Areas of Practice

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) refers to any means of settling disputes outside of the courtroom, without litigation. ADR typically includes early neutral evaluation, negotiation, conciliation, mediation, arbitration, or collaborative law.

While the two most common forms of ADR are arbitration and mediation, negotiation is almost always attempted first to resolve a dispute. It is the preeminent mode of dispute resolution. Negotiation allows the parties to meet in order to settle a dispute. The main advantage of this form of dispute settlement is that it allows the parties themselves to control the process and the solution.

Mediation is also an informal alternative to litigation. Mediators are senior lawyers trained in negotiations, who bring opposing parties together and attempt to work out a settlement or agreement that both parties accept or reject.

Arbitration is a simplified version of a trial involving limited discovery and simplified rules of evidence. The arbitration is headed and decided by an independent arbitrator, who is also a trained senior family law lawyer.

Collaborative law is a process whereby the parties retain collaborative lawyers and attempt to reach a final agreement without the need for a third party mediator or arbitrator being involved. The parties and their collaborative lawyers would meet on several occasions and discuss matters in an attempt to finalize all issues with the assistance of their lawyers alone.

We are committed to attempting all forms of ADR, to keep clients legal fees as cost-effective as possible, and to ensure that the parties retain control of the process.

The lawyers of Kania Buttigieg will further explain ADR options to you, and should you choose to proceed in this manner, assist you in all aspects of an alternative dispute resolution process.

To find out more information, please contact us at: 905-456-7900.

Child Support

Child support is guided by the Child Support Guidelines- the link for which can be found on this website.

Child support has many variables, including the number of children; where the child/ren are residing at that particular time; what percentage of time the child/ren spend with a parent; the type of employment attributable to the support payor; and other factors.

Once the variables are identified, the quantum of support may often be determined by simply referring to the Child Support Guidelines. However, the matter may be complicated by the aspects referred to above, such that a support recipient cannot simply rely upon the Child Support Guideline calculator when determining the quantum of child support.

In addition to child support, there may be ‘add-on’ or section 7 expenses to be paid, such as, for example, daycare.

Further general information in this regard can be provided by one of our lawyers, during the free telephone consultation. We would be pleased to assist further.

Custody Of And Access To Children

Custody refers to decision making on the important aspects relating to a child/ren. There are two forms of custody: sole (one parent makes the decisions and informs the other parent) and joint (both parents make decisions together).

Access refers to the time each parent spends with a child/ren and can take many forms. Each parent can seek equal time with the child/ren. This is referred to as shared parenting. Access can be open and fluid, or structured and detailed.

There are many parameters and variables that might apply to this issue. For more information, please contact one of our lawyers.

Marriage Contracts (Prenuptial Agreements) And Cohabitation Agreements

Whether you are engaged, married, living together, or are separated, you may wish to obtain a formal agreement without the need of Court intervention.

If you are planning on marrying or residing with someone in a relationship of permanence, you may wish to secure a legal document which sets out the rights and remedies of each person in the event of a breakdown of the relationship or marriage.

If you are separating, or are already legally separated and you have an agreement in principle with your spouse with respect to how to resolve matters without the need for Court intervention, this may be formalized into a Separation Agreement, which is a written legal binding contract.

One of our lawyers would be pleased to discuss these aspects with you, to help you determine whether an Agreement is achievable in your case.

Spousal Support

Kania Buttigieg can assist both common law and married spouses to help redress any inequities in support in the event of the breakdown of a relationship.

There are three general factors that are relevant to the discussion of spousal support (or alimony as it is referred to in other jurisdictions): the length of time the parties have been in a relationship, the incomes of both parties, and whether one party will require financial assistance from their spouse to help maintain a reasonable standard of living.

For more information in this regard, please contact one of our lawyers.

Litigation

All lawyers at Kania Buttigieg regularly appear in Court. We will represent you at the highest possible level at conferences, motions, and trials.

We regularly appear in the Ontario Court of Justice and Superior Court of Justice. We are also equipped to handle appeals at the Ontario Court of Appeal, having done so in the past.

We will, if requested, travel to many different jurisdictions to assist you, including, but not limited to: Brampton, Toronto, Milton, Orangeville, Guelph, Kitchener, Barrie, Newmarket, Oshawa, St. Catharines, Hamilton, and elsewhere in southern Ontario.