren). The monthly amount payable to the parent with primary residence is calculated pursuant to the access parent’s income and the Federal Child Support Guidelines.


If your child(ren) are enrolled in extraordinary activities such as daycare, rep soccer, baseball, hockey, college or University, both parents have an obligation to contribute to this expense.


A spousal support obligation is triggered as a result of the breakdown of a relationship or marriage. There are several factors that are considered to determine if a partner or spouse is eligible to receive spousal support. A few factors include but are not limited to the parties’ age, length of marriage, income, career, any time taken outside the workforce to raise children, etc.

Spousal support is regulated by the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines.


All assets and debts accumulated during the marriage i.e. from the date of marriage to the date of separation are equalized. The spouse with the higher net family property value will pay their spouse an equalization payment.

Each spouse must provide full and frank financial disclosure. Financial disclosure is essential in order to calculate each spouses’ net family property value. Hiding assets will complicate matters and can result in costly Court litigation.


A Divorce may proceed uncontested (not disputed by either spouse) or may be contested (certain term(s) disputed by either spouse). The disputed term(s) need to be negotiated and finalized before the Divorce is granted.


Once all reasonable steps (including but not limited to negotiation(s), mediation, settlement meetings, etc.) have been exhausted, there are situations where Court intervention is required to settle any outstanding issues resulting from the breakdown of a relationship and/or marriage.

Contact Williams & Williams Law today to speak to a member of our team