Laura understands that family law matters are often stressful and highly personal for her clients. She works with her clients in a constructive way, communicates with them on an ongoing basis, and involves them in the process of working toward a final solution. This allows for an end result that has been tailored to each client’s unique circumstances. If you need help navigating a family law matter, make an appointment to come in and discuss your options.
Cohabitation Agreements / Marriage Contracts
Cohabitation Agreements are used by people who live together or plan to live together and want to make plans regarding the financial aspects of their relationship.
A Marriage Contracts (often referred to as “prenuptial agreements” or “prenups”) are an effective way for couples to make decisions regarding many important issues that may come into play if they happen to separate in the future.
These types of agreements allow you to make decisions in a constructive way and will help to minimize the amount of stress and conflict that you may face in the event of separation or divorce. They are valuable tools that may serve to save you a great deal of time and money in the event of a divorce or separation.
Separation agreements are used to outline the rights and obligations of both you and your spouse after separation. Separation agreement can be used to deal with many important issues such as custody, access, child support, spousal support, and division of property. They can be very helpful in limiting disputes that impact your children and in determining important financial issues that will impact your future such as RRSPs, RESPs, pensions, investments, savings, and responsibility for current debts. Separation agreements can also be used to ensure that current understandings and informal agreements between spouses can be legally enforced so that problems are not experienced at a later date.
Laura can help you negotiate an agreement that will limit future disputes, allow you to achieve some finality, and help you to move forward after separation.
Separation agreements can be useful for resolving disputes and protecting your rights when you separate, but they do not legally end your marriage. The only way to legally end your marriage is to get a divorce. You can file for divorce jointly if you and your spouse agree, which will save time and money. Alternatively, you can file a sole application. Laura can help you decide which method is best for you and will handle the entire process for you including drafting all of the necessary forms, filing them with the court, and obtaining the final certificate of divorce.
To apply for a divorce, you will need your original marriage certificate. If you do not have your original marriage certificate you can order one online through Service Ontario: https://www.ontario.ca/government/marriage-certificate
Independent Legal Advice
If your spouse or partner has had a family law agreement prepared by another lawyer it is important that you obtain independent legal advice before you sign it. Laura can help you understand your rights as they relate to the agreement and help you make a fully informed decision about what you are entering into.
If your child will be travelling abroad alone, or with only one parent/guardian, a notarized travel letter will simplify travel, as it may be requested by officials when entering a foreign country or when returning to Canada. Planning ahead and having a properly notarized travel letter will allow for ease of travel, as authorities will be less likely to question the letter’s authenticity. Laura can help you determine the appropriate details to include in such a letter to address the questions and concerns that may arise in your particular situation.
Estate planning involves many important decisions that will help your loved ones and ensure that your wishes are carried out in the event of your passing. Having properly drafted Power of Attorney documents will ensure that your wishes are carried out in the event of your incapacity.
Laura understands that these types of decisions are often difficult for her clients to think about and discuss. She will listen to your concerns and objectives and will work with you to ensure that the necessary documents are put in place to achieve those objectives and to ease any worries that you may have.
When your Will is complete, you should review it once per year and whenever there is a significant change in your personal circumstances to make sure that it still expresses your wishes, as these wishes may change significantly throughout your lifetime. If you already have a Will in place Laura can review it with you, free of charge, to make sure it is still accurate to your current situation.
Powers of Attorney
A Continuing Power of Attorney for Property is a legal document that will allow you to give a person of your choosing the legal authority to deal with your financial matters such as paying your bills and managing your investments and bank accounts. This document can be made to be effective immediately or if you become mentally incapable of dealing with your financial affairs. You can customize your Continuing Power of Attorney for property to grant specific rights, or to restrict certain activities.
A Non-Continuing Power of Attorney for Property allows you to appoint someone to make decisions relating to your financial affairs, generally or in specific situations, but terminates if you become mentally incapable. You can use this type of Power of Attorney while you are away from your home for an extended period of time and are in need of someone to look after your financial transactions. You can specify a period of time that this kind of Power of Attorney will remain effective.
Laura is certified as a Notary Public in the Province of Ontario. As such, she can notarize documents, swear affidavits, and commission court documents. She can also provide certified copies of an original document and consent to travel letters.