Divorce and separation are inherently emotional and confusing events for couples in Oakville. During these periods, it can be challenging to know what the right decisions are to protect your future.
Nevertheless, critical decisions need to be made about a variety of matters, including finances, child custody and access, property division, and support payments.
These decisions will greatly impact your future and it is important to consider each matter carefully to achieve the best outcome for you and your family.
It helps to know that you have your interests protected with an experienced local divorce lawyer who will respect your preferences and defend your rights.
Amiri Family Law can guide you through the legal steps and seek the best possible outcome so that you can move forward with your life with clarity.
Contact our office to schedule a consultation today.
Representing Clients in the Oakville Area in a Wide Range of Family Law Cases
Every relationship and every family is different. You have your own distinct way of doing things as well as unique traditions, perspectives, and complexities.
That is why we believe in forming close and trusting relationships with all of our Oakville clients, building an understanding of your family’s unique circumstances and your legal objectives.
Divorces, separations, and child-related disputes are some of the most challenging issues you will ever face. We will communicate openly and provide you with considered legal advice, outlining your options clearly at each stage of the process in order to prepare you to make the right decisions for you.
Amiri Family Law is conveniently located on Burloak Drive, right on the Oakville/Burlington border, so an experienced divorce lawyer is not far away!
Divorce Lawyer in Oakville
If you are going through a separation or divorce in the Oakville area, it is very important to develop an understanding of your rights, responsibilities, and the critical decisions you will need to make in the weeks and months ahead.
The Divorce Act states that you need to have been separated for 12 months before you can file for divorce in Ontario. This applies unless another compelling reason for marriage breakdown (adultery or cruelty) is established.
If you are unsure about whether the circumstances of your separation qualify you to file for divorce immediately, check with our legal team.
It often helps to talk matters through with an experienced lawyer, as there are a number of legal requirements that you need to meet before a divorce will be granted.
Your lawyer will outline what these are and point out the key areas that we will need to focus on when seeking an acceptable resolution for your situation.
In particular, we will focus on:
- A parenting plan – How will you divide time with your children and carry out your parental responsibilities?
- Property and asset division – How will you divide matrimonial property and assets in accordance with the law Family Law Act in Ontario?
- Child support – How will you and your spouse provide adequate financial support for the upbringing of your child(ren)?
- Spousal support – Are you entitled to receive financial support from your ex-spouse or are you obligated to provide support?
Nima Amiri works with clients throughout the Great Toronto Area and is experienced both in negotiating divorce settlements and, where necessary, litigating matters in the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario, which hears divorce cases.
The Breakdown of a Marriage
The breakdown of a marriage is the only grounds for divorce in Oakville.
The Divorce Act states that marriage breakdown must be demonstrated by a separation period of at least 12 months unless another compelling reason (adultery or cruelty) is established.
A one-year separation period
Most divorcing couples in Oakville use the separation period as the grounds for divorce.
This must be at least 12 months, after which time there is no prospect of reconciliation or the marriage continuing.
For some couples, a 12-month separation helps them view circumstances in a different light and they get back together. For others, it confirms that there is no future in the marriage.
The separation period begins as soon as the couple starts “living apart”. While this is normally taken to mean that they live at separate locations, this is not necessarily true.
Couples can be considered separated but remain in the same household as long as there is a physical separation in the relationship, i.e. they eat meals separately, sleep separately, manage finances separately, conduct separate social lives, and so on.
Sometimes, financial reasons mean that this is the only way for a couple to separate. They do not have the resources to pay two sets of rent.
You can file for divorce before the 12-month separation period is complete but you will not be granted a divorce until the one-year period is up.
Note also that a separation does not require the agreement of both partners. One of the spouses must withdraw from the matrimonial obligation to begin the separation period.
When the matter is considered in court, attention may be paid to whether a spouse has filed income tax returns as “separated” or “married” during the preceding 12 months.
