Family law involves all the things you will care about the most in life – your children, home, financial assets, and security. The words Family Law might conjure up a mental image of a hotly contested and acrimonious legal battle over divorce and separation – perhaps where one side comes out as the ultimate winner and the other side as the loser, or that a family law judge in a court battle automatically favours women over men. In reality, neither are true.
We help our clients define their family law objectives and we strategize and plan to help our clients achieve these objectives as efficiently, effectively, and affordably as possible. Whether you are a man (husband, father) or a woman (wife, mother),we can serve your interests to get a fair and just result.
Moose Jaw Family Law Lawyers – Family Law Issues
The types of issues that routinely arise in a family law dispute between married couples are:
- Divorce and Separation
- Spousal Support or Alimony
- Child Custody & Access
- Child Support
- Division of Assets and Property
In Saskatchewan, couples who live together for a given length of time can be treated the same way under the law as married couples. This is known as common-law marriage. So with such unmarried couples, the types of issues that routinely arise in a family law dispute are similar:
- Spousal Support
- Child Custody & Access
- Child Support
- Division of Assets and Property
High-Net Worth Divorces
Our Moose Jaw family law lawyers group routinely handles cases involving the division of significant financial assets, high value property, as well as potential spousal support. We also handle prenuptial agreements, mediation and arbitration, issues surrounding paternity, as well as domestic violence, restraining orders and so on. We are here to help with all family law matters in Moose Jaw.
While searching for the best Moose Jaw family law lawyer to represent you, you should focus on choosing a lawyer with experience that you trust and confidently believe in. The knowledgeable and professional family law lawyers at Merchant Law Moose Jaw will collect these facts and advocate on your behalf in the most effective manner possible to help you arrive at the best outcome available for your individual situation.
You may be searching through the hundreds of potential Moose Jaw divorce lawyers looking for the best Moose Jaw family law lawyers to help you out and work on your side. As there are so many to choose from, the decision is an important one. No lawyer or law firm can definitively say that they are the best Moose Jaw family law firm as there are many equally skilled divorce lawyers and law firms in Moose Jaw. It is suspicious for any lawyer to claims that they are the very best Moose Jaw family law lawyer or law firm, as the law itself applies equally to everyone. So long as the lawyer is properly experienced and competent, you should generally be on equal footing before the law, with respect to achieving the fair and ‘legally correct’ outcome with your family law case.
That said, an experienced lawyer will be able to identify options that others might overlook. With there being so much at stake in family cases, it would be very risky attempting to be your own advocate, or without the legal representation by an experienced Moose Jaw divorce lawyer or family law lawyer.
Litigation in Family Law
Litigation is the term used to imply resolving your dispute through the court process. The commencement of litigation is the manner in which a member of the public gets access to the courts and its judges to rule on issues when parties cannot agree amongst themselves. It forces another party to address issues that cannot be resolved. However, litigation carries some additional costs to your mental and emotional well-being, as well as financially – and there are often more efficient avenues to resolve disputes. However, litigation may also be recommended in other cases, depending on the personalities of the parties involved and the likely outcomes. Indeed, in some circumstances, the first person to issue proceedings in the court might have a perceived strategic advantage. Litigation is often initially started by one person in order to compel the other person to reply to a specific issue. Moreover, it can be used to obtain assistance of the court to address urgent matters of relief such as spousal support (alimony), child support, or child custody and access, as well as to preserve and advance your legal rights. Initiating litigation is also first step towards finding yourself in a full trial of the issues before the court. However, more frequently legal matters can be settled through negotiation long before a full trial becomes necessary despite occurring after litigation has commenced.
