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What is Family Law?

The practice of family law covers a wide area of specialities. In essence, family law covers all areas of family life from cohabiting or getting married, adoption, separation and divorce issues. Typically, our clients don’t come to us with inquiries like “what is family law”. Instead, they will come to us with questions about divorce, separation, child support, spousal support or child custody.

You can see that family law can have a huge effect on your life, from how your marriage or relationship begins, to how you will live as a family should it end. This article will dig into the basics of what is family law, and discuss the differences between a family lawyer and specialist.

Getting Off To A Strong Start: Marriage Contracts and Cohabitation Agreements

Despite getting a “bad rap” in television shows and movies, marriage contracts(or prenups) and cohabitation agreements are a great way to get your relationship off to a solid start.  Marriage contracts can be signed before or after marriage and cohabitation agreement can be signed before or after you start living together.

We often enter relationships with rosy eyes and all the promises of a wonderful future. We also enter relationships with baggage. Whether you have divorced or separated in the past and have child or spousal support in place, have some debt, or even a business or family property, a marriage contract or cohabitation agreement can help establish the financial ground rules.

Money is a common reason couples separate, but it’s one not often discussed before entering a relationship. Visiting a family lawyer to draw up a marriage contract or cohabitation agreement can help you find common ground, and avoid disputes before they even arise.

Adopting and Parenting Issues

You may also be considering adoption, parenting or even fertility issues like Invitro fertilization (IVF) or surrogacy.

While not every family lawyer has experience with fertility issues, Kelly D. Jordan is both a certified family law specialist and member of The American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys (AAARTA) with years of experience handling fertility law matters.

Separation and Divorce

If you ask someone what is family law, they’ll probably answer with this one – family law is about separation and divorce. And it’s true. A lot of the work of a family lawyer involves advising individuals and families as they navigate through these processes. A family lawyer can advise clients whether they choose mediation, negotiation, or litigation (going to court) to resolve their disputes.

Kelly D. Jordan and Associate Emma Katz are both qualified in mediation. At our firm, we strongly believe that mediation is the better dispute resolution method for many families.

Parenting After A Divorce

Couples with children need to navigate parenting after their divorce. Regardless of how amicable or high conflict the divorce, it can be tricky to coordinate schedules, budgets and even child support. A thorough Parenting Agreement is a great place to start.

The laws around child custody and access (now parenting time and decision-making responsibility) have changed a lot in recent years. The law used to be concerned with which parent got custody of the child. Now the trend is towards how parents will work together in the best interests of the child.

A comprehensive Parenting Plan or Parenting Agreement should cover how you will communicate, arrange vacations and holiday times, deal with big decisions like medical needs, and provide for their education.

A family lawyer can help you draft your Parenting Agreement, or enforce the provisions once it has been finalized.

What is the Difference Between a Family Lawyer and a Certified Family Law Specialist?

While there are many family lawyers in Ontario, only a few are certified as family law specialists through the Law Society of Ontario. Certified Specialists are leaders in their field, and as of now, there are only 60 lawyers listed as Certified Specialists in Family Law in Ontario, including our Principal, Kelly D. Jordan.

How the Law Helps Support Your Life

Family law touches on so many aspects of your life, and family law issues affect you, your family, and your friends. When choosing the best family lawyer for you, it’s important to choose a lawyer that is experienced, knowledgeable and compassionate. If you have a family law issue, we hope you’ll contact the Kelly D. Jordan Family Law Firm. We work with you to find creative solutions to your legal challenges.

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