When adultery is the grounds for divorce
Adultery is considered a valid reason for marriage breakdown and therefore grounds for a divorce to be granted.
Adultery is voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person other than his or her spouse.
A victim of adultery can apply for a divorce without having to undergo any separation period. One’s own infidelity cannot be used as legitimate grounds for divorce, though.
If you can prove that your partner has committed adultery, the court has the power to grant an immediate divorce. However, it is notoriously challenging to prove adultery and all evidence is likely to be circumstantial.
If you accuse your partner of adultery, your divorce lawyer will need to prove to the court that:
- Your partner had the opportunity for the commission of adultery; and
- You have proof of your partner’s inclination to commit adultery
Neither of these is straightforward without a confession of adultery from the other party or parties.
When cruelty is the grounds for divorce
The breakdown of a marriage can also result from cruelty within the relationship. In such instances, an immediate divorce may be granted by the court without any separation period.
The term “cruelty” is quite a wide-ranging term that can encompass a variety of unwanted behaviour.
As a guideline, the findings from a 1970 Ontario Court of Appeal decision are frequently used to define cruel behaviour within a relationship.
In this case, it was concluded that if a spouse “causes wanton, malicious, or unnecessary infliction of pain or suffering upon the body, the feelings, or emotions of the other” then they may be guilty of cruelty.
This behaviour must generally form a part of an ongoing course of conduct, the cumulative effect of which renders the continuation of the marriage intolerable for the victim.
Note that it is not only physical harm that qualifies as cruelty – mental or emotional cruelty during a marriage may also be grounds for immediate divorce. This makes the determination highly subjective and open to the interpretation of the victim and the court.
In general, a deterioration of the mental or physical health of a person and the impossibility of continued cohabitation must be shown to establish cruelty as grounds for divorce.
In the most serious cases of cruelty, a lawyer may need to apply to the court for a restraining order before the divorce process ensues.
How can a Divorce Lawyer Help?
Every client’s circumstances are unique, and we tailor our approach to each file accordingly. One client may wish to negotiate a separation agreement and file a joint divorce application, while another may require assistance to answer their former spouse’s contested divorce application in court. Regardless of the circumstances, we are ready and prepared to assist you to achieve a fair resolution to your matter.
We will keep an open mind until we understand your situation and your goals. After listening to your objectives, we apply our experience to advise and guide you to the settlement you need in order to move forward with your life.
We generally seek to reach an agreeable settlement initially through a cooperative approach with your spouse’s lawyer. However, if that is not successful, we have the option of mediation or arbitration.
It is best for everyone, especially children, if we can keep the matter out of court. A negotiated settlement is cost-effective, and relatively quick and stress free. However, that is not always possible and we are prepared to litigate on your behalf if it is in your best interests to do so.
As an experienced divorce lawyer, Nima Amiri will prevent delays, additional stress, and the unintended consequences that can result from a poor approach to a divorce case.
Our team will work with you to:
- Help you meet all the divorce law requirements in Ontario and follow the correct procedures and deadlines.
- Ensure that you are entitled to quality time with your child by protecting your custody rights.
- Ensure your child support and/or spousal support determination is fair and reasonable.
- Serve your best interests when it comes to the division of matrimonial property.
- Prepare and file all the necessary paperwork for your case and zealously represent you at court hearings wherever necessary.
Divorces are rarely as straightforward as first hoped. Even the simplest divorces require multiple documents to be prepared and filed and specific procedural rules to be followed.
Contact an Oakville Divorce Lawyer Today
If you are separating or divorcing from your spouse in Oakville, you are probably seeking a fair, efficient, and effective resolution of your case.
At Amiri Family Law, we are well-equipped to provide solutions that work for you now and for your future. We regularly represent clients in Oakville and throughout the greater Halton area.
The first step is to evaluate your options with a consultation.
Call 647-792-2961 to book your consultation with a trusted and local divorce lawyer today.
