Family Divorce Lawyer Cambridge
A premium law firm in Cambridge that provides a safe place and all the support you require to go through a divorce.
Our legal process
Here is what you should expect when you choose Musson Morneau LLP.
The first call
Making the decision to file for divorce is an extremely difficult and emotionally charged choice to make. The first phone call to a divorce lawyer can seem like a huge step towards ending the relationship with your spouse. This can also make the first call an equally stressful occasion.
The path to divorce is paved with uncertainty, intense emotions, and hard choices. Even if you know that you should end your marriage, the potential change and disruption of the life you are used to is a lot to deal with. For these reasons, many people delay making the decisions that are suitable for them and remain in abusive marriages for too long.
So, when should you make the first call to a divorce lawyer? The answer is as soon as possible. You should speak to a lawyer even if you have not made the final decision to divorce your spouse. A lawyer will answer all your questions to help you make an informed and confident decision regarding your marriage.
You should contact us if you want to explore your options or if you want to end your marriage, but you do not know how to initiate the divorce process. You should also contact us if you are separated from your spouse or upon learning that your spouse is planning a separation. Contact us if your spouse expresses their desire to end the marriage, even if you have not decided if that is what you want.
When you decide to file for divorce, the two most important decisions you have to make are choosing the right divorce lawyer and choosing the ideal divorce process.
We invite you to call us on 519-840-0863 or book a call online.
Choosing your process
Divorce cases are highly sensitive situations, and there are several ways for spouses to seek litigation. At Musson Morneau LLP, we classify our cases into two streams: collaborative/settlement-focused and litigation.
Collaborative divorce is fast gaining popularity as an ideal alternative dispute resolution method. In this case, both spouses’ lawyers agree to help their clients resolve conflicts by adopting cooperative techniques instead of using adversarial strategies. This method eliminates the need for a court or judge to provide a resolution.
If spouses are unable to reach an agreement through a collaborative process, litigation may be unavoidable. The divorce case proceeds to trial, where the court makes the final judgment.
Some law firms claim to be skilled in both collaborative and litigation divorce processes, but that’s not the case. At Musson Morneau LLP, our lawyers are conversant with both divorce processes. Whether you opt for a collaborative or litigation-based divorce, we will strive to get you a favourable outcome.
It’s no secret that the divorce process can be contentious, challenging, and expensive. Most divorces are not characterized by the drama you see on TV shows. However, this doesn’t mean that the divorce process is easy. Courts encourage couples to work together to resolve divorces, preferably out-of-court. You’ll find that settling a divorce case out of court is more comfortable. Collaborative divorce is a legal divorce process that enables couples to negotiate all the terms of their divorce without fighting in court. Couples use a combination of negotiation and mediation to reach a mutual agreement. It involves discussing the critical terms of the divorce, including child custody, child support, property division, and division of debts. The collaborative divorce process begins with deciding whether both spouses are willing to work together in a collaborative process. The collaborative divorce won’t work if either of the parties is unwilling to take part in the process.
Each spouse hires a lawyer to represent him or her during the divorce process. When choosing a lawyer, you should go for one with experience in collaborative law. The lawyer should be willing to use alternative dispute resolution instead of taking the case to court. An experienced collaborative divorce lawyer knows what to do to make the divorce a win-win situation for both parties. Collaborative divorce is not for people who want to try to secure a good deal at the expense of the other person. Your lawyer will continue to provide advice, education and support you and your interests. After selecting a lawyer, the spouses meet with their lawyer privately to discuss the divorce.
The conversation with your lawyer will revolve around how you would like to handle parenting plans, decision making and parenting time, the division of property, how to support minor children, and whether spousal support is necessary. If either spouse has a pension plan, you should disclose to your lawyer if this account should be split. With the help of your lawyer, you will also assemble a collaborative divorce team. This team mainly consists of a financial specialist and a family professional. The team will be joint specialists that will work with you and your spouse. Your lawyer, your spouse’s lawyer, and the specialists will form a collaborative divorce team that will work to ensure that you and your spouse get the best settlement.
After you have met with your lawyer, you will then meet your spouse with their lawyer and the rest of the team in one of the many meetings you will hold. During this meeting, both parties together with their lawyers, will sign the no-court agreement. This agreement allows the lawyers to withdraw from the divorce case if any of the spouses abandons the collaborative agreement and initiates litigation. The no-court agreement serves as an incentive to the spouses to ensure that they will continue to negotiate, even when the conversation becomes complicated.
