Family Law

Family Law covers all areas dealing with families who change their arrangements for living together, being married, supporting the children and each other and allocating their property. Property allocation is different for people who are not married. It is important for people to understand how the law affects them in any of these areas. Knowing your legal rights is the fairway. Divorce or other family matters require informed choices and that is why it is always important to talk to a lawyer first. Lawyers provide the background and law to enable you to decide how to best approach your matter. People often say they want to resolve matters without a lawyer. What they mean is that they want to do so amicably. But having a lawyer is not the same as fighting. Having a lawyer explain the law is the best thing you could do before taking action. If you had an insurance matter, you would not go ahead without taking to your agent. It is best to know what are the requirements in the law.

 

Approach

Free ½ hour meeting – Catherine M Zrymiak will set up free ½ hour meetings to discuss your matter and help you examine and choose various options. . The meeting is like a mini-course on your area of family law. Making decisions in family law is key. People often want to make decisions without lawyers, but what they really want is to make decisions without fighting about it in Court. As a lawyer, it is my duty to help you make an informed decision, and let you know that you and your partner or spouse can each decide and make a plan. It is only when people will not decide, or when they give up their chance to decide, that a Court must step in and make the decision for them. More and more, people are continuing to make decisions about their children, families, timing, money and assets and debts together, even after a separation or split. Parents are experts of their own children and spouses or couples are experts of their own property and money. Why give that choice to someone else?

 

Cohabitation Agreements
When people are married or are planning to get married, they are able to make an agreement about their property under the Matrimonial Property Act. However, many people live together thinking it is the same for them. It is not. There is no legislation ensuring that they have 50/50 and none that says they keep what they have. The Courts will however, recognize a Cohabitation Agreement. This can give couples who are not married the certainty of what would happen if their relationship ended.

 

Cohabitation Agreements can also include Parenting Plans and support arrangements.

 

If people who choose to live together know that they might get married one day, they can have a combination Contract that changes from a Cohabitation Agreement to a Matrimonial Property Contract.

 

Again this can be achieved through discussion and if necessary, negotiation, to work out suitable terms. It is an absolute imperative that partners exchange full inventories as a starting point for their agreements. That is part of the process. Each partner has to have their own lawyer sign the Independent Legal Advice, so that the document is valid. However, one lawyer usually takes instructions and prepares the Agreement before it is sent to the other lawyer to consider. Usually a flat rate fee can be charged, depending upon the detail required by the parties in the Agreement.