Legal FAQs & Resources
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Collaborative Family Law?
Collaborative Family Practice is an approach to separation and divorce without going to or threatening to go to court. It allows the you and your separating spouse to develop a settlement solution in a dignified manner that protects the long-term best interests of your family with the assistance of your lawyers who have received special training. The cost of the Collaborative process will depend on the complexity of the issues involved but will typically cost less than going to court.
How much will my legal matter cost?
Your initial consultation allows you to meet with one of our lawyers, discuss your problem, and find out what your alternatives are. If you require legal services, we will do our best to explain them to you, estimate what they will cost, and how long they will take.
In most cases, we will require a retainer before commencing work on your behalf, which amount is paid into trust. We will then draw cheques on the retainer to pay expenses made on your behalf and our fees. These expenses may include: commencing an application in court, and the service of originating documents. The amount of the retainer required largely depends on the complexity of your legal matter. For instance, an uncontested divorce will be less complicated and therefore, less costly, than one in which the parties have not come to an agreement on issues such as child support or property division.
You may agree to be billed on an hourly basis. You may also arrange with our lawyers for a block fee for some types of Family matters, to draft your will and other estate documents, to buy, sell or refinance your home/property or for immigration. However your billing arrangement, we strive to resolve matters efficiently and competently so that unnecessary expenses are avoided.
Where can I find out about applying for legal aid?
If you require financial assistance for your legal matter, you are encouraged to visit and file an application for financial assistance at your nearest Legal Aid Ontario office. If you qualify (there is a test), and are deemed financially eligible (another test), you will be granted a legal aid certificate. The Legal Aid Certificate Program allows clients to receive legal services from their choice of lawyer and are available to clients for a variety of legal problems such as criminal, family, some immigration and some civil law matters. The Program pays your lawyer. Sometimes you may be required to pay a contribution towards the Program. Check out their website for more information or call 1-800-668-8258. You can access their website through our Resources link.