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independent legal advice

Even if you and your partner (or soon to be ex-partner) have drafted a document that you believe sufficiently addresses each of your concerns, it is always advisable that each of you retain your own lawyer who will act in your best interests. Never sign a contract without first doing so.

When you meet with your lawyer, he or she will:

  • obtain information about your current situation;
  • provide you with direction regarding your legal rights;
  • review documents with you;
  • discuss and provide feedback on any possible concerns you may have; and
  • suggest changes that might strengthen your position.

Following these conversations, your lawyer will then negotiate with your partners lawyer to attempt to reach satisfactory outcomes. Once this process is complete, your lawyer will confirm – in writing – that you have received independent legal advice.

  • Myths About Family Law in Ontario

    • Women always win in family law.
    • Mothers always get custody of the children.
    • Spouse who moved out of their home are considered separated.
    • No one needs a family law lawyer during a divorce.
    • Lawyers make the divorce process more complicated than it needs be.

  • Facts About Family Law in Ontario

    • No one has the right to deprive a child access to his or her father or mother.
    • Common-law spouses must divide their assets with each other.
    • The Courts want to maximize a child’s contact with both parents.
    • The law in Ontario allows anyone to apply for access to any child.
    • Having a lawyer review documents before they are signed will help ensure that the agreements comply with the law, are enforceable, and are fair to each party.

When you and your partner (or soon to be ex-partner) obtain independent legal advice, you have greater assurances that the agreement(s) will be upheld in the future and are less likely to be challenged in Court.

In the absence of such protections, either party may claim that they did not understand what it was they were signing, nor fully understood their rights at the time. Should that occur, you will both face increased legal costs and additional stress in the resolution of your family law matter.

At Gelman & Associates, our lawyers can provide you with the necessary expert counsel so that you fully understand the nature of your contracts and ensure that your rights are protected. With six offices throughout Aurora, Barrie, Downtown Toronto, Mississauga North York and Scarborough, we are just a short distance away in any direction. Call us at (416) 736-0200 or  1-844-736-0200 or contact us online for a confidential initial consultation.

FAQ’s:

Divorce can be a difficult decision to make, especially if you’re unsure if your partner will sign the petition. However, a divorce does not require your partner’s consent. Although it may be a long process if your partner doesn’t comply, they will not be able to stop you indefinitely.

Legal information explains the law and the legal system in general terms and no specific case is addressed in the information. Legal advice applies the law, including statute and case law and legal principles to a particular situation.

The key purpose of independent legal advice is to provide an objective review of a legal document, confirm a client understands the document properly, and verify a client has not been pressured into signing their document.

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  You may have gone into your divorce believing that you would be free of your narcissistic partner.  Unfortunately, that is not always the way things happen, and your ex’s behaviour may not stop simply because you are now divorced.  This is especially true if you have children in common and therefore must continue to …


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If there is one thing that divorcing parties can usually agree on, it’s that divorce is expensive.  This unfortunate truth is well known to family law lawyers and their clients, but there are ways to reduce legal fees during your divorce.   The most effective way to limit legal fees and the overall expense of divorce …


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