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Family Legal Services

MARRIAGE AGREEMENTS AND PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENTS

Many couples choose to create a marriage or cohabitation agreement outlining their financial affairs during the relationship, and division of property, in the event that the relationship ends. Miller & Johannson can include terms that strengthen the agreement to make it enforceable by the courts.

Our firm specializes in all family law matters, including marriage agreements and cohabitation agreements for couples who are commencing relationships or currently in a relationship/marriage.

young couple

Marriage Agreement

A marriage agreement is a legal contract between two people who plan to marry or are already married. These contracts outline who will be responsible for managing assets and debts during the marriage and how those assets and debts will be divided should the couple divorce.

Cohabitation Agreement

A cohabitation agreement is written to protect the interests of individuals who are already living together, or who plan on living together, and can apply to people who are NOT living in a marriage-like relationship and who do not plan to.

Prenuptial Agreement

For common law couples, a prenuptial agreement is the equivalent of a cohabitation agreement.

Wife and husband signing divorce documents

DIVORCE AND SEPARATION

When creating a marriage, cohabitation or separation agreement, it is essential for both parties to have legal counsel in order to protect your interests with issues such as the division of family property and debt, child custody, guardianship and child and spousal support.

Should the agreement ever be challenged in court, the document has a higher likelihood of standing up to court scrutiny if lawyers were involved in the negotiation, drafting and signing of the agreement.

Decisions made during your divorce or separation are critical ones that will affect the rest of your life. As your legal representatives, Miller & Johannson will educate you about your rights and obligations while making the divorce and separation process as painless as possible. We can assist you in developing a workable separation agreement that deals with child guardianship, parenting responsibilities and parenting time, child support, spousal support, and division of property and debts

MEDIATION, NEGOTIATION, AND COLLABORATIVE LAW

There are a number of ways that Miller & Johannson can assist you with your divorce or separation.

Mediation and Negotiation

Couples seeking amicable resolutions without going to court may wish to avoid the financial and emotional expense of traditional litigation through the use of mediation or negotiation with the assistance of an unbiased third party. The mediator’s role in mediation is to assist the parties with effective communication so that the parties may achieve a satisfactory resolution of their dispute. Agreements reached at mediation are legally binding.

MEDIATION

Conflict can be overwhelming. Conflict resolution does not have to be. If you have an ongoing conflict with another person or organization, you are likely to find mediation helpful.

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Meeting Your Needs

Participants do not need to feel they can be in the same room together at the beginning, but feelings may change by the time the mediation concludes.

Can we help you with that?

We offer representation during mediations in the following areas:

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Divorce and separation (property and financial)

Parenting Plan development for separated parents

Family issues around care of a loved one, such as an aging parent

Property

Landlord / tenant

Organizational

Any other conflict when the parties are ready to try talking it out

*Most mediations occur with all parties in the same room; however, in special circumstances, parties can be in separate rooms. Mediation can also be conducted by telephone when a party cannot attend in person.

Arbitration

We also represent parties at arbitration which involves a dispute that is settled by an unbiased third party. Unlike litigation, this third party is not a judge but an arbitrator.

Collaborative Law

In a collaborative process, the two parties sign an agreement stating that they will not go to court, but rather will collaborate to resolve all issues themselves, with the help of their lawyers and other collaborative law professionals such as financial advisors, child specialists and mental health professionals. Clients choosing the collaborative law process agree not to go to court where a judge will decide the outcome. Instead, the parties involved agree to resolve their conflicts through a mediation process that is better able to address their personal values and goals.

Husband and wife crate signing divorce documents at lawyer office

CHILD CUSTODY, GUARDIANSHIP, PARENTING RESPONSIBILITIES, AND ACCESS/PARENTING TIME/CONTACT

Child custody and guardianship

Agreements relating to children and guardianship take the best interests of a child into account. These agreements outline details regarding who will provide a home for a child, where the child will live, how a child will be provided for and who will make major decisions concerning a child’s care.

PARENTING TIME/CONTACT

Clayton Miller is an experienced family law lawyer who works tirelessly to achieve the best outcome for his clients. We have gained a reputation as Family Law specialists and we provide knowledgeable, honest advice, allowing our clients to maintain realistic expectations throughout any stage of the process of determining guardianship, parenting time, and access to information about children from third parties.

For families dealing with parenting time, contact and guardianship matters, our main concern is that your interests and the best interests of your child(ren) are met. You can feel confident knowing that, at Miller & Johannson, you are our priority and we will ensure that your issues are resolved to a fair outcome with the soundest legal solutions.

child custody
Child Support

CHILD SUPPORT

We are here to ensure your children get the best support possible based on your individual situation. Every child has the right to the financial support of his or her parents. In child support matters, Miller & Johannson can help parents pursue child support from a child’s parent or from someone who has acted as a parent, or to help people understand their rights and obligations as a parent under Canada’s Federal Child Support Guidelines.

In addition to child support, other provisions may be available for childcare, education and other special and extraordinary expenses such as daycare expenses, health expenses, tutoring costs, extra-curricular activities and post-secondary expenses.

If you are the payor and you believe the amount established by the child support guidelines is unreasonable based on your unique circumstances, you may ask for a variation by showing undue hardship based on financial factors such as a high level of debt, other support payments being made for children of another family, support for a disabled or ill person or unusually high expenses incurred in visiting the child or children.

SPOUSAL SUPPORT

Determining income accurately for spousal support can sometimes be complex. For example, income tax returns may not adequately portray a spouse’s guideline income. Miller & Johannson can help in determining what the facts are around income to ensure that these amounts are fair and appropriate.

We will answer all your questions about your right to – or obligation to pay – spousal support. We understand that no matter which side of the dispute you may be on, your financial future is at stake and that there needs to be a fair and reasonable agreement for all parties.

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Additionally, our practice includes:

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DIVISION OF FAMILY PROPERTY/DEBTS

The division of family assets/debts can raise complex legal questions best answered with independent legal advice. Our role as your adviser is to determine what qualifies as a family asset/debt and how it should legally – and fairly – be divided after a divorce or legal separation. We may also represent you in court matters regarding the division and protection of family assets.

REPRESENTING PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS IN MATTERS INVOLVING THE MINISTRY OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT

If the Ministry becomes involved in your family life, it is essential that you get advice from a qualified lawyer. We have experience representing parents and grandparents in negotiations with, and court proceedings against, the Ministry.

Litigation

A dispute is in litigation (or being litigated) when it has become the subject of a formal court action or lawsuit. In short, if you are suing someone or being sued you are litigating.

Notarizations

We are authorized to witness the signing of documents and to take oaths certifying that a document, affidavit, or sworn statement is true.

To schedule a consultation with Clayton Miller, contact Miller & Johannson Mediation & Family Law.
Call us at 250.717.3139 or email info@mjml.ca