OUR APPROACH

What "No Fear" Family Law Means

We understand there may be no legal issues more fundamental to human wellbeing than those involving family law. Regardless of whether a separation is amicable or high conflict, timely and knowledgeable legal advice is required to protect your rights and the material as well as emotional wellbeing of family members.

We know that any time of family change can be fraught with anxiety because of fear of the unknown. Will I lose my children? Will I lose my home and other assets I've worked so hard to acquire? Will my income be insufficient to support me and my family in the future? We provide both answers and solutions.

1. Knowing All Possible Outcomes and Having No Need to Fear Them

What No Fear Family Law involves is talking through all the possible outcomes with you, so that you know both the worst case and best case scenarios. You might be surprised at how close those two cases actually are, that outcomes are not random, and that there are checks and balances inherent in the system to protect you from unreasonable outcomes.

Demystification of the law means coming to understand that although family law might at times seem full of mystery, it's actually very simple. Seriously. And that's not the case with all areas of the law.

Family Law Only Has Two Core Elements

Family Law at its core only has two elements: (1) property, and (2) children. All its variations are based on those two elements. What is a fair split of matrimonial property? How much property is required to support children? What living arrangement are in the best interests of the children? How long of a marriage should trigger what duration spousal of support? Who pays taxes on child and spousal support?

Family Law is aBOUT Social ConTract

Really "family" is about social contract according to the law. Once you've lived with a partner for a sufficient period of time, you're making a mutual contract of some support and property sharing (even if you don't know it at the time).

Getting married elevates the level of the support and sharing contract. Having children also involves a contract of support between you and the children. Despite breakdowns in relationships, the law says that those implied support contracts should stay in place in modified ways, and that you can go to court to enforce the contracts if necessary. 

2. Knowing You'll Have a Strong Ally in Your Family Lawyer

No Fear Family Law also involves you being guaranteed in the person of your family lawyer a strong and knowledgeable ally throughout the process.

We don't use the word "aggressive" to describe anything we do as It's contrary to professional ethics for lawyers to use that word, and really for some it's just a synonym for ineffective rude ineffective behaviour. What we can say is that as family law lawyers we will be firm, creative, and resolute in our support of you if you become our client.

Our experience with hundreds of successful trials and appeals throughout Canada up to the level of the Divisional Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada means that your lawyers will never be "outgunned" or intimidated by the other side. 

OUR LISTENING TO YOUR WISHES & PROVIDING FRANK ADVICE ON REALISTIC OUTCOMES

We know this process is about you, not us. We'll take all the time necessary to listen to you - in writing, by telephone or Skype, and in person - in order to understand where you're coming from, and the outcomes you'd like to achieve from the process. We'll then give you our frank appraisal based on years of experience on how realistic achieving those outcomes is, and how best to achieve them.

You get no value from lawyers who don't give you an upfront assessment of where a case will likely end up if it goes to court or is already in court. Family law results are mostly predictable. You generally can't spend your way out of them, and why would you want to if unrealistic expectations aren't attainable. We won't take your money, over promise, and under deliver. We don't tell clients what they want to hear, we tell them the truth.

But each factual situation is unique, and likely results will be based on your unique facts, not on a cookie cutter approach to what happened in other cases. The more time you spend building tangible evidence of the facts - through documents and live witnesses - the more we'll have to work with if you case goes to court. 

Make no mistake, we'll fight for you and your family. Going to court when necessary is what we do. 

We frequently see tragic situations of self-represented individuals getting chewed up by the system because of a lack of competent legal representation. But you need to be in a situation that you can win. It's our commitment to you to maximize all optimal family law outcomes for you and your family. 

Our NEGOTIATE-LITIGATE Approach

We don't do "Collaborative Family Law" in the formal sense, and we rarely use "Mediators." We're not saying they can't work for some people, but we find that the factors which led to relationship breakdown often poison reasonable compromise when all parties are in the same room. If you would like to try Collaborative Family Law, we may be able to find you a lawyer to refer you to.

Here's a Divorce Magazine article explaining "Collaborative Family Law: Possible Perils".

We take a Negotiate-Litigate approach. We'll do everything we can to keep your matter out of court through dedicated & persuasive negotiation with the other party; we find many of our files can be completed without court proceedings. Our principal family law barrister Gordon S. Campbell served for many years working exclusively as a professional negotiator and is well versed in all techniques of the Harvard Model of interest-based negotiations. 

OUR DIPLOMACY & STRATEGIC RESOLVE

We work very collaboratively with others when it's in your best interests, and we fight for your rights when that will likely lead to a better outcome for you. We're always diplomatic, because crass rudeness never gets anyone what they want from someone else. But behind that diplomacy is strategic resolve and resources always working in your favour.

We're working for you, and only you. Any lawyer that is either 100% compromising with no fight, or 100% fighting with no compromise, is guaranteed to fail in getting you what's best for you (and your children).

3. Knowing You'll Have Access to an Integrated Teams of Professionals

No Fear Family Law also provides you with access to our extensive referral networks of professionals. Because family law is more about facts than law, you may also need: 

  • a Chartered Professional Accountant (taxes can be a major unanticipated impact of family changes, but there may be ways to structure the changes to minimize taxes);
  • a Psychologist or other Therapist (family changes can be very difficult not just for children but also for adults, and having someone to talk to about those changes may mean that you can make more well-considered legal decisions that expedite resolution);
  • a Real Estate Agent, a Mortgage Broker & an Insurance Agent (selling or buying property is a common outcome of family changes - though we'll do everything we can to ensure you keep your home if that is your plan).

We also work with professionals who you might need as expert witnesses in court like social workers and child psychologists.