The divorce process in Ontario will vary slightly, depending on whether your divorce proceeds as an uncontested divorce or a contested one.
However, every divorce begins in the same way.
Basic requirements for divorce in Ontario
Before filing for a divorce in Ontario, Canadian federal law states that you need to meet three basic requirements:
- You and your spouse must be legally married under Canadian law or your marriage in another country must be recognized in Canada.
- Your marriage must have broken down.
- In most cases, you or your spouse must have lived in Ontario for a year.
The grounds for marriage breakdown are when:
- You have been living apart for 12 months or more; or
- Your spouse has been physically or mentally cruel to you; or
- Your spouse has committed adultery.
The uncontested divorce process
Once you meet the above requirements, it is important to hire a divorce lawyer.
This applies even in an uncontested divorce where both parties appear to agree on the terms of the divorce and are prepared to sign a separation agreement.
Experience shows us that consulting an experienced lawyer as early as possible in the process avoids expensive mistakes being made and ensures that your best interests are protected from the beginning.
Besides, uncontested divorces can turn into uncontested divorces.
Your divorce lawyer can help you with the following steps of the divorce process:
- Completing the divorce application forms for Ontario
- Filing the application with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice or the Family Court branch of the Superior Court of Justice
- Serving divorce papers and awaiting a response from the other party (within 30 days)
- Finalization of the divorce agreement and court approval
The contested divorce process
The contested divorce process has many extra steps.
Most people want to avoid the extra expense and stress of a divorce trial, but sometimes this is the only available course of action.
In some cases, no agreement can be reached on issues such as:
- Division of property, including all assets
- Payment of outstanding debts, including the mortgage
- Child custody and parenting rights of the non-custodial parent
- Child support and Section 7 expenses
- Spousal support
Your lawyer will guide you through the following additional steps in the process, including:
- Mediation or Arbitration
- Applying for Divorce in Court
- Scheduling a Case Conference where a judge considers each party’s position on the disputed issues between them and tries to facilitate a negotiated resolution to the issue
- Scheduling and arguing motions (temporary rulings) when interim, for instance, child custody or other complex issues, are involved
- Scheduling Settlement or Trial Management Conferences
- Conducting a trial if you and your spouse are unable to reach a settlement on the disputed issues between you
According to the office of the Attorney General of Ontario, the total court fees associated with a divorce in the province are $632.
This is broken down in the following way:
“The first payment of $212 is due when the application for divorce is filed which includes court fees of $202 and $10 that is collected for the federal Department of Justice. Additional court fees of $420 are paid before the divorce is reviewed by the court.”
There are, of course, other costs associated with a divorce, including lawyer fees.
Where a divorce is complex and an agreement cannot be easily reached, with complications involving spousal support or child custody and access, multiple court hearings may be required, and the case may even go to trial (with witnesses and months of litigation involved).
In such cases, an individual can expect to pay significant legal fees in addition to court fees. This is why the preferred first step in any divorce case is to attempt to negotiate a settlement first before resorting to litigation.
We proudly serve clients in the Greater Toronto Area.
Nima is someone highly committed to his clients and shows a strong understanding of the law and litigation. He is someone that I would trust with sending my friends and family to for important legal matters. Highly recommended.
Nima is one of the brightest and most dedicated individuals I know. He’s a fantastic lawyer and an even better person, and I would recommend his services and advice to anyone who needs a true professional in their corner.
Nima is always available to answer all of my questions. He provided me with thoughtful responses and was incredibly knowledgeable.
Nima is the most dedicated lawyer I know. He cares a lot about his clients and is deeply committed to defending their rights, working tirelessly to do so. I haven’t seen anyone who works as hard as Nima and I would wholeheartedly recommend him and the Amiri Law Group to anyone.
An honest, trustworthy, and incredibly hard-working lawyer. One of the best.
I highly recommend Amiri Law Group. Knowledgable, personable, and trustworthy.