Family Law

Family issues are as varied and complex as their members' personalities - family law is equally so. We aim to deliver family law services that will help you move on with the next step of your life, whatever that may be.

At Kelly & Co. we take a client-centred approach that will be best suited to you and your issues. We spend time with you and get to know you in order to provide a focused service to you and your family law needs. We work with you and ensure that you know what is happening and where you are going, aiming to deliver prompt and proactive service. If you are looking for realistic, down-to-earth advice that you can understand, the lawyers at Kelly & Co. can provide you with the options that are best suited to you and your needs.

Family law necessarily involves an intersection of many different areas of the law with which the lawyers at Kelly & Co. are familiar and experienced. To name only a few, this includes:

Depending on your situation, divorce may be a difficult or an easy decision. Regardless, our lawyers are familiar with the divorce process and can help make your transition as smooth as possible.

Divorce in Canada is governed by the Divorce Act, which provides three grounds for divorce: adultery, cruelty and living separate and apart for one year. In most cases a divorce will proceed on the basis of living separate and apart for one year. Any number of claims can be brought with an application for divorce, many of which are outlined below. Please contact our office to learn more about how we can help you proceed with a divorce.

If you and your partner have children when separating, then child custody and access are likely to be a live issue. Every family is different. Every child is different. What is in a child's best interests will depend on the particular circumstances of the case.

Issues of child custody and access are among the most complicated in family law. Your child may require independent representation, an assessment, or more. The lawyers at Kelly & Co. have decades of experience litigating family law issues, including issues of child custody and access. For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our lawyers, please contact us at (519) 579-3360.

Types of Custody and Access

We at Kelly & Co. understand that your children are important to you. Their hopes, dreams and futures are in your hands. Raising them can be difficult enough when you and your partner are living together, but when you and your partner separate and are no longer living together under the same roof, differences and issues can be compounded.

If you are in the process of separating then it is important to figure out a plan of how your children will be cared for as soon as possible. No one knows your children better than you - not even them. Kelly & Co. will listen to you and help you understand your rights concerning custody and access and whether sole custody, joint custody, shared custody or split custody is most appropriate. Contact our office in order to discuss the range of issues that can arise, including:

Whether mediation is appropriate.
For more information about this, please see section below for Mediatian.

Whether an assessment is appropriate.
Child assessments are not common, but they may be necessary. Assessments vary on a case-by-case basis depending on what issues are at play for you, your former spouse and your children. In each case, assessments are customized your particular family situation. We can help you determine what type of assessment may be necessary and what kind of professional can provide the help that is needed. For more information please contact us at 519-579-3360.

Whether your children require independent representation.
No one wants to drag children into contentious court battles; but despite this, sometimes an independent third party is necessary. This may take the form of an independent Litigation Guardian - a person who makes decisions for a minor in a court proceeding - or it may necessitate the involvement of the Office of the Children's Lawyer - an independent government body that can provide representation and clinical investigative services, among others. For more information about these and other options, please contact us. For more information about the Office of the Children's Lawyer, please visit their website.

Grandparent Access.
Because every family is different, so are the parts that family members play in children's lives. This does not always mean that grandparents have custody or access rights, but it may. This can arise in situations where grandparents take on roles much more akin to those of a parent, or where there are fears of abuse or neglect. For more information about securing custody or access rights as a grandparent, please contact our office.

Property and marriage go hand-in-hand. Even if you were not married, you may have property rights that arise from your relationship and its breakdown. This can arise in a number of situations including by express agreement, implied agreement or by other circumstances that arose throughout your relationship. Depending on your circumstances, different considerations may apply.

If you feel that you require legal advice about property and the breakdown of your relationship, please contact us.

Child support is the right of the child, and should be considered whenever two parties are separating. In the case of divorce, the Divorce Act requires that the court "satisfy itself that reasonable arrangements have been made for the support of any children of the marriage." This includes child support.

Child support is governed by the Child Support Guidelines. While the Guidelines may appear straightforward at first blush, they are far from it. A number of issues may arise in determining child support, including determining the appropriate level of income and any children's needs. Please visit our Contact page in order to schedule an appointment to discuss child support in further detail with one of Kelly & Co.'s lawyers.

Spousal support is support paid by one former spouse to another. It is not guaranteed. The amount and duration varies from case-to-case and involves the consideration and balancing of a number of factors, including the circumstances of the relationship, whether or not there are children as well as both your former spouse's and your own income.

The lawyers at Kelly & Co. take the time to sit down with their clients and determine whether or not they may be entitled to spousal support. To schedule a consultation or for more information, please contact our office.

Children are among the most vulnerable in our society. When they require protection, the government has a number of supports and proceedings in place for their protection. Our lawyers offer representation services in non-court Children's Aid Society involvement, child protection matters and advice concerning voluntary service agreements.

If you have a protection concern, have been contacted by a protection agency, or have been served with court materials, our lawyers may be able to help you. Please visit our Contact page to schedule an appointment.

Domestic violence and abuse may be present in a number of situations, including between spouses, to a parent of a child, a member of a person's household or to children. Domestic violence and abuse may take many forms, including physical, sexual, emotional or verbal. Often times someone who is being abused will not even be aware of it while it is happening.

There are a number of ways to deal with domestic violence. Contact us to make an appointment with the lawyers at Kelly & Co. in order to discuss your options fully and confidentially.

If you are not satisfied with a judicial or arbitrator's decision, you may have a case for appeal. Appeals are more complicated than believing that an arbitrator's, judge's or other's decision was right or wrong. Appeals depend on the type of body that you are appealing from, the type of decision made, and the law relating to your issues, among other things. Appeals in family law are often highly issue-specific and highly fact-specific.

The lawyers at Kelly & Co. have the skills, experience and dedication to advise whether you have a case that warrants an appeal. Please visit our Contact page in order to schedule an appointment.

If you are separating, the Ontario family law process affords you a number of choices for how you may proceed. Collaborative family law attempts to take away the adversarial bent of separation. We at Kelly & Co. have represented countless clients using a collaborative approach; but when discussions break apart we are ready to proceed with mediation, arbitration or litigation as necessary. Please contact us if you would like to know more about your options.

Family law legislation allows you to define how you want your family to live, whether together or separate. The lawyers at Kelly & Co. can work with you and draft marriage contracts, cohabitation agreements and separation agreements that deal with things like your personally held property, jointly held property, custody and access, child support and spousal support, to name only a few. Please contact us if you would like to know more about your options.

Whether you are part of a new or old family, it is important to make sure that all are well looked after. Kelly & Co.'s team has the knowledge necessary for you to plan for your future. Please contact us to make an appointment or read more about wills, powers of attorney or trusts.