Frequently Asked Family Law Questions in Ontario

Hiring a Family Lawyer

Can my spouse and I both hire the same lawyer?

No. It’s considered a conflict of interests to have both spouses represented by the same firm.  We run conflict checks when booking appointments to ensure that we haven’t already met with one of the parties involved or that we aren’t already representing them.

Q: “But we are amicable and are getting along, so why can’t we have the same lawyer”?

Often times this is how the process begins however due to the sensitive and emotionally charged nature of family law issues that can change.  In family law, spouses typically have competing legal interests, and interests that are at odds with each other, even in the most amicable of situations.  While we understand that you want to get things done as simply as possible, our policy to only represent one individual involved is for your protection and is in accordance with the Rules of Professional Conduct.   

Q: We just need a simple divorce.

we do have an option of an uncontested divorce, where neither party is bringing forward any claims other than the divorce itself.  This process has a flat rate fee*

An uncontested divorce is suited for spouses who have already reached an agreement on all issues, and neither party is required to appear in court.  In order for this to be successful as spouses you will have to ensure that all property, custody and access issues are resolved through some sort of legal agreement (court order or separation agreement).  You must be separated for one year before a divorce will be granted.

It’s hard choosing a lawyer, what should I be looking for?

This is the exact reason we offer a free 30-minute consultation. Retaining the best Toronto divorce lawyer is an important decision – it’s so important for you to feel a connection with the lawyer you are choosing. Every person is different; for some people, it’s based on personality, for others its experience; overall you want to choose someone who is knowledgeable and honest. Be wary of guarantees in the initial meeting as it’s just a synopsis of your situation and it’s impossible to predict what will happen. Your lawyer should be available to connect with you and be able to competently guide you through the legal process.  We do our best to match you with a family lawyer who will be suited to your needs based on the information you have provided to us in your intake form.

Q: Will I be contacted after my appointment?

If you choose to not retain us we will not contact you after your free consultation unless you have specifically asked us to connect with you to proceed with retaining.  You are welcome to contact us at any time after the consultation should you wish to choose us to assist you with your matter.

Q: What if I retain a lawyer at Kain and Ball but I’m not sure they were the right person for me?

You can request to change lawyers within the firm if you would still like us to represent you.  Or you can request to close your file.

Q: How are Fees Calculated? How much is this going to cost?

Legal fees are calculated based on the time spent on the matter, there are more details listed in retainer.  The cost of your matter will depend on its overall complexity. Family law issues can be complex and emotionally charged.  The cost of your matter can vary greatly based on the conduct of you or the other party involved. If you are involved in a high conflict matter, and you cannot agree or want to ‘fight’ every issue raised then the process can become quite expensive.

I don’t want to go to court.

We do our utmost to assist our clients in resolving their family law issue(s) in the process that they choose. Some alternatives to court are negotiation, or more formal Mediation/Arbitration. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to proceed to court, either because the other side has brought an Application, there are child protection issues, or urgent relief is required.  If you choose Kain & Ball to represent you, you can rest assured that our skilled team of legal professionals will provide you with excellent legal advice and representation. Whether your matter proceeds by way of litigation, negotiation, or by some other form of ADR.

Initial Consultation

Please arrive about 5 to 10 minutes before your appointment to fill out the intake form

Why do you ask such personal questions on the intake form?

The intake form is designed to help give us an understanding of your current family law situation so that you can make the most of your initial consultation. The information is used to match you with an associate that best suits your needs. Our team of lawyers have varying strengths, years of experience and expertise in specific areas of family law.  The more information you provide us, the more effectively we will be able to match you with the right associate for you and your situation.

Why do you ask for my partner’s personal information? Are you going to contact them?

We ask for both parties full legal names and information because we run conflict checks to ensure have not already consulted or already representing the other party involved in your legal matter.  We require their information in order to ensure this process is completed accurately. We will never contact your partner without your express permission and instructions to do so.

Do I have to answer all the questions listed in the initial/intake forms?

Yes.  The more information you provide, the greater our understanding of your situation.  It will help you make the most out of your 30-minute consultation since the lawyer you’re meeting with will be able to review it ahead of time.

What is the purpose of the Consult

First impressions mean a lot. But they shouldn’t cost a lot. That’s why the first time we meet a potential client, the meeting is free. During this initial 30-minute consultation, the goal is to establish a working relationship. That’s why we encourage you to come prepared to ask questions, because by doing your own due diligence, you will better understand our process and our philosophy and whether our firm is right for you. You should also expect us to ask questions – tough ones that will help us to establish your needs and how we can serve these needs. Reflecting our client-centered approach, we will provide you with a clear, written description of our services and fees for service in the form of a retainer agreement should we decide to work together.

Will I get legal advice at the consult? What will we talk about?

No.   The consultation is meant to: inform you of what your legal rights and options are, the procedural steps involved in a separation, and a potential plan of action.

What should I bring?

Please bring government issued ID, and a method of payment if you plan on retaining a lawyer that day.   

If you decide to retain Kain and Ball please ensure that you leave yourself enough time to complete that process after your 30-minute consultation is over.  Set aside up to a half an hour in case you have questions during that part of the process.

Who will I be meeting with?

You can request a specific lawyer and we will do our best to accommodate your preference.  Or if you are unsure as to who will be best suited to your family law matter we can pair you with an associate.  If you would like to learn more about each of our lawyers please visit about us.

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