FAQs

You've got questions...we've got answers!

How does Separation Pathways compare to standard family law costs in Ontario?

$2299 - $3299 per couple

$1149.50 - $1649.50 per person

(after Separation Planning Meeting)


Family Law average costs in Ontario (per couple - 2021)*

Contested Divorce - $46,556 or higher
Trial up to 2 days - $46,300 or higher
Trial up to 5 days - $103,900 or higher
Separation Agreement w/ Children - $26,600 or higher
Separation Agreement no Children - $20,934 or higher
Child Custody & Support Agreement - $24,546 or higher
Spousal Support Agreement -- $24,682 or higher
Division of Property & Assets Agreement--$24,864 or higher

*https://www.canadianlawyermag.com/news/features/2021-legal-fees-survey-results/362970

How is mediation different from going to court for a divorce?
  • A mediator is a trained family professional who acts impartially to assist both parties to reach a resolution that meets their needs, voluntarily, and with a minimum of conflict. If there are children, parents need to cooperate indefinitely after separation or divorce, so it is important for everyone, and especially for children, to minimize ongoing conflict.
  • Choosing mediation means that a resolution can be reached more quickly, with less stress, and at a greatly reduced cost as compared to litigation.
What is the difference between separation and divorce?
  • Separation occurs when one person tells their partner that the relationship is over and there is no chance of a reconciliation. This is true for married and common-law relationships.
  • Divorce only applies to married couples. It occurs after separation when one or both parties apply to court to legally end their marriage. It may not be necessary to appear in court, but you do need to submit the required Application.
Is divorce automatic after a long separation?
  • NO – There are no automatic divorces.
  • One person – or both jointly– can complete the court documents, pay a prescribed fee and file an “Application” requesting a divorce from a judge. The other person has to be given notice by being ‘served’ with the Application.
  • Before you can file, either you need to live separately and apart for a minimum of one year or there need to be allegations of domestic violence.
  • If the other partner responds with an “Answer” to the Application asking for a parenting plan or support or a division of property, these issues will have to be resolved. It is best to work out these issues in advance and submit a Separation Agreement to the court with the Application for divorce.
How is child support calculated?
  • Canada has very clear Child Support Guidelines for each province and federally. A Table that is available online bases the amount of support owing by a payor on the number of dependent children and the payor’s income.
  • Child support obligations apply to both married and common law families to biological children and to children who were supported by a partner, even if that child is not their biological child.
  • The Child Support Table amount is considered a base value and may vary under special circumstances. For example, there may be additional amounts owed if the payor earns more than $150,000 per year or if there are what are called “Special or Extraordinary Expenses” such as daycare, private school, extraordinary extracurricular activities, or health care. These expenses refer to items that do not apply to all children or at all ages and the rule is that they are paid in proportion to each parent’s income. It is best to get legal advice if you feel you may qualify for child support beyond the Table amount.
What is spousal support and how is it calculated?
  • Spousal support is somewhat more complicated and is based on each spouse’s circumstances. The basic principle is that adults are expected to be self-supporting or become self-supporting within a reasonable time, if possible.
  • If a partner is paying child support, that obligation is considered before calculating spousal support.
  • Both married and common-law partners are eligible for spousal support based on financial need. However, for common law relationships to qualify, they must have lived together for at least three years or have a child together and are living in a relationship of some permanence.
  • There are “Advisory Spousal Support Guidelines” that can be consulted. Important factors in determining spousal support are the spouse’s age, the length of the marriage/relationship, and what each partner earns or is capable of earning.
What is a Separation Agreement?

A separation agreement in Ontario, Canada, is a legally binding contract that is used when a married or common-law couple decides to separate or divorce. This agreement outlines the terms and conditions that both parties have agreed upon regarding issues such as:

  • Child Custody and Access
  • Child Support
  • Spousal Support
  • Division of Property
  • Debts and Liabilities
  • Personal Property
  • Health and Life Insurance.
  • Family Home
  • Other Terms

It's important to note that for a separation agreement to be legally binding in Ontario, it must meet certain legal requirements, including full financial disclosure by both parties, independent legal advice, and voluntary and informed consent.

Having a legally sound separation agreement can help prevent disputes and conflicts in the future and provide a clear framework for the separation or divorce process.