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Our Family Lawyers Team

Separation

When bonds break and you decide to separate, temporarily or permanently, we at KALMAN SAMUELS — Attorneys, can help you reach an agreement, or if necessary, obtain a Judgment in Separation from bed and board. Our firm is a long-time industry leader in negotiating family law cases and in the drafting of complete agreements resolving the entirety of the most common disputes in family law, including child support, spousal support and the division of the assets.

This area of human relations is often fraught with conflict and raw with emotions. These additional components mean that an objective third party can help in negotiating the way through the numerous difficulties—establishing the exact income, assets and liabilities of the other spouse. Our lawyers can be engaged to ensure you are fairly represented. Where mediation and negotiation are no longer possible, a solid legal representation in Court becomes necessary so as to best protect your rights. This is something that our attorneys can help you with, as they have been helping others since 1957!

Consultation

Sometimes, a person is not sure if they want to get a divorce. It is possible that a separation is the better option for the short or even long-term. What they should do is to evaluate their options and understand their rights and what might happen to them if they do get divorced or separated. Sometimes, people just want monetary calculations done so that they can evaluate the financial impact, or have an idea of how the property might be distributed if they do go through with a divorce or if they only go by way of separation. Sometimes they know that they want to get divorced but it is simply not the right time for any number of financial, legal, emotional, strategic, business, political or even immigration reasons. One can get physically separated without obtaining a legal separation. One can get legally separated and then later reunite, or follow up years later with a divorce. And in certain circumstances, we see both divorce and separation procedures happening simultaneously. Sometimes, people chose to file for a Separation because they do not meet the requirements of the Divorce Act, such as residing in Canada for twelve months prior to filing for divorce. Separation can be a solution to obtain urgent remedies in Court when a person has their habitual residence in Canada but has not been living here for the minimum of twelve months that is required in order to commence divorce proceedings.

Whatever the case, our attorneys are available for consultations so as to demystify all of the above. During your consultation, we can provide you with a verbal legal opinion and advice after having discussed the pertinent facts of your case with you. This service is available not only to clients but also to junior attorneys who need a bit of mentoring or even experienced attorneys who want to verify more complex areas of family law. Consultations with the firm of KALMAN SAMUELS – Attorneys have been a pillar of the Montreal family law community for many decades.

If you have any questions about a possible, pending or ongoing divorce or separation, please contact us and schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

Jurisidiction

The first question that needs to be determined is whether the local courts have jurisdiction over the matter. Is this a Montreal family law matter, a Quebec family law matter, a Canadian law matter concerning other provinces, or a matter concerning other countries? The rules that grant a court jurisdiction for Divorce matters are different from those that apply to a separation. For example: to apply for a divorce in Quebec, at least one of the parties must be resident for at least twelve months. A separation proceeding, however, does not have this requirement. This makes separation the better option, or the only option in some cases where urgent remedies are necessaries.

Kalman Samuels, Q.C., the founder of our firm, was a long-time director of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and of the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers. He was internationally recognized for decades as being the top choice in the Montreal family law field for questions of jurisdiction, local and international family law. This prominence helped the firm to become a leader in the field and be recognized as the reference for Canadian International Family Law. The Team of KALMAN SAMUELS – Attorneys considers it a mission to continue that tradition of excellence to this day.

Alternatives

Once the issue of jurisdiction has been addressed, and the option of obtaining a judgment in separation is your best strategy, it is time to look at a few alternatives. These alternatives can be tried before or after proceedings have begun, and include family counseling, mediation, negotiation, or an increasingly popular approach known as “collaborative law”. Our attorneys can refer you to top quality counselors and mediators, all the while advising and informing you as to your rights and best interests. As a litigation firm, we can assist directly in negotiations, and we are proud to count among our attorneys a lawyer certified in collaborative law.

Child Custody

In separation, as with divorce, if children are involved then the question of custody often becomes the most important matter to address. When this issue is contested, parents want the best possible attorneys for the sake of their children. Our firm is well known for the care, attention and expertise that its attorneys provide in all cases involving children. We can move quickly to obtain urgent orders regarding custody and visitation rights while we work through the court process toward a more long-term decision.

International Child Custody

This area of the law is one of the most difficult for judges to adjudicate, and is one of the domains for which the law firm of KALMAN SAMUELS – Attorneys is best known. It is also one of the areas where our knowledge of international law becomes critical to defending your best interests. Our firm has often fought and assisted collaborating attorneys defending a divorce matter in one jurisdiction and a separation matter in the other. An already complicated area of the law becomes even more complex when the matter becomes international. Because of its complexity, this is one of the major areas in which our legal colleagues refer to us their own clients. Because of the distances involved, litigation, and mistakes, can be very costly. Be sure to be well-represented!

