Hearty Law operates a virtual office in the Ottawa area. By maintaining a virtual office, legal fees are kept low. COVID-19 has created changes in how the court system works, all filing is now done online. This means that you can get the lawyer you want and need, even if that person does not live geographically close to you.
Communication is done through virtual meetings, either through Google Meets, Zoom, Skype, or some other similar technology. These type of meetings allow for lower legal fees. While you won't see a fancy office, always keep in mind that your fees are paying for the fancy office.
Whether you need legal support in resolving all separation issues, or only need legal support for a narrow issue, such as a retroactive support claim, the cost is completely dependent on how reasonable each party is.
Hiring a lawyer who will give you the legal basis for the range of possible outcomes will allow you to make informed decisions. However, if either party has unreasonable expectations, the cost of legal fees will rise exponentially.
So the answer to the question on what does it cost to get a divorce in Ontario is actually quite simple. The cost is as little as a $662 court filing fee when both sides are reasonable, up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, if even one side is unreasonable.
The term hidden assets refer to attempt to conceal property from distribution in a divorce, or concealing income in an effort to reduce spousal support or child support payments.
Whether you believe your ex-spouse is concealing assets or income, or if your ex-spouse is falsely accusing you of hiding assets or income, you need a lawyer who understands the issues.
Child support calculations are relatively simple. The federal and provincial government have created tables based on income and the number of children you need to support. Compared to spousal support calculations, this is a relatively easy exercise.
The only complicated part of a child support calculation can be determining the payor parent's income. If the person works for a company or government and only receives employment income, the calculation is quite simple.
If the person works for their own corporation, the calculation becomes more complex. While there are legitimate deductions for tax purposes, a lot of these deductions aren't permissible when calculating income for child support purposes.
Common methods of hiding income for child support purposes include the use of corporations to reduce income, or can be generating cash income that can't be traced or quantified.
For more information, read this blog post.
Unfortunately, accusing an ex-spouse of pretending to be sick is all to common in divorce proceedings. An ex-spouse who is sick may not have the ability to earn income to pay child support. Alternatively, an ex-spouse who is sick can result in significant increases in spousal support.
This is a very complex legal area and the answer to the question is typically held in the form of expert medical evidence. Simply saying you can't work is not sufficient, rather, there is an onus to prove you can't work. This can be from a treating physician, or it may have to come from a truly independent doctor, who is not concerned with a duty to their patient.
Read this blog post where this issue is discussed.
Whether you are a recipient in need of additional support, or if you are paying support and no longer have the earning capacity to meet your obligations, you may want to have a current spousal support order changed.
Changing a spousal support order in Ontario is not easy and requires a very careful evaluation of the evidence. There are situations where a change in support may be possible, but often it is a very expensive task to do so.
The best legal advice I can give on this topic is that you are far better off paying for effective legal representation prior to the initial order being made, than trying to change a spousal support order later.
For more information on this topic, read this blog post.
There are times where a payor parent is deliberately underemployed in an effort to reduce support obligations. As an extreme example, picture a successful doctor choosing to take employment in a minimum wage job.
Child support is not only based on what the payor parent is actually making, but there can be circumstances where the support is based on what the payor parent "should" be making. This is a difficult legal topic and having a knowledgeable lawyer working for you can assist in either making this claim, or defending yourself from a false claim.
Please read this blog post for more information.
Again, this is another contentious issue in most divorces, especially when there are children involved. Typically the issue is the need to access some of the equity in the home for one parent to support themselves, versus the need to provide stability for the children.
There is no quick and easy answer to this question. The outcome is tied directly to the strength of the evidence. If you are looking to have the matrimonial home sold during the divorce, you need strong evidence to demonstrate the financial basis for your decision. If you are defending from such a claim, you will want to have better evidence than simply "stability". Take a critical look at why you don't want to sell, and weigh that against the evidence you are facing to have the home sold.
For more information on this topic, read this blog post.
No I do not offer free consultations. I will be happy to talk to you on the phone, or have a virtual meeting of about 15 minutes. This will give you an idea if I am right for you and will give me an idea as to whether or not I think I can help you.
No, you will not pay for any travel expenses should I need to travel to your city for Court. As a lot of court is now virtual, this may never be an issue.