Menear Worrad & Associates

Legal Team

Family Law

THE CHALLENGE

The breakdown of a marriage, and any other intimate relationship, occasions a profound personal crisis having legal, financial, moral, emotional, and even religious consequences for the parties involved.  In addition, marriage and relational breakdown has similar effects on the families of each party.  The Family Law Team at Menear Worrad & Associates is particularly skilled in handling the legal dimensions of the breakdown of a marriage or relationship, including custody, access, child support, special expense contribution, spousal support, occupation of matrimonial home, and division of property, along with the tax and estate implications arising from these legal matters.  At the same time, the lawyers and staff of the Menear Worrad Family Law Team take a special interest in helping with the other personal and family consequences resulting from such a breakdown.

Our Family Law Team will answer your questions, respect your decisions, and guide you through the difficult process which results from a marriage or relationship breakdown.  We give special attention to the advice you need prior to a separation to achieve maximum strategic advantage while minimizing emotional upset and turmoil.  We are dedicated to achieving results in a fair, expeditious, and results-oriented manner.  While achieving results will usually entail "out of court" settlement negotiations and may involve mediation or arbitration, the Menear Worrad Law Team provides experienced family law representation at the Ontario and Superior Court levels.

MARRIAGE AND COHABITATION CONTRACTS

Whether you are planning to marry or live together with a partner in an intimate relationship, consideration should be given to working out the principles and rules on matters related to raising of children, occupying a home, owning property, operating a business, and even support obligations in the event of a breakdown of the marriage or relationship, and in the event of the death of one of the parties.  Our Family Law Team has the expertise to provide you with the advice you need and to assist you with the development of a plan to deal with these legal matters.  Your decisions will be incorporated into the terms of a marriage or cohabitation contract. 

All relationships are no the same, nor are they treated the same in law.  Family law rights and obligations are different for married couples compared to others in unmarried personal relationships.  Our Family Law Team will help you understand those differences to craft a marriage or cohabitation contract that meets your personal needs and goals.

Marriage and cohabitation contracts are particularly important for middle-aged persons and those entering a new marriage or forming another personal partnership after the breakdown of a previous marriage or relationship.  There are special estate planning matters that need to be carefully considered at the outset.  The lawyers and staff of the Menear Worrad Family Law Team are committed to helping you address these legal complexities to formulate the best contractual plan for you in your particular circumstances.

PRE-SEPARATION ADVICE

If you are in a marriage or relationship that is in difficulty, you need to be informed of your rights and obligations under family law.  We encourage you to contact our office to arrange an initial interview for this purpose.  You will be informed about your rights and obligations under the Family Law Act, Divorce Act, Succession Law Reform Act, and other legislation which has been enacted to deal with the legal consequences of the breakdown of a marriage or relationship.  The decisions you make prior to separation are critical.  Decisions at this stage often have a profound effect on your ongoing relationship with your children, the occupation and disposition of your home, the division of your other property, and the financial means you have to maintain yourself.  Therefore, it is imperative that a careful plan be devised while remaining in the marriage or relationship during the difficult period.  Similarly, careful consideration needs to be given to the decisions comprising a separation plan if the breakdown of the marriage or relationship is imminent.  The Menear Worrad Family Law Team will help you make these decisions and formulate such a plan while remaining mindful of the personal and family consequences that will result. 

SEPARATION CONTRACT

In the event of the breakdown of a marriage or intimate relationship, you will need sound family law advice and assistance to achieve a settlement of the legal issues or the determination of the same by a Family Court.  The Menear Worrad Family Law Team will provide you with sound and capable advice and direction in concert with your family counsellor, psychologist, or religious advisor.  In addition, we will recommend for your consideration such child parenting assessors, accountants, valuators, appraisers, and other experts as may be needed to ensure the achievement of the best possible outcome for you.  While our preference remains the achievement of an "out of court" negotiated settlement, we have the expertise to utilize mediation and arbitration services to resolve the more difficult or complex issues that may arise.  Finally, the Menear Worrad Family Law Team has the added strength of experienced family law representation for the determination of all family law issues in Court. 

COURT DETERMINATION

In some family law cases, settlement through negotiations, mediation, and arbitration cannot be achieved despite your good intentions and best efforts.  In other cases, the only settlement that can be achieved is one that would be unfair, unjust, or improvident to you.  In such cases, utilizing the Court process will be necessary.  The lawyers on the Menear Worrad Family Law Team have the advocacy skills and expertise at the Ontario and Superior Court levels to provide the representation you will need for success.

FUTURE CHANGES

Circumstances often change after a negotiated settlement has been achieved or a court decision obtained.  The financial circumstances of one or more of the parties may suffer an unexpected change.  Children may decide to live with the other party or another family member.  Some of the children may leave the home to attend college, university, or other educational institution.  A parent may decide to remarry or cohabit in a new intimate relationship.  One of the parties may reach retirement age.  These occurrences may cause a reconsideration of some of the provisions in the contractual agreement or Court order.  The Menear Worrad Family Law Team will help you appreciate the legal significance of these changes and provide you with the best possible legal advice concerning the consequences of the same.

The family law lawyers and support staff of Menear Worrad & Associates invite you to contact our law firm today to meet with one of our lawyers to provide you with the advice and services you will need.