Are you looking for the best family law lawyer in Ontario? No lawyer or law firm in Toronto can call themselves the best family law lawyer. But there are steps you can take to separate the bad, good, and best Ontario family lawyers.
Do your research to find the best family law lawyer for you. Some lawyers focus on saving money, some lawyers focus on being aggressive and getting the issue resolved quickly.
Find a lawyer that does your area of law (type “family lawyer” instead of just “Toronto lawyer”
You don’t want to hire a lawyer that does every kind of law. Find a lawyer that focuses on family law.
Research their website before you call. Make sure the firm looks like a good fit.
Are you looking for an aggressive lawyer? If you are, be prepared to spend $5000/month on legal fees. Are you looking for a lawyer that is more junior and will keep costs low?
Know what you are looking for. Some people call us asking for help getting full custody. We tell them it would be a $15,000 retainer. Suddenly most want to negotiate!
Best Family Law Lawyer In Ontario- Review their online reviews
This is important but be careful. If we are talking about family law, keep in mind that a very small percentage of clients will want to leave reviews. A family law firm is not a restaurant.
A restaurant might be able to have hundreds of online reviews, but law firms won’t. Most law firms that have not “bought fake reviews” should have between 5-50 reviews.
If the law firm has fewer than 5 reviews, the lawyer might not have a lot of clients. You should question the reason for this.
Know the lawyer’s hourly rate and retainer amount
Junior lawyers will normally be around $250/hour. The most senior lawyers might be around $700/hour. Know what you are looking for in a lawyer. Be clear with the law firm upfront.
If you have legal aid, you very likely will get someone who is a new lawyer looking for more experience (and to be able to pay their bills.) Senior lawyers normally have lots of clients, so they can pick and choose who they work with.
Keep in mind other options for resolving the dispute.
You and your spouse can also resolve the issues in the following ways:
- Negotiation (legal letters)
By default, when you get married, you and your spouse are in an equal economic partnership. If you get divorced, any assets you purchase or receive during the marriage will likely be divided in half.
Any increase in the value of assets you brought into the marriage might be divided in half. You and your spouse will have to decide who will move out of the home or if the home will be sold.
Normally one spouse just buys out the other spouse. Banks often require a professional separation agreement done by a lawyer (not some random online template) before lending money to buy out a spouse.
These are guidelines and there are exceptions. Family law can be unpredictable which is why it’s important to hire a family lawyer will actual first-hand experience.
Best Family Law Lawyer In Ontario
When you get married, the law treats your marriage as an equal economic partnership.
If your marriage ends, the value of the property you acquired while you were married and the increase in the value of the property you brought into your marriage will be divided in half.
One half for you and one half for your husband or wife.
There are exceptions to this rule. The law also provides that you and your husband or wife have an equal right to stay in the family home. If you separate, you will have to decide who will continue to live there.
In addition, Ontario’s family laws provide that you may be entitled to financial support for yourself and your children when your marriage ends.
If you don’t like the default family law rules, you can make your own rules in a marriage agreement. But make sure you do it correctly.
Countless people don’t want to spend $3000 on getting a proper marriage agreement done, so they just download it online. These templates are super simple and will likely not match all your legal needs.
Read more: How To File For Divorce In Ontario
Spending $3000 on a marriage agreement now can save you a lot of money in the future.
I’m not sure who the best family law lawyer is, but you can do your own research and find one that works hard for you!
You can also learn more about family law on our YouTube channel.