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Family Law

Family law governs the legal obligations and responsibilities of spouses, parents, and children. Whether you are married or in a conjugal relationship, family law dictates your rights and responsibilities towards your spouse while you are together and when the relationship ends; and if you have dependents, your legal obligations and duties.



Rule 5 of O. Reg. 114/99, commonly referred to as the Family Law Rules, governs where a case starts and is to be heard.

The three courts in Ontario that deal with family law are as follows:

  • Family Court Branch of the Superior Court of Justice
  • Superior Court of Justice
  • Ontario Court of Justice
  1. Family Court Branch of the Superior Court of Justice (Unified Family Court)

The Family Court branch of the Superior Court of Justice hears all family law matters, including divorce, division of property, child and spousal support, custody and access, adoption, and child protection applications.

  1. Ontario Court of Justice

The Ontario Court of Justice hears family law matters, including custody, access, child and spousal support, adoption and child protection applications. Note the Ontario Court of Justice does not have jurisdiction over divorce or division of property matters.

  1. Superior Court of Justice

The Superior Court of Justice can decide family law matters involving divorce, division of property, child and spousal support, and custody and access. However, the court does not hear adoption and child protection matters except on appeal.

In general, you commence an application in the municipality where you or your partner lives. However, if your issues involve child(ren), you should go to the court in the city where your child(ren) lives.

Family law rules and procedures are complex. Online resources are helpful but not fact specific and cannot answer all your legal questions. We strongly suggest you seek a family lawyer’s advice to understand your rights and obligations before committing to any legal decisions.

Some common family law issues the firm can help you with include

  • Getting a divorce
  • Child custody, access and support
  • Spousal Support
  • Property division
  • Drafting domestic contracts

We have offices in Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Aurora, Newmarket, Bradford, Georgina, Keswick, Barrie, Oshawa, Ajax, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville, Milton, Burlington, Hamilton, Kitchener and Waterloo.


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