The high costs of acquiring legal representation should not stop you from hiring a lawyer to represent you in dealing with Family Law issues. You have legal rights and remedies at your disposal and I am dedicated to helping you explore all of the options available.

Through my enrollment with Legal Aid Ontario, I also accept legal aid certificates in Family Law. The high numbers of unrepresented people dealing with Family Law problems on their own has recently received attention at Legal Aid Ontario, since Separation Agreements are now funded by legal aid. Click here to find out if you are eligible for Legal Aid.

Francois Lutfallah provides legal services relating to the following Family Law issues:

Child Support

Father and sonIn Canada, the non-custodial or non-principal residence parent is required to pay child support. The amount owed is determined by the number of children requiring support and the payor’s income, in accordance with the Child Support Guidelines. In some cases, children may require “special” or “extraordinary” expenses for items such as childcare, daycare, medical expenses, private school, and post-secondary school. In such instants, expenses are shared in proportion with your income. Certain circumstances such as undue hardship, children aged 18 years and older, instances of shared custody, or where there are special provisions that benefit your child, may decrease the amount required by the Child Support Guidelines.

With a one-on-one private consultation, we can work together to explore the Child Support Guidelines and pursue the solutions that best serve your family. Avoid the potential conflicts and added stress of attempting to navigate this aspect of your separation alone.

Spousal Support

You may have to pay spousal support if you earn more than your spouse. Typically, the longer you are married and the degree of difference between your income and your spouse’s income, increases the likelihood that you will be required to pay spousal support. However, the Canadian court system considers a wide range of circumstances in determining the value of spousal support owed.

Through a private one-on-one consultation, I will work with you to gather an in-depth understanding of your unique circumstances. I will help estimate the range of spousal support you may be expected to pay or receive, as well as ease you through the legal processes involved in protecting both you and your family.

Property Claims

Woman packingMany people are rightfully concerned about how property is divided upon separation.  The legal rules governing the division of assets in Ontario are highly complex and involve examining the value of the assets and not necessarily the assets themselves. It also depends on whether you were married to your spouse, or whether you cohabitated as a ‘common-law’ couple. Common law couples are entitled to whatever property they own in their name upon separation including the home, subject to potential claims for unjust enrichment. If you were married, then even if the matrimonial home was owned by one party at the beginning of a marriage, the value of the home is always divided equally if it is still owned at the date of separation. In Ontario, both married spouses have an equal right to possess the matrimonial home, subject only to a court order.

Allow me to explore this delicate and highly complex facet of Family Law with you in a one-on-one private consultation. Together we can explore your unique situation and achieve the optimal solution.


Couple discussing separationArriving at the decision to go your separate ways is often a difficult, challenging, and highly emotional time for all parties involved. Many individuals often feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to even begin. The Divorce Act recognizes three grounds for a divorce, and the vast majority of divorces proceed on the basis of the parties being separated for one year.

It is important to learn the differences between a divorce and a separation agreement. An application for divorce must be made to the court, otherwise you are not considered legally divorced regardless of how long you and your spouse have been separated.  Through a private one-on-one consultation, we can explore the details of your situation, including both contested and uncontested divorces. I am here to provide you with a full view of the legal landscape and help you navigate this difficult time efficiently, so that you can gain peace of mind and the freedom to move on.


Father and son enjoying time togetherAccording to Statistics Canada, as of 2011, approximately 5,000,000 Canadians had separated or divorced within the last 20 years. Of these cases, about one quarter had at least one child under the age of 18. This same study revealed that, in 70% of cases, the mother’s home is the child’s primary residence, with 15% of cases indicating that the child mainly lived with their father. Only 9% of cases reported equal living time between the both parents.

For parents, one of the scariest aspects of divorce or separation includes custody and access to children. The custody of any children under Canadian law is determined with a view exclusively towards the “best interest of the children.” The law also reflects the “maximum contact principle” on the issue of access.

Meet me for a private one-on-one consultation to discuss your unique situation explore your available legal options to ensure the best possible outcome.

Separation Agreements

Separation agreementIn Ontario, a separation agreement is a contract between two former spouses that sets out each party’s rights on various issues involved in dissolving a marriage or a “common-law” relationship. Separation agreements concern issues such as custody and access to children, the division of property, child support, spousal support, and more. A separation agreement is an important legal document that will affect your life for many years to come.  Many individuals fear going to court during their separation and this can be avoided if both parties are able to agree on a separation agreement. This is why it is so important to have your separation agreement drafted by a lawyer.

Allow me to represent you and your needs during your separation and ensure that you are receiving the full extent of your legal rights and remedies.

Marriage Agreements

Marriage agreementMarriage Contracts are important legal documents which are binding, and that require the diligent eye of a lawyer in order to respond to and meet the needs of every unique situation. Marriage contracts allow each spouse to legally identify what they expect from one another during the marriage. Each spouse may wish to list the property they are bringing into the marriage and identify the value of each asset. In addition, a marriage contract can provide security by explicitly detailing how property is to be divided should the marriage end, and allows each spouse to describe exactly how he/she would like support payments made if the marriage does dissolve. Plans for the education and religious upbringing of unborn children can also be set forth in a marriage contract.

Given that a marriage contract is a binding legal document that will affect the lives of both spouses for many years to come, it is imperative that you retain a lawyer in order to protect your interests.

Francois Lutfallah