How Does a Retainer Work?

family court

Written By Allison R. McAlpine Many family law/divorce lawyers work on a retainer basis, meaning that they ask you for a sum of money up front known as a “retainer.”  Lawyers will also quote you an hourly rate which the client is charged for the work on his/her file.  This understandably confuses clients at first […]

Grieving the Loss of a Marriage

Unhappy young couple

Written By Kara-Lynne Chapman   In her book On Death and Dying, the Swiss psychiatrist, Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, postulated that there are five stages of grieving: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Later, she added that not everyone will experience all stages and clarified that the stages are not necessarily experienced in this order.   […]

Ending a Marriage – Annulment vs Divorce

annulment vs divorce

Written by Colin Steffler   In Ontario, there are two ways to legally end a marriage: divorce or annulment. While both have the same practical result (the marriage is ended), there are significant differences. In annulment vs divorce, While some of these differences are rather technical, they stem from a fairly simple point: a divorce […]

What Do I Do if My Spouse Evades Service of My Divorce/Court Application?

a gavel

Written By Allison McAlpine In Ontario, the Family Law Rules require “special service” of a court application/divorce application.  How special service is to be carried out is governed by Rule 6(3) of the Family Law Rules which provides:         “SPECIAL SERVICE          (3) Special service of a document on […]

New Year’s Resolutions for Those Going Through a Divorce

a man holding hands with a child

Written By Kara Chapman The holidays can be difficult for those going through a divorce or separation. You may experience sadness over the loss of family traditions or you may feel resentful that so much has changed. However, with change comes opportunity and there’s no better time than New Years to infuse yourself with fresh […]

My Spouse Just Asked for a Divorce – What Do I Do Now?

Unhappy young couple

By Allison McAlpine If your spouse just asked for a divorce and you were not expecting it, it can feel like a dump truck has hit you emotionally.  It is important that you take some time to emotionally process what has happened.  From a lawyer’s perspective, these are the steps you should take if your […]

How To Financially Recover from a Separation/Divorce

a cup of coins

By Allison McAlpine Going through a separation/divorce can wreak havoc on a person’s financial health.   From legal fees, to splitting up assets, to having the same amount of family income at separation now funding two separate households after separation.  It’s tough.  There are some steps you can take, though, to minimize the financial impact of […]

Sole Custody v. Joint Custody – How to Determine Which is Appropriate

a brother and sister sitting on a couch

Written by Colin Steffler As explained in a previous blog post, “custody” is a term that is often misunderstood and misused. It is often assumed that custody refers to where a child lives, but it actually refers primarily to decision-making authority. In most cases, custody takes one of two forms: sole custody or joint custody. […]

How to Prepare For a Family Law Consultation

a woman with a cup of coffee in one hand and writing in a book with the other.

By Allison McAlpine We are a family law firm in Barrie, Ontario dealing with issues arising from a separation or divorce.  If you are going through a separation or divorce the first step in working with a lawyer is an initial consultation.  Our firm offers one-hour consultations in which we go over the background to […]

What to do When Your Income Decreases Due to COVID-19 and You Are Paying Support

a woman outside wearing a mask

By Allison R. McAlpine During this COVID-19 financial and health crisis in our community many people, unfortunately, are laid off or their income has decreased significantly. This article details the steps that you must take if you are in the Barrie, Ontario area and you need to lower your support during this crisis. If you […]

Things to do if You Are Thinking About Separating/Divorcing From Your Partner

a person playing with a wedding ring on their finger

The decision to separate from your partner is a very difficult and personal one. Here are 7 pieces of advice if you are considering separating but have not told your partner yet: 1.Save some money and do a budget. You will need some savings to cover basic living expenses and legal fees until issues such […]

We Are Able to Help Our Clients Remotely During Covid-19

a woman looking at her phone

Given the current recommendation of social distancing and COVID-19 we wanted to let our clients know what we are doing to help with this issue: 1. We are implementing a no hand shake policy until this issue is resolved. 2. If you are feeling unwell or are not sure if you have come into contact […]