You should disclose all the relevant information during the divorce negotiations. If you conceal some information and your spouse learns about it after the divorce, he/she may initiate fresh proceedings against you. When you and your spouse agree on the terms of the divorce, your lawyers draft a settlement agreement for both of you to sign. You should only sign this document if you agree to all the divorce terms.
The timeline & cost
If you and your spouse intend to file for divorce and still end up on good terms, participating in a collaborative divorce would be a good option. Compared to traditional divorce, collaborative divorce is a more respectful process and usually costs less. It is definitely less stressful than Court. Upon deciding on the type of divorce, you are probably wondering about the cost of the divorce and how long it will take to conclude. There is no standard time and budget because every divorce process is unique. Usually, cases take between 1 to 2 years to conclude. Many Court divorces can take up to 5 years to conclude. The timing in collaborative divorce largely depends on how motivated the couple is to gather their financial information and how motivated they are to participate in settlement meetings and compromise.
The good news is that a collaborative divorce is much more affordable than a conventional one. It helps you avoid long and costly court proceedings.
The collaborative divorce team has several specialists, and every specialist will set their own fees. The specialists may impose a flat fee or charge you on an hourly basis. In the case of a flat-fee model, it is much easier to determine the cost upfront.
The timeline of a collaborative divorce will depend on the partners’ level of cooperation. Since you conduct the divorce sessions on the table, not in court, you have more control over the timing. The rationale behind the collaborative demand is that both partners know what is good for them and their children. Therefore, how long the divorce takes to conclude will depend on the ability of the partners to work together. Even if the collaborative team oversees the divorce process, the time needed to conclude the divorce lies in the hands of the two spouses.
The standard cost of collaborative divorce is between $25k and $30k. This cost is normally split between the spouses. Depending on the complexity of the divorce case, it could take between 12 and 24 months to conclude the case.
Types of Divorce
There are two main types of divorce :
As its name suggests, a contested divorce is a divorce whereby one or both spouses dispute some aspects of their divorce. Therefore, the divorce takes much longer to conclude and involves higher costs and stress. With a contested divorce, the spouses must go through several steps before the conclusion of the divorce.
Spouses are likely to disagree on the terms of divorce when children are involved or when the ending of the marriage is unpleasant. Most disagreements in divorce revolve around:
A contested divorce doesn’t mean that the couple must automatically file the case in court. Instead, they can first try out-of-court settlements like mediation. How long it takes to complete a contested divorce will vary depending on the nature of disagreements and whether the involved parties are willing to cooperate.
If the spouses are unable to settle the divorce out of court, they proceed to trial. During the trial, both parties will have an opportunity to present witnesses. Their lawyers will cross-examine the witnesses before presenting the closing remarks. After trial, the court issues the final order that outlines the judge’s decision, which finalizes the divorce.
In this divorce, both partners agree on all the issues pertaining to their divorce. The involved parties must meet several requirements to file for an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is much easier and quicker than a contested divorce because partners can end their union without lengthy negotiations and court hearings. An uncontested divorce involves not only less stress but also lower legal fees. An uncontested divorce helps you to preserve your relationship with your spouse, which is particularly important if you have children.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are the one initiating the divorce, you should contact a lawyer before you even inform your partner about your intention to file for divorce. If your spouse has you served with divorce papers, you should contact a lawyer right away. You should contact a lawyer as soon as possible, even if you have not made a final decision to file for divorce. A lawyer will answer all your questions and help you explore your options.
With so many divorce lawyers in Cambridge, choosing the right lawyer can be daunting. You want to know that your lawyer has the necessary experience to handle your divorce case. Below are some of the qualities of a skilled lawyer:
- Vast experience in family law
- Has handled divorce cases similar to yours
- Has a good reputation and reviews
Emotions often run high during a divorce. You might feel the urge to lash out at your soon-to-be ex-spouse. However, any divorce lawyer would tell you that this would be a bad idea. You should never do certain things during divorce:
- Do not act out of spite
- Don’t use your children as pawns
- Do not give in to anger
- Don’t expect to get all the assets
- Don’t try to hide money or assets from your partner
The goal of collaboratively family law is to allow those who are in the middle of a divorce or separation, to work in a collaborative manner with …
Divorce is about moving forward and starting a new chapter. If you have settled all your other matrimonial issues or you are just starting the process, we are here to help.
If you and your spouse are in agreement on the terms of your separation, you are free to put your decisions into a separation agreement…
At Musson Morneau LLP, we understand the importance of finding the right fit for your representation. We take the time to get to know our clients and create a strategic plan that will help them to move forward and make a positive change in their lives. Get in touch so we can learn more about your goals and how we can help you reach them.mo
Anna-Marie Musson, Managing Partner – Toronto
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