Areas of Practice
- Separation, Divorce and Annulment
- Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
- Restraining orders or conduct orders
- Parenting and custody of children
- Access to/parenting time with children and parenting schedules
- Grandparent and non-parent access
- Child support and special expenses
- Spousal support
- Property division
- Pensions division
Where We Practice
Located in Etobicoke, we practices across Ontario, at all levels of court.
Languages of Practice
We provide a full range of legal services, including representation at court, in both French and English.
Daudlin Law Professional Corporation offers services in all areas of family law, employing various dispute resolution methods to suit each client’s specific needs. After reviewing the facts of your case and understanding your specific goals, we will recommend a course of action that is consistent your objectives and that we feel will best serves your family’s needs, including: negotiation, mediation, arbitration, med/arb and if necessary, litigation. Regardless of the path to resolution that you and your lawyer choose, we will advocate on your behalf, guide you through the process, constantly re-evaluate the roads to settlement available and advise you of your options.
In addition to having more than a decade of experience litigating complex legal issues and high conflict disputes, Jennifer is a trained mediator, arbitrator and parenting coordinator, and regularly represents clients who choose alternate dispute resolution processes.
Separation, Divorce and Annulment
Your marriage or spousal relationship has come to an end. Depending on whether you were married or living common law, whether you had children or property, the law may apply differently from case to case.
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
Intimate Partner Violence or Domestic Violence/Abuse generally includes four types of behaviour: psychological aggression, stalking, physical violence and sexual violence, and can range in frequency and severity. It can range from a single impactful episode to a chronic lifetime of abuse. In either scenario, IPV impacts on the family, and is relevant several family law issues. If you are thinking of leaving or have recently left an abusive relationship, or have been accused of domestic violence or abuse, it is important to get advice regarding your family law matter and safety planning.
Restraining Orders or conduct orders
A family court can make an order that limits a person’s ability to communicate or interact with another person(s), in a manner the court feels is appropriate and necessary to protect the safety of a litigant. If you feel that you or your child might be at risk of harm or are being harassed, a restraining order or conduct order may be appropriate in your case.
Parenting and custody of children
When parents separate, they need a decision-making protocol for how to manage major decisions about how to care for and raise their children. Sometimes more importantly, parents need a protocol for what to do when they can’t agree about the decision that needs to be made. It is important to set expectations around decision-making for children so that they are not caught in the middle of any adult conflict.
Access to/Parenting time with children and parenting schedules
Access is the time a parent spends with a child they don’t live with. A parenting schedule (or access schedule) is either a fixed or flexible schedule of the time the child(ren) will spend in each parent’s home after separation. Terms of access of parenting time refers to the protocol parents are to follow when spending time with their children, in appropriate circumstances. For example, parenting time might be supervised, or a parenting schedule protocol might set out who is going to be responsible for picking-up and dropping off the children. Every family is different. It’s important to craft a parenting schedule that fits your family’s circumstances and the age and needs of the children.
Grandparent and non-parent access
In some cases, non-parents can get access to children where there has been a close relationship with a child.
Child support and special expenses
Every parent has an obligation to financially support a dependent child. The definition of a ‘dependent child’ usual means a child under the age of eighteen, but the support obligation can (and often does) extend beyond that. Child support is not limited to a biological parent. Adoptive parents, step-parents or non-birth parents could be found by a court to have an obligation of child support of the child.
Generally, child support is paid by the parent who spends the least amount of time with the child to the person who cares for the child most of the time. Child support is the right of the child is used to defray some of the costs of caring for the child.
Parents can refer to the Child Support Guidelines to see how much a judge might order them to pay, but the amount of child support can vary on a number of factors, including the amount of time the child spends in each home, any special needs, or extenuating circumstances of the support payor or recipient.
Special expenses are generally expenses over and above food, clothing and shelter incurred for a child, such as child care, medical expenses, extracurricular or university tuition, that are reasonable and necessary. If the expense is reasonable and necessary in the circumstances, in most cases, both parents will be expected to help pay for the expense based on their income.
When you and your spouse (married or common law) separate, you may be able to claim spousal support (or have an obligation to pay it). Spousal support is paid by the person who earns the higher income to the person who earns less. Spousal support is not an automatic right. The recipient has to be entitled to receive support and is expected to make efforts to support themselves after separation. The amount and duration of spousal support can vary based a variety of factors.
The law on division of property applies differently depending on whether you were married, or if you were living in a common law relationship. Generally, married couples will be required to share or equalize the value of their property, this is not usually the case for common-law couples who generally only have to share the property they own together during the relationship. There are exceptions to this which are commonly referred to as ‘trust claims’. It is important to get legal advise on your rights an obligations as it relates to property, whether at the beginning or at the end of your relationship.
