Our Family Law Team understands the emotional turmoil and financial reality many people face in matters of family law. We will assist and guide you through the issues and the process for your unique family law situation.
Family law matters most often arise upon the breakdown of a family or when spouses decide to separate. However, family matters can also happen at other significant life events, such as moving in with a romantic/conjugal partner, getting married, or adding a child to your family.
What we do
We provide services and advice on a broad range of family law issues including:
- Children, parenting and custody;
- Finances, income and child/spousal support;
- Property, asset and debt division;
- Common law spouse/partner, same sex couples, cohabitation;
- Cross-border court proceedings, jurisdiction issues;
- Enforcement of court orders or agreements;
- Changes to or variation of court orders or agreements;
- Grandparent access;
- Adoption, fertility and assisted reproduction;
- Collaborative family law, mediation, arbitration;
- Agreements and contracts for married, non-married, common law and separated couples; and,
- Child protection.
Who we are
Our unique team
Our team consists of four lawyers from a range of backgrounds and years of experience:
Our Family Law Team has over 50 years’ experience providing advice on family law issues, both inside and outside of the court process. We provide effective representation and advice in negotiations and courtroom litigation, particularly in relation to complex family issues. We focus on solutions and results for you and your family.
We have extensive experience in negotiating and drafting agreements, both for separating and non-separating spouses/couples. Our lawyers practice collaborative family law, provide mediation services and arbitration services.
We have experience representing clients before various levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia (Family Division), the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Family Court in the Province of Nova Scotia, and the Federal Court of Canada.
Our Family Law Team provides high quality services and a collaborative approach to best meet our clients’ needs. The benefits of our approach are threefold: first, our lawyers commit to a high level of organization and work product for each client’s matter; second, we strive to reduce costs by distributing the work efficiently and seamlessly; and, third, our lawyers can draw upon each other’s experiences, rather than work in isolation, to enhance the legal advice and services we provide.
As one of the largest law firms in Halifax practicing family law, we offer our clients the benefits of a full-service law firm. Often family matters overlap into other areas of law, such as real estate, criminal, wills and estates, corporate/business, or employment. Our Family Law Team works closely with our other practice groups to best serve our clients.
What to expect
Prior to scheduling an initial consultation or meeting with a member of our Family Law Team, our staff will ask you for certain information about your matter to complete a conflicts search. Following the conflicts search, our staff may provide you with a questionnaire to complete to provide us with further information about your matter. This information helps focus our initial consultation on the issues that matter most to you.
For new clients, we first meet for an initial consultation at our office. During the initial consultation, we gather information to determine how we can assist with your legal needs.
Depending on your circumstances, our lawyers are available to assist with a range of services from a full retainer arrangement where the lawyer represents your on all aspects of your family law matter, to unbundled/coaching services where your represent yourself and consult with the lawyer as needed.
In a full retainer, we will represent you in all aspects of your legal matter including communications/negotiations with the opposing side, communications with the court, written and oral submissions before the court or mediation, engagement of experts (where applicable), witness preparation, evidence preparation, document preparation and more. We will provide you with a detailed retainer letter or email setting out the specific terms of our retainer and we generally ask you to pay a retainer fee, which is held in trust and applied to our statements of account as rendered. Our statements of account are primarily based on our hourly rate and the time spent working on your matter, plus disbursements and HST.
Unbundled services & legal coaching
If you want to represent yourself, our lawyers offer unbundled legal services, limited-scope retainers or legal coaching (“unbundled services”) in appropriate cases.
If you are looking for unbundled services, when you meet with one of our lawyers, we will explain the nature of this arrangement with you and discuss the specific tasks you are hiring us for. Examples of specific tasks you might want to hire our firm for are:
- advice on the availability of alternative means of resolving the dispute;
- evaluation of your self-diagnosis of the case;
- advising on your legal rights and responsibilities;
- guidance and procedural information for filing and serving court documents;
- reviewing documents you prepared for court or the other side;
- preparing and drafting court documents, including statements, affidavits, motions and draft court orders;
- factual investigation;
- professional or expert referrals;
- legal research and analysis;
- ghost writing documents for court or the other side;
- planning for court appearances, negotiations, settlement conferences;
- strategic and procedural advice;
Generally, our lawyers will charge their hourly rate for unbundled services. Fees will be discussed when you meet with a lawyer from our Family Law Team.
Our Family Law Team thanks current and retired members of the Canadian Armed Forces for their service and proudly offers a military discount.