Negotiations in Family Law
In cases where the parties can deal reasonably with the issues in front of them, often with the assistance of experienced lawyers, the parties may reach an agreement without going to court. This can save time, cost, and lessen the divisiveness of the overall situation of the relationship’s breakdown. The parties might either:
- come to an agreement between themselves which is then finalized by their respective lawyers and reduced to a binding and enforceable contract signed by both parties,
- let the lawyers negotiate a formal agreement directly and then reduce it to a binding and enforceable contract signed by both parties,
- or else reach an agreement through mediation or collaborative law
Practising family law requires being skilled in negotiations. A good Moose Jaw family law lawyer will have honed these skills over time. Like any legal dispute, the parties are free to settle matters between them without needing the expense of a court battle, or even mediation or arbitration which are discussed below. Parties are free to negotiate between themselves directly, with or without lawyers. Although having a lawyer assist you throughout the negotiation process provides you the representation of a qualified Moose Jaw family law lawyer to deploy negotiation skills for you, attend settlement conferences with the other lawyers or the other party, and as well, if and when a settlement gets achieved, your lawyer will draft the necessary documentation so that there is a binding and enforceable written contract in place which all parties have signed. Ensuring that any agreement is legally binding is essential for enforcement purposes, in the event that any future dispute arises about what was agreed to in the settlement negotiations.
There are often a number of options aside from litigation to get the most favourable outcome in your family law case dispute, which might include:
- Negotiation of spousal support
- Negotiation of child custody access or support
- Uncontested divorce or legal separation
- Mediation or arbitration
- Prenuptial agreements or postnuptial agreements
- Negotiation of common law legal issues
You deserve to get the legal help and guidance you require and to achieve the most favourable outcome possible in your case. Our skilled Moose Jaw family law lawyers are available to speak to you by telephone to see how we may help. Call us today at 306-693-7777.
Mediation and Arbitration in Family Law
Mediation is another useful option to consider to resolve family law issues and conflicts. Mediation is essentially an alternative dispute resolution process that leaves the outcome in the full control of the parties, rather than letting a judge decide the outcome based on the lawyers’ arguments. Mediation is a voluntary process, where both parties have to agree, and the outcome is confidential.
The parties “mediate”, in private negotiations with the help of a mediator who is an impartial third party, who may often be a senior family law lawyer or other senior member of the bar with appropriate experience in family law.
If an agreement is reached in mediation, it can then be written into a binding contract that can be enforced in court. Ordinarily, mediation is done on a “without prejudice” basis. This means you cannot be “prejudiced” by your efforts to settle due to the fact that, if no agreement gets reached at mediation, the parties are free to pursue other avenues of conflict resolution including going to court, and that the substance of all negotiations which happened before the mediator cannot be disclosed or in any way impact or influence what a judge of the court decides by any of it ending up in evidence in court. It is entirely confidential and cannot be used as evidence for any purpose in the same proceedings.
The mediator is impartial and independent, and will not get involved in the dispute or take sides in it nor will they give advice. Rather their role is to flesh out the full story and position taken by each side and to work out an equitable solution to the issues.
Arbitration is a little different. The parties will be encouraged to settle, however the arbitrator will also give his legal opinions. If the parties cannot reach a settlement, the arbitrator will in fact pronounce their own opinion and provide a decision much like a judge of the court. Again this will typically be a senior family law lawyer, or can sometimes be a retired judge. Arbitration can be binding or non-binding.
When it is “non-binding arbitration” that means that the parties can reject the decision of the arbitrator and go to court or negotiate further as they like, and the decision of the arbitrator and the whole process is “without prejudice” and cannot be disclosed in court.
If it is “binding arbitration” the parties must obey the decision of the arbitrator as if it were a court order and it can be relied upon and enforced in court. There are some exceptions and, just like a court order, the decision of an arbitrator can be challenged in a form of judicial review or appeal type of process in limited circumstances where the arbitrator has erred. However, generally it remains binding.
The advantage to these options may include privacy, in order to keep the issues out of the public domain. This might be an attractive option for certain clients who may be particularly well-known or high net worth individuals. Another advantage over mediation is that, you do get a decision if the parties cannot agree, and therefore you are able to move on with your life. It can seem very similar to court litigation, however it is usually less expensive and generally quicker in providing an end result, and might include confidentiality to the parties.
Consult with a Moose Jaw Family Law Lawyer Now
Our Moose Jaw family lawyers are committed to helping clients get the best result for their cases. To discuss the facts and circumstances that led up to your need for a divorce, separation, division of assets, spousal support, child support, or child custody and access with one of our family law lawyers, please call us today at 306-693-7777 .
We approach cases based on what is most important for our clients. With so much at stake, choosing the right lawyer whom you trust to handle your case is an important decision.
Call us now at 306-693-7777 to speak with one of our experienced Moose Jaw family law lawyers. We will be happy to help you.