A pension is property that you or your spouse owned while you were married and is included as property when you are calculating an equalization payment. Pensions need to be valued prior to their value being equalized and that process can vary depending on the type of pension you or your spouse has. There are also different rules on whether pensions can be divided in common-law relationships.
These are Marriage Contracts or Pre-nuptial Agreements, Cohabitation Agreements; Separation Agreements and Parenting Plans. Domestic contracts are generally negotiated either before the start of a marital/spousal relationship or after the parties have separated that outlines their rights and obligations as it relates to the other spouse, their solely and jointly held property and their children.
Adoption is the transfer of the parental rights from one or multiple legal parent(s) to another person(s). Adoptive parents assume the same rights and responsibilities over a child as the biological parents, and the children have all the same benefits of biological children.
Inter-jurisdictional and foreign matters
There are many cases where the laws of another country or province need to be examined in relation to the laws of Ontario or Canada. For example, if you are seeking to enforce a marriage contract like a Mehr or dowry agreement in Ontario, or if you are trying to enforce an Ontario child or spousal support order, abroad. Sometimes, we can rely on reciprocal agreements between countries or provinces to enforce orders and agreements, and other times, our laws are in total conflict. It is important to understand thoroughly what can be done in your specific circumstances.
Hague Convention and International Child Abduction
If a child has been removed from the country where they live(d) ordinarily, or is being held outside of the country, without the parent’s consent or the permission of a legal authority (like a court), there are different steps to be taken to try and have the child returned to the country of origin depending on whether the child is being held in a country that is a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. If you believe that your child has been abducted, do not wait to get legal advice about your options.
Legal Research and Opinions
Legal research is the process of identifying the important facts and legal principals of your case, and retrieving the information necessary to support your argument, such as the relevant legislation and caselaw.
A legal opinion is derived from experience and legal research that permits a lawyer to express a legal analysis or conclusion about your case.
Sometimes, judges or arbitrators can make factual or legal errors that effect the outcome of your case. An appeal permits the ‘losing’ party to a case the opportunity to have the decision reviewed by a higher court. The goal of an appeal is to have the original decision reversed or changed.
Negotiation is almost always your first step in family law cases, and where it is successful, it is one of the most cost effective ways of resolving your family law matter. Whether through counsel or between your lawyer and the other party, directly, negotiation involves the exchange information and disclosure followed by discussions about what agreements can be reached between the parties, amiably. When settlement is achieved, it is generally through the exchange of correspondence and telephone calls, and/or four-way meetings (or some combination thereof).
Mediation is a voluntary process whereby the parties agree to retain a third party mediator (most often a senior family law lawyer) who’s role is to assist the parties in resolving their differences using various different techniques. You can attend mediation with your lawyer or without them. If we attend with you, we will assist you in speaking with the mediator and negotiating a settlement, providing you legal advice along the way. If you choose to attend on your own, we will continue assisting you in the background providing you independent legal advice, assisting with financial disclosure and drafting a final agreement. Attending with counsel often streamlines the process and makes mediation more productive.
When parties cannot reach a settlement through negotiation or mediation, but still prefer not to go to court, they can opt for a private court process where the parties retain a neutral third party to adjudicate their matter. In some cases, parties agree that the mediator and arbitrator will be the same person so that if the mediation is unsuccessful, the parties can seamlessly transition to the arbitration process. It is important to discuss with your lawyer to pros and cons of using the same person to act as both mediator and arbitrator.
Some cases don’t end after the separation agreement is signed or the court order is issued. Parenting coordination offers an ongoing dispute resolution process for high conflict parents who, among other things, are struggling to implement or interpret the terms of a parenting plan or separation agreement.
The parenting coordinator’s goal is to help resolve ongoing parenting disputes in a way that reduces the impact of the parental conflict on their children. They fulfill this role by educating the parents about more effective communication and problem-solving strategies, and by assisting them in interpreting and implementing the sections of their parenting plan or court order that may cause conflict between them.
The parenting coordinator will coach and educate the parties, act as their mediator, and where a dispute cannot be resolved, provide an arbitral award.
While we always hope that your family matter can be resolved outside of court, in some cases, litigation is the only option. In most cases, a party will start a court proceedings when all other forms of settlement have been exhausted – but, there are cases where starting a proceeding is the first recommended course of action. Whether it’s the first or last recourse, very few court cases that are started go to trial. The overwhelming majority of family law disputes settle before trial after some combination of negotiation, mediation, arbitration and litigation. Be sure to discuss all your options for resolution with us during your consultation. We will advise you if there is any aspect of your dispute that requires the commencement of proceedings.