Barrie Family Lawyers

Family law encompasses a wide range of issues that couples, children and whole families can experience. While we would all prefer to keep family issues out of the courts, many times it is unavoidable and the only way to ensure a civil end to disputes over money, custody, divorce and other matters.  If you find yourself in need of a Barrie family lawyer, clients can find professional and experienced help from our family lawyers in Barrie.


Our Barrie family lawyers understand the delicate nature and need for compassion when dealing with matters between spouses, children and relatives. We handle a wide range of family law issues such as child custody, child support, marriage contracts and more – including preventative matters like prenuptial agreements and similar contracts.

Our family lawyers in Barrie have extensive experience in all of the following:

  • Simple Divorce
  • Separation Agreements
  • Marriage Contracts
  • Cohabitation Agreements
  • Child And Spousal Support
  • Custody And Access
  • Property Division
  • Structuring Business In