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Ballantyne Family Law » Our Practice Areas

Our Practice Areas

The lawyers at Ballantyne Family Law have extensive experience in all areas of family law. We work closely with our clients to understand their unique family situations. As skilled negotiators and litigators, our experienced team of family lawyers focuses on protecting our client’s interests at every step of the legal process.

Cohabitation Agreements & Marriage Contracts

Often referred to as domestic contracts, premarital agreements, prenuptial agreements, or “prenups,” cohabitation and marriage agreements are contracts drawn up between two individuals, usually prior to their marriage. The terms of the agreement address how a couple will divide their assets and provide financially for each other in the event of a marriage breakdown or legal separation that may occur at some point in the future.
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Cohabitation agreements and marriage contracts can include provisions dealing with the following issues:

  • Spousal support (known in other jurisdictions as alimony or maintenance payments)
  • Joint property rights
  • Division of property
  • Terms upon death
  • Debt responsibility
  • Possession of the matrimonial or family home
  • Excluded property

It is important for you to be aware of your rights and obligations before you start your life with a new partner. Our family law lawyers will help you negotiate a fair and reasonable agreement that works for both you and your spouse. We will work with you to understand what is required from both partners to ensure that your contract is fully enforceable in the event of a separation.

Separation Agreements

When a married or cohabiting couple separates, the best option is to negotiate a resolution of all issues between them with the assistance of their lawyers. They will then enter into a separation agreement that sets out the details of how they’ll co-parent their children and resolve their financial issues, including child and spousal support, division of property, and responsibility for debt. If the couple is married, they can then proceed with a formal divorce.
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If the parties have children, a detailed separation agreement will address parenting schedules and decision making (formerly called “child custody”). The separation agreement should outline how the spouses will make decisions with respect to their children’s education, health, religious upbringing, and extracurricular activities.

The separation agreement will also deal with the transfer or sale of the matrimonial home, and the sharing of assets such as real estate, investments, pensions, life insurance, and other assets.

Our family lawyers are collaboratively trained and will work productively with your spouse’s lawyer to come up with a fair and reasonable agreement. We consider litigation to be a last resort.

We will ensure you obtain all the information you need to make informed decisions, advise you on all available options, and think of creative ways to meet your needs and the needs of your children.


Sometimes family law matters cannot be resolved through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution, resulting in court action. The lawyers at Ballantyne Family Law can guide you through the process and will advocate for you at every step.
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We are experienced litigators who have successfully dealt with numerous separation and divorce cases throughout southern Ontario, including the Ontario Court of Justice, Superior Court, and the Court of Appeal.

Although we prefer a collaborative approach, we can effectively represent and advocate for you in litigation or arbitration as required.

Parenting Issues

Family separation and divorce can be extremely difficult for children. They need to know that they are loved and that they will continue to have a meaningful relationship with both parents. Our goal is to help you and your spouse navigate any parenting disputes that may arise and find ways to make decisions about your children (such as health, education, religion, and extra-curricular activities) in a cooperative and productive way. We will help you negotiate a parenting schedule that focuses on your child’s age, stage of development, and individual needs.

Child & Spousal Support

The rules and guidelines governing child support and spousal support can be complex. Our family lawyers can help educate you about your legal responsibility to support yourself, your spouse, and your children.
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There are many factors that need to be considered, such as the need and ability to pay. The parties’ respective incomes, the length of the relationship, the parenting roles, and the parenting schedule are also variables that need to be taken into account.

We will help you ensure that your children’s financial needs are met and help you determine your entitlement to spousal support so that you can plan for the future.

Property Claims

If you’re legally married, there is provincial legislation that determines your rights with respect to jointly held and solely held property. The property you own on the date of separation is subject to “equalization.” This generally means you are required to share the value of any property you may own with your spouse.
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However, there are some special rules, including rules about the date of marriage deductions and rules about the matrimonial home. It’s important that you’re fully informed about how these rules can affect your claim.

If you are a common-law spouse, you are not entitled to “equalization” of property, but there are common law property claims that you might be able to make, such as trust claims and claims based on “joint family venture.”

The lawyers at Ballantyne Family Law can help you navigate this complicated area of family law.

Disclaimer: While our website may contain some general information, nothing should be relied upon as legal advice. If you wish to retain our services, kindly contact our office and arrange an appointment. You should not provide us with any unsolicited confidential information or material until we have agreed to act on your behalf. Unsolicited information will not be treated as confidential and will not be covered by lawyer-client privilege.