How Does a Retainer Work?

family court

Written By Allison R. McAlpine Many family law/divorce lawyers work on a retainer basis, meaning that they ask you for a sum of money up front known as a “retainer.”  Lawyers will also quote you an hourly rate which the client is charged for the work on his/her file.  This understandably confuses clients at first […]

Grieving the Loss of a Marriage

Unhappy young couple

Written By Kara-Lynne Chapman   In her book On Death and Dying, the Swiss psychiatrist, Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, postulated that there are five stages of grieving: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Later, she added that not everyone will experience all stages and clarified that the stages are not necessarily experienced in this order.   […]

Ending a Marriage – Annulment vs Divorce

annulment vs divorce

Written by Colin Steffler   In Ontario, there are two ways to legally end a marriage: divorce or annulment. While both have the same practical result (the marriage is ended), there are significant differences. In annulment vs divorce, While some of these differences are rather technical, they stem from a fairly simple point: a divorce […]

New Year’s Resolutions for Those Going Through a Divorce

a man holding hands with a child

Written By Kara Chapman The holidays can be difficult for those going through a divorce or separation. You may experience sadness over the loss of family traditions or you may feel resentful that so much has changed. However, with change comes opportunity and there’s no better time than New Years to infuse yourself with fresh […]

My Spouse Just Asked for a Divorce – What Do I Do Now?

Unhappy young couple

By Allison McAlpine If your spouse just asked for a divorce and you were not expecting it, it can feel like a dump truck has hit you emotionally.  It is important that you take some time to emotionally process what has happened.  From a lawyer’s perspective, these are the steps you should take if your […]

How To Financially Recover from a Separation/Divorce

a cup of coins

By Allison McAlpine Going through a separation/divorce can wreak havoc on a person’s financial health.   From legal fees, to splitting up assets, to having the same amount of family income at separation now funding two separate households after separation.  It’s tough.  There are some steps you can take, though, to minimize the financial impact of […]

Things to do if You Are Thinking About Separating/Divorcing From Your Partner

a person playing with a wedding ring on their finger

The decision to separate from your partner is a very difficult and personal one. Here are 7 pieces of advice if you are considering separating but have not told your partner yet: 1.Save some money and do a budget. You will need some savings to cover basic living expenses and legal fees until issues such […]

We Are Able to Help Our Clients Remotely During Covid-19

a woman looking at her phone

Given the current recommendation of social distancing and COVID-19 we wanted to let our clients know what we are doing to help with this issue: 1. We are implementing a no hand shake policy until this issue is resolved. 2. If you are feeling unwell or are not sure if you have come into contact […]

An Open Letter to Self-Represented Parties

Open Letter to Self-Represented Parties

Written By Kara-Lynne Chapman Dear Self-Represented Party, We understand that there are many reasons why people represent themselves at court. Sometimes your income is at a level where you do not financially qualify for Legal Aid assistance but do not earn enough to be able to afford the expense of a lawyer.  Sometimes you choose […]

Post-Separation Self-Care Ideas

a woman walking down a dock with seagulls around

Written by Kara-Lynne Chapman Separation from a partner or spouse can be stressful and heartbreaking. Here are some ideas for showing yourself some love as you heal. Go for a walk in nature. The trails at Springwater Provincial Park ( are particularly beautiful and are also open for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. […]