Divorce & Separation


Divorce and separation are difficult to go through, both practically and legally. Our lawyers can guide you in making important decisions for your family and future, and ease some of the stress.

When you come to see us, we explain how the law applies to your situation, discuss all the issues that must be decided as you work out a separation agreement, and explore the best ways of making those decisions.

We believe in protecting your interests and putting your family first and foremost. If this can be done working cooperatively with your partner, we are willing to go through alternative dispute resolution (ADR), but that approach is not appropriate for everyone. For many of our clients, litigation may be the only suitable option.



Our divorce and separation lawyers for Toronto and North York will help you in matters of:



Where your children live, who makes decisions for them, and who is allowed to see them can be some of the most contentious issues for you to settle, but they must be settled in the best interests of your children.




Determining whether a spouse is entitled to support and how much that support should be can be a very emotional and divisive process.




Dividing your property becomes more complex and difficult when property such as substantial investments, business interests, multiple residences and retirement savings are involved. We work with financial experts and evaluators to help make sure assets are fairly valued and divided.




Closely tied to child custody, child support makes sure that your children are provided for fairly and equitably.




We can guide you toward a fair, accurate division of your property, including your family home, savings and debts.




Significant changes in your children's needs, your income, marital status and living arrangements will require changes to your agreements. We can protect your interests as you negotiate new ways of dealing with your former partner.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Generally, the issues relate to the parenting of children, child support, spousal support, property division, and their various sub-issues. In most cases where the separation is permanent, a further issue is divorce.
No. Each of you needs the services of an independent lawyer. The resolution of most issues is an option chosen from a range of options. The option that fits in any particular case can best be found by the client discussing his or her needs and concerns with the client’s own lawyer, followed by discussion between the two client/lawyer teams either with all four at the table, or by the lawyers between themselves as the clients’ representatives. Each client having his or her own lawyer ensures that the choices can be discussed, advice taken, and decisions made in private free from any influence of the other client. This right of private discussion and the legal advice involved is so highly valued in the law that any agreement reached without the parties having independent legal advice runs the risk of being unenforceable.
Yes. Your status as a separated spouse does not depend on whether or not you signed a separation agreement. You and your spouse are separated when you are living apart from each other, and one or both of you have made a permanent decision not to resume your life together. There is nothing in our law that requires you and your spouse to live together; therefore, there is nothing in the law that requires you to obtain permission from any authority or person to separate.
The best interests of the children is the governing principle for determining all questions relating to their parenting. Many parents are able to put aside their differences on the adult level and by concentrating on the children’s needs, work out the most suitable parenting plan in the circumstances. Sometimes they will need help from a family professional with a background in social work to better understand what their children are going through and to help them manage any emotional conflict that interferes with the discussion staying on track. Your lawyer can make a referral for this purpose. A prime consideration in the planning will be to determine how you and the other parent can continue to be involved with the children and remain a significant part of their lives. In circumstances where the relationship between the parents is too damaged to co-operate on the planning, some variation of sole custody to one parent subject to access by the other parent is usually negotiated or ordered.

We can help you find a resolution that will help your family move on.

If you are going through family issues or a relationship breakdown in the Greater Toronto Area, contact the laywers at MacDonald & Partners LLP and come into our office, in downtown Toronto, Etobicoke, Oakville and North York.