Child Support

In separation cases just like in divorce cases, providing and or obtaining the right amount of child support is a time-sensitive matter of utmost importance if children are involved. Our dedicated team can move quickly to obtain emergency safeguard orders in this area and thereby help alleviate some of the stress associated with this aspect of divorce. Our lawyers will help you determine the right amount of child support by applying the Canadian Federal Guidelines or the Quebec guidelines, and they will explain to you which ones to apply and the reasons why.

International Child Support

Collecting child support from an unwilling payor in another jurisdiction can sometimes be a major challenge. On the other side of the coin, contesting child support orders when you yourself are in another jurisdiction and ordered to pay an amount that does not match your income can be devastating. When searching for Montreal divorce lawyers, please bear in mind that our firm has been doing this for decades and our attorneys have written articles and delivered lectures on this topic on multiple occasions. The Law Firm of KALMAN SAMUELS – Attorneys continues to be a go-to reference in this matter.

Spousal Support

In separation cases as with divorce cases, a party may be able to apply spousal support depending on a number of factors. Although the legal justification may differ, the calculations and evidence required are very much the same. When it is critical to the welfare of one of the parties, spousal support can be applied for very quickly via safeguard measures. If the issue involves very high incomes, spousal support can have a major financial impact for both the payer and the receiver of the support. When dealing with medium or lower incomes, the question of spousal support can make a huge difference in the lifestyle that a person will be able to afford in the future.

International Spousal Support

Collecting spousal support from someone in another jurisdiction can sometimes be a major challenge. Contesting spousal support orders when you yourself are in another jurisdiction and are ordered to pay an amount that does not match your income can be devastating. The calculations of spousal support is often referred to as being more art than science since there are not pre-set calculations as we have in child support. When dealing with spousal support in an international context, it is all the more imperative to have the most qualified legal representation.

Division of Assets

A divorce entails the division of family assets but in the case of a legal separation, the assets are not necessarily divided. This is because the marriage is still in force. There is no imperative to divide up the Family Patrimony or the assets accumulated under the marital regime. Depending on circumstances however, a partial or full division of assets can also be obtained in a separation. It is important to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to fully understand the risks and advantages to yourself and to your family. Moreover, the longer in advance you consult, the better you can plan for your future.

International Division of Assets

Should a division of assets be obtained pursuant to a separation judgment or agreement, our firm is well placed to help facilitate this sometimes complex matter. Sometimes, the laws of a foreign country apply to the division of the assets even if the divorce or separation takes place in Canada. Regrettably, no Montreal divorce lawyer knows the law of every other jurisdiction. The Firm of KALMAN SAMUELS – Attorneys, however, has over the years gathered together a dependable international network of legal and financial experts who can assist us in representing our clients’ interests in this complicated field, both in Canada and abroad.

Variation

Unlike other areas of the law, final judgments in family law are not necessarily considered ‘final’. This rule applies all the more in the case of a legal separation. Separation is often seen as an intermediate step prior to a divorce, or a trial before getting back together. In either of these cases, there will be a change. Even if the separation is long term, children grow up, health conditions vary and financial situations evolve. During the time of a legal separation, the marriage is still in effect and marital obligations still exist. Things can get legally complicated and it is best to be well informed and guided by a knowledgeable attorney.

Conjugal Violence

In some cases, the break up of a couple is accompanied by conjugal violence. Sometimes, when it is one-time occurrence, a legal separation is the preferred avenue of choice until things are settled and both parties have a better idea of how they want to proceed into the future. At KALMAN SAMUELS – Attorneys, we understand how this matter can be delicate and we recognize the importance of discussing with you and helping you with many the various options available in resolving this sort very difficult situation. If there are criminal charges, we refer to and collaborate with some of the best criminal lawyers in Quebec. We can also take the time as civil lawyers to accompany our clients in criminal proceedings, whether they are the victims or the accused, so as to make sure that their rights are not overlooked and that they fully understand the implications of the process on their rights in their ongoing family law matters.

Parental Alienation

In many family break-ups involving children, one or both parents will consciously or unconsciously try to turn the children against the opposing parent. In cases of legal separation, issues of parental alienation are generally less common than in divorces because the parties are leaving the door open to a reconciliation. Unlike with a divorce, the marriage is not over yet. Nonetheless, when people opt for a Separation for other reasons than to preserve the marriage for a possible re-unification, then parental alienation does often become a factor. If you and your children are victims of parental alienation, or if you are being unjustly accused of practicing this tactic, it is important to gather decisive proof so as to avoid falling into a “he said/she said” paradox. Our firm can guide you through this delicate situation, as it has for many clients over the years since 1957.

If you have any questions about a possible, pending or ongoing divorce, please contact us
and schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

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