Family law touches the very heart of your life.
Our approach to family law is client-centred. We strive to provide personal service, support and experience, respecting your needs and goals as well as your financial concerns.
Ahmad-Yousuf & Associates will work with you personally, explaining your rights, obligations and options. Our family lawyers are available to clients by phone and email, and our legal assistants strive to respond to you as quickly as possible.
We believe that many of our clients’ painful conflicts can be resolved through negotiation or mediation, finding productive solutions and maintaining cooperative relationships, which is especially important when both parties have to continue to deal with one another as co-parents. It can also be far less expensive and faster than going to court.
However, cooperation is not always possible. Our family lawyers are willing and able to go to court on your behalf, and actively and skillfully fight for your rights and your future.
Helping Families in the Ottawa Area
Our services include:
- Child custody, access and support: We help you put your children first, and will work with you on issues of parental responsibility, decision-making, access and support.
- Property division: Ontario law assumes that property should be distributed equitably, though considerations will be made for each spouse’s economic circumstances, contribution to the relationship, and the needs of the children. Property division is also different depending on whether the partners are married or living common-law.
- Spousal support (also called alimony): Support is not necessarily guaranteed. It depends on a number of factors, such as the length of your marriage and each spouse’s earning power. It is generally seen as a temporary arrangement to allow the lower-earning spouse to become independent once more, although factors like disability, age or the length of the marriage may make support a permanent arrangement.
- Divorce: We can help you deal with the process and all issues that must be settled, and help you to prepare the documentation that must go through the court system before you are free to remarry.
Variations: Changing Needs
Families continue to grow and change after a separation. Agreements or oders about custody, access, support or other arrangements, which may have made sense when you first separated, may no longer fit your lives as your children grow and your needs change.
We can help you determine whether there has been a material change of circumstances that makes it necessary to change your Final Order or Separation/Parenting Agreement.
Not all family law has to do with divorce and separation. We also help clients facing child protection matters, when the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa expresses concern over a child’s health or safety. If you are facing the Society, we will help you understand your rights and obligations, and help you protect your children and your family.
Ottawa Divorce Lawyers
Very few people actually want to get a divorce.
At Ahmad-Yousuf & Associates, we understand that this time in your life is likely filled with disappointment, anger and fear of the future. Our aim is to make it as painless as possible, and make sure you are in a good position to move forward after your divorce is final.
You will need a reasonable, experienced lawyer, who can guide you through the process, be available when needed, and explain your rights and obligations so that you can make the best choices about your future.
The legal part of your divorce does not have to be a horrible process. It does not have to be prohibitively expensive.
We are here to make sure that you have the support you need.
A Guide Through Separation And Divorce
If your divorce is uncontested, both parties agree on the major issues. All that is required is signing a Separation Agreement agreement and going to court to finalize the divorce. A contested divorce is much more time consuming, and may require court-mandated mediation to decide issues of custody, property division and support.
We will examine your situation and advise you as to whether your marriage is likely to result in spousal support (alimony), as well as the likely amount and duration of support. We will also help you decide how to divide your assets, which may include homes, vehicles, investments, debts and retirement benefits.
Our family lawyers will help you understand which assets are marital property and which belong to the individual spouses. We can also advise you if there is some reason why the property should not be divided equally, such as intentional destruction of assets by one spouse.
Contact Ahmad-Yousuf & Associates
Let us help you through your divorce. Call our lawyers for Ottawa and surrounding areas at 613-236-1111 or fill out our online form to come in for a consultation.
Child Custody, Access and Support
Ottawa Child Custody Lawyers
The decisions having to do with your children will be some of the most important decisions you will have to make during your separation.
In Ontario, the assumption is that the best situation for children after a divorce is one in which decision-making, called “custody” by the courts, is shared between the parents. This does not always mean that the children will live with both parents. It may mean that one parent is awarded physical custody, while the other parent is encouraged to have generous visitation rights. Normally, both parents share in major decision making about issues such as education, health and religious upbringing.
Protecting Your Children
At Ahmad-Yousuf & Associates, our family lawyer will help you put your children first, and work with the other parent if possible to come to an arrangement that is fair to everyone involved.
We will also explain:
- The role of the court:If you are unable to come to an agreement, the court will determine child custody. It will consider whether the parents are able to cooperate, and whether they support their children’s relationship with the other parent. It will also look at how involved each parent is with the child’s school and social life. Any history of violence, abuse or neglect will also be taken into account, as will the child’s wishes if the child is old enough.
- Child support: Support is intended for the child, not the parent. Parents cannot “give up” child support on behalf of their children. Ontario law calculates support based on the incomes of both parents, keeping the lifestyle of the children as close as possible to what it would have been if their parents had stayed together. Support amounts may be influenced by a parent’s significant debts or other serious expenses. Child support is not tied to visitation rights or to how frequently a parent sees his or her child.
- Relocation: If either parent wishes to move with the children, particularly long distance, the reason for the move and the effect on the child’s relationship with the other parent will be taken into account.
Contact Ahmad-Yousuf & Associates
Let us help you and your children. Call our lawyers for Ottawa and surrounding areas at 613-236-1111 or fill out our online form to come in for a consultation.