Passionate & Professional

Full-Service Family Law Firm

What process is right for me?

Deciding how you wish to resolve the issues arising from the breakdown of your relationship is a very personal decision. 

Choosing the right lawyer can be of assistance in deciding the process that’s best for you.  Your lawyer can help you weigh the pros and cons of each process. In consideration of the specific facts of your matter, they can help you decide which process will secure the most positive outcome.

Alternative dispute resolution can work best when there is a high degree of communication and cooperation between the parties because the process is voluntary.  In some instances, higher conflict cases can secure good results with collaborative law or mediation if conflict triggers are identified and parties understand the process may take a little longer given the challenges.  

Sometimes, and maybe for reasons outside of your control, litigation is the only option available.

This can be a very emotional time.  We respect a client’s need to acknowledge and process their emotions. However, we encourage objective decision-making. In the long-term, parties are usually most satisfied when their decisions are based on a shared vision. When children are involved alternative dispute resolution can mean less conflict and an outcome that is tailor-made in your children’s best interest.

This is likely the most difficult time in your life. Remind yourself that there are better days ahead

About The Process

Other than buying or selling a house or making a will, meeting with a family lawyer is often the first time a person meets with counsel to assist them.  It can be stressful and upsetting.  It can be difficult not to know what to expect next, but there are some things clients can do and consider that will help them through the process:

Use your legal team as a primary resource for all of the questions you have throughout the process. They will be most familiar with your circumstances and the laws and processes of your jurisdiction. If using the internet, please try to use government sites which will have the most reliable information available.

Hiring a lawyer indicates you are aware that the facts of the case, relevant law and big picture can be complex and more than you are able to piece together. People may have opinions of what you should or should not do, but they typically are not privy to all of the relevant information. Your lawyer has an obligation to look out for your best interests and access to the tools available for facilitating a resolution. Trust your lawyers’ advice. They are providing it from a place of professional knowledge and experience.

This can be an upsetting time – don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Many employers offer EAP programs for therapy.  Take care of your health.

Be courteous, respectful, and factual in correspondence with your former spouse.  Rude, aggressive, and abusive correspondence can have serious consequences for the outcome of your case.  Before you write it, always consider that a Judge might read it. This also applies to anything posted digitally and online – text messages, emails, social media posts, etc.

Stress and emotion can impact your memory. Keeping a journal of when and how things actually happened is very helpful if you need to refer to past events in the future.

Practise patience.  Your lawyer should help you move through the process of your choosing as efficiently as possible.

Secure financial disclosure early on and be as thorough as possible. Important financial documents include:

  • The last three years of your taxes
  • Bank accounts
  • Investments
  • Credit cards
  • Lines of credit
  • Assets on the date of marriage (try to secure information to support their value as soon as possible)

Don’t try to hide income or assets – it’s almost always found and can have a negative impact on the outcome of your case.  It can be particularly harmful to your credibility.  Remember that the production of financial disclosure is an ongoing obligation.

If you have children, remember that divorce and separation is not what is harmful – conflict is what is harmful.  Take care not to:
  • Involve your children in the conflict
  • Discuss matters with your children or when your children are able to hear
  • Leave paperwork out where they can read it
  • Disparage the other party – that person is your child’s parent

Your child loves their parent and understands that their parent is a fundamental part of who they are.  Disparaging a parent to a child is both harmful and hurtful.
The law in Ontario is designed to protect the rights of both parties and the children. Sometimes this means that the result on a certain issue will be difficult to accept, but it may be part of a larger compromise that allows you to move forward.

What are the costs?

The expenses related to family law are determined by a number of factors:

  • Complexity | Level of Conflict
  • Unanticipated Issues
  • Litigation Process

At Marchetti Family Law, we will make every effort to be transparent throughout the process to ensure you have a clear understanding of the costs involved. Please note that the total cost of your matter cannot be determined at your initial consultation.

*We do not accept legal aid at this time. Contact Legal Aid Ontario for information on lawyers who accept legal aid certificates.