Toronto Family Law Firm
The world we live in has seen family problems continuing to rise. Unfortunately, even a family that appears united to the outside world can fall apart. Family law lawyers handle issues that involve personal relationships—divorce, parenting plans & decision making (previously known as child custody), child support, spousal support, property division, and much more. If you are experiencing a troubling family issue, Musson Law can help. At Musson Law, we represent spouses, partners, children, guardians, and others who make up a family. We believe strongly in avoiding court when possible, therefore, we offer an array of dispute resolutions, including collaborative law, arbitration, mediation, and lawyer-led negotiation.
When your family law situation has turned contentious, we can be an intermediary between parties, working hard to preserve your rights, while simultaneously establishing better communication and understanding among all those involved. As highly skilled negotiators, as well as experienced litigators, when the situation demands, our overarching goal is to seek equitable results, preserve your rights, and help you move forward with your life. We understand that your family law issue is very personal, so we will always strive to ensure your privacy and confidentiality are properly preserved. Anna-Marie Musson and her team are extremely responsive in answering clients’ questions and are dedicated to the outcome of your family law issue.
The strong interpersonal skills Anna-Marie Musson possesses will promote a resolution to your issue as quickly and efficiently as possible while providing you with a strong foundation to help you move forward. Many times, during a separation or divorce, legal advice in other areas (business, real estate, estate planning, employment law, etc.) becomes necessary. Musson Law has the necessary resources to ensure you always receive the experienced legal advice. At the same time, we are always cognizant of the fact that dealing with a divorce, separation, child custody, or access can be among the most stressful event of your life. Musson Law strives to make your issue easier, by empowering you to make informed decisions. At Musson Law, we can help you in any of the following family law areas:
- Dispute Resolution is the hallmark of Musson Law. We help our clients move forward in their lives by resolving the issues in their personal lives. Collaborative law is a private process where a team of neutral professionals, uniquely suited to your case, help you and your partner resolve the situation in the least contentious manner. When parties commit to scheduling, attending, and preparing for collaborative meetings, the process can be significantly faster and less expensive than court. A collaborative team could include a financial specialist, a child specialist, and any other type of specialist required, along with each party’s lawyer. Mediation provides a neutral third party who will assist in negotiations without providing legal advice, and without advocating for either side. Lawyers may or may not be present during mediation sessions but can always be consulted with between meetings. Mediators work with both parties to come to a mutually accessible agreement, then will draft the agreement for review, revision, and approval by the lawyers. Arbitration is an out-of-court process which is private and tailored to your specific dispute. Arbitration is usually a less expensive, quicker, and much more informal path to dispute resolution:
- Divorce—If you want a Toronto court to end your marriage, you must meet three eligibility criteria—you must have been legally married in Canada or another country, you must intend to separate permanently from your spouse with no possibility of reconciliation, and you and/or your spouse must have resided in Ontario for at least twelve months preceding your application for divorce. You must also have been living separate and apart from your spouse for one year. Divorce can be an emotional time; therefore, it can be much better to have a legal professional from Musson Law handle the legalities of your divorce while you are allowed time to make decisions for your future.
- Spousal Support in Canada has changed over recent years, with a new system for determining spousal support in place. The courts utilize Canada’s Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, and judges who depart from those guidelines are required to provide written reasons for doing so. Few spouses want to pay spousal support, yet there are many times when a spouse is entitled to receive financial support.
- Child Custody or Parenting Plans/Decision-Making is determined based on the best interests of the child first and foremost. Parents have joint custody, meaning both parents make the major decisions in the child’s life. In some instances, split custody exists, when one or more children live with one parent, while others live with the other parent. The child or children will usually live primarily with one parent while the other parent has regular parenting time which may be clearly spelled out or may consist of a more informal arrangement.
- Child Support is generally paid by the higher-income parent. There is a specific formula for child support which uses the Child Support Guidelines and gross parental income. In sole custody arrangements, the support is calculated using the payor parent’s income only. Child support is usually made of a basic monthly amount known as the table amount, as well as an amount for other expenses, known as special or extraordinary expenses.
- Separation Agreements can be very useful—although not necessarily required—for partners who want to separate in anticipation of a divorce—or even to determine whether divorce is the best solution to their problems. A separation agreement is a domestic contract that covers such issues as parenting plans, spousal support, property division, debts, pensions, and much more. Once executed by both parties, a separation agreement is treated as a court order that can be legally enforced later on.
- High Net Worth individuals who find themselves involved in a divorce have special issues that must be addressed by a highly experienced Toronto family law lawyer. In addition to all the “normal” issues associated with divorce, high net worth individuals must deal with the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage when considering spousal support, as well as significant levels of assets, business interests, pension entitlements, business partnerships, shareholdings, and expensive collections of art, antiques, or jewelry.
- Grey Divorce is more and more common. Due to a longer lifespan, many couples may decide they simply do not want to spend their golden years with someone they have nothing in common with—or spend too much time engaged in arguments with. Once the children are grown and gone, some couples realize that might have been all that was holding them together. Whatever the reason, there are often special issues to address in a grey divorce that requires experience, knowledge, and skill on the part of a Toronto family lawyer.
- Net Worth Protection Agreements, Marriage Contracts, and Cohabitation Agreements are all extremely useful documents to be considered when you are contemplating getting married or living with another person. These contracts and agreements can protect your rights in the event things do not turn out as you hoped.
How Musson Law Can Help You Through Your Family Law Issues
Musson Law offers exceptional client services to every single client for every single-family law issue. We fully understand that navigating through Ontario family law can be confusing, and even overwhelming. We want to empower our clients, allowing them to make informed decisions about their future. We believe strongly in dispute resolution methods, including collaborative law, arbitration, mediation, and negotiation. Musson Law will help protect your children, protect your net worth, work for an out-of-court resolution, and help you achieve the right family resolutions for you. Contact Musson Law today, for a comprehensive evaluation of your family law issue.