Experienced Windsor Family Lawyers Handling Separations
Answers to Your Questions About Separation in Ontario
If you are embarking upon separation, you probably have many questions: How should I tell my spouse I want to separate? How will this impact my children? What will happen to our home? At Howie Johnson Barristers & Solicitors, we will answer your questions and provide you with legal recommendations based on more than 25 years of family law experience.
Do We Have to Go to Court?
When dealing with separation, no one wants to go to court. Our lawyers understand this and will help you explore all available options to avoid litigation. We will talk you through the steps of a separation agreement, addressing all related legal issues, including decision-making responsibility and parenting time (formerly referred to as child custody and access), spousal support, property division and any other matters specific to your unique circumstances.
If, by using our best negotiation efforts in good faith, you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement, it may be necessary to have a third party make a decision for you in court. Another instance where litigation may be appropriate is if your spouse creates an emergency situation. For example, if he or she is draining your bank accounts, it may be time to consider going to court.
A Separation Agreement
In Ontario, divorce can follow a separation based on the spouses living separately and apart for one year. A separation agreement is a legal agreement that outlines the responsibilities of the parties during the separation. It is important to have an experienced lawyer by your side while crafting a separation agreement. At Howie Johnson Barristers & Solicitors, we will make sure your interests are protected during:
- Disclosure: All relevant information, including all financial information such as debts and business valuations, must be disclosed by both parties.
- Negotiation: Negotiations should not last longer than 60 days — beyond this period of time, there is likely a fundamental problem that should be addressed in court.
Following a separation, you will need a divorce to legally end your marriage. Often, the terms of your separation agreement will become the terms of your divorce settlement. This is why it is so important to speak with a knowledgeable lawyer from the very start of your separation and divorce proceedings.