A: Technically: no, you don’t “need” a lawyer to resolve the issues of your separation, upcoming marriage or remarriage, child and spousal support issues, and more. There are many free online and local resources available to give people direction and information regarding their legal issues.

In addition, we often hear people say that they “know someone” who has been through “the same thing” recently, and try to follow the process their friend/sister/co-worker followed in their divorce. So what’s wrong with that?

  • Your individual circumstances, history and family dynamic can make a big difference when it comes to your rights and responsibilities. You cannot blindly accept something that is written online as a guide to what you owe, or are entitled to, because often the subtleties of why that result was reached is unknown.
  • The legal process is very complex, with federal and provincial laws, case law, administrative procedure and local (court-specific) nuances affecting your rights and responsibilities. Lawyers have years of specialized education, training and on-the-job experience to navigate the legal system, and understand the unique issues of your case (there is no one-size-fits-all system in family law).
  • Untrained, it is nearly impossible to filter out the good free information you find from the bad. A quick Google search on “child support” or “divorce” will give you a lot of information – some accurate, some not. How do you know which is which?
  • It is nearly impossible to maintain an objective outlook when dealing with the most personal aspect of your life. A journey affected by family law is never linear. A lawyer will help guide you and give you their recommendations for an appropriate resolution, even when you are so angry/hurt/defeated that you can’t see that yourself.

While hiring a lawyer comes with a cost, it is our experience that seeking legal advice early in the process can help you save time and reduce costs by obtaining the information you need to know quickly and accurately. We are regularly retained by clients years after they have tried to “go it alone”. Sometimes we are able to fix the mistakes they’ve made at significant cost; other times we are not.

To avoid this, please book a consultation, a private and confidential first meeting between you and one of our lawyers as you begin to contemplate or anticipate a family law issue in your life. There is absolutely no obligation to retain us after the consultation.

A: Untrue. A consultation is a private and confidential meeting with a lawyer where you have the opportunity to discuss your circumstances, reasons for visit and ask any questions you may have. The lawyer will provide an honest opinion about the legal issues in your case, explain your rights, entitlements and obligations and outline the available options for next steps. In most cases, the consultation is an opportunity for education. There is absolutely no obligation to hire the lawyer you meet. In fact, many clients take some time after the meeting to contemplate their next steps.

A: The lawyers at Tenk Tatum LLP practice exclusively in family law. We have years of experience with the following family law topics:

  • Child Support
  • Spousal Support
  • Child custody, access and parenting plans
  • Property division
  • Divorce
  • Cohabitation Agreements (aka “Pre-nups”)
  • Marriage Contracts
  • Separation Agreements
  • And more…

Unfortunately at this time, Tenk Tatum LLP does not offer services in the areas of: adoption, child protection and wills/estates or any other type of law.

A: If you’d like to speak with one of our lawyers, the first step is to book a consultation by calling our office at 905-901-1908 or sending an email to [email protected] For legal purposes, please do not include any sensitive, private or confidential information in your email.

A: A consultation is a private and confidential first meeting between you and one of our lawyers at our office in Oakville, Ontario. This is the first step for anyone looking to speak with one of our lawyers or looking to retain our law firm. During this first meeting a lawyer will collect basic information about you, verify your identification, discuss your circumstances, history and objectives and answer any questions you may have. The lawyer you meet with will provide an honest opinion about the legal issues in your case, explain your rights, entitlements and obligations and outline the available options for next steps. The consultation is also an opportunity to determine compatibility between you and the firm in terms of personality, expectations, affordability and overall fit.

A: Yes, the fee is based on the hourly rates of our lawyers, plus HST. On average, consultations take 1 to 2 hours. You will be charged for the time you spend with our lawyers, plus any time spent reviewing documents you have provided or otherwise preparing for your consultation.

A: Sorry, we do not offer free consultations.

A: Sorry, we do not accept legal aid. Please contact Legal Aid Ontario at https://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/ or 1-800-668-8258 to find a lawyer who accepts legal aid certificates and additional information.

A: You can take some time to consider your options (in which case you will be charged for the consultation at the end of your meeting) or can retain our law firm (the charge for the consultation will be added to your first Statement of Account). Following the consultation you are under no obligation to retain our firm.

A: Once you’ve decided to hire us, you will be asked to review and sign a written Retainer Agreement and pay an initial amount called a “monetary retainer”. The amount you will need to pay depends on different factors, including the complexity of the matter, level of conflict between you and your partner and/or lawyers involved, work expected to be done, the urgency of your matter and more. The monetary retainer will be deposited into our law firm’s Trust account and will be held by us on your behalf. The monetary retainer will be applied toward future services/invoices related to the work completed for you. Depending on your case, you may be required to pay a further retainer from time to time.

A: The time spent by lawyers, students and staff working on your matter and expenses incurred on your behalf are tracked. Approximately once per month, a Statement of Account is issued detailing all time spent and expenses incurred. Statement of Accounts are paid using the monetary retainer deposited with the firm.

A: We accept all forms of payments, including Interac e-Transfers, bank/wire transfers, cash, cheques, debit and credit (Visa, Mastercard, Amex, etc.). Payments can be made in person, by phone, or in the case of Interact e-Transfer, online through your banking institution’s website.

A: Sorry, we do not work with contingency fees. The Law Society of Ontario does not permit this type of fee structure in family law.