Services and Fees
We understand that legal fees are an important consideration when retaining a lawyer. We firmly believe in transparent billing: billing clients in small amounts, providing detailed descriptions of services provided and discussing with clients openly and honestly the costs of taking certain steps as their case proceeds.
People are often timid when inquiring into the estimated costs of retaining a lawyer. You shouldn’t be. After all, it’s your case, it’s your money and it deserves to be part of the conversation.
Some of our services are billed at a single flat fee, while others are billed at the rate of $390.00 per hour. See below for a detailed list of services, a brief summary of what you can expect with each service, and how much that service will cost.
Independent Legal Advice
Flat Fee of $400.00 plus H.S.T.
This consists of a meeting with me in which I provide you with independent legal advice with respect to a particular document or any family law-related query that you may wish to address. The meeting will last approximately 1 to 1.5 hours.
Uncontested Separation Agreement
Initial Retainer of $2,500.00.
All work billed at the rate of $390.00 per hour plus H.S.T.
An uncontested separation agreement is essentially a contract between you and your spouse in which you resolve the issues that have arisen as a result of the breakdown in your relationship. In preparing a separation agreement, there are several steps to be taken.
First, I meet with you to gather information and to take instructions in order to come up with a general ‘blueprint’ as to what the final agreement will look like.
Second, I will contact the opposing party to provide notice that I have been retained and that you wish to negotiate a separation agreement.
Third, once I have received your financial disclosure and that of the opposing party, I will prepare a draft separation agreement for your review. Once you have approved of the draft, I will forward a copy to the opposing party for review.
Fourth, there may be some negotiations between counsel regarding proposed changes to the agreement. I will work with you and the opposing counsel to come to an agreement which can then be signed by both parties.
Application for an Uncontested Divorce
Flat Fee of $2,100.00 plus H.S.T.
An Order for Divorce is often seen as the final step in the separation process. If the only relief that you are seeking is to obtain a divorce and nothing more, then this is the service for you. Any unresolved issues pertaining to children, support or property should be addressed beforehand by either a separation agreement or court application prior to obtaining a Divorce Order.
An Application for an Uncontested Divorce consists of a two-step process. First, an Application for Divorce is prepared, filed with the court and served upon the opposing party, who has 30 days to respond (60 days if outside North America), however, they are not required to do so.
Second, an Affidavit for Divorce is prepared and filed with the Court along with copies of the draft Divorce Order. There are no court attendances required. The judge will review your materials in chambers, and provided that he or she is satisfied with the information presented, an Order for Divorce is granted.
Representation in a Contested Court Proceeding
Initial Retainer of $3,500.00. All services billed at the rate of $390.00 plus H.S.T.
It is preferable if the parties can negotiate settlement without having to initiate court proceedings. The parties may consider attending mediation or negotiating a separation agreement. These options are often far cheaper than going to court and allow the parties to maintain greater autonomy in the process of reaching a settlement. Having said that, there are circumstances in which the parties have no option but to commence a court application.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict with any accuracy as to what the costs of litigation will ultimately be. The complexity of the matter, the number of unresolved issues, and the conduct of the parties are all variables which can influence the cost. Upon being retained, I require an upfront retainer in the amount of $3,500.00 which is deposited into a trust account.
This is your money that I am holding in trust for you. I bill at the rate of $390.00 per hour for all services performed on your file. I issue bills in smaller amounts so that you will know exactly how much of your money has been spent and how much you have left in trust. If your trust monies are running low, I will notify you before they have been exhausted.
Unbundled Legal Services
Initial Retainer of $1,500.00. All services billed at the rate of $390.00 plus H.S.T.
Perhaps you want to retain a lawyer to draft pleadings but wish to represent yourself in court. Or perhaps you require assistance in negotiating with opposing counsel on your behalf in a matter that is not before the courts. If so, you may want to consider the option of retaining a lawyer to provide only those services which you absolutely need.
Notarizing Documents and Commissioning Affidavits
We offer a free initial telephone consultation. This is an opportunity for you to have a chat with a lawyer over the phone or via zoom for approximately 20 minutes to discuss your family law issues. There is no cost to you and you are under no obligation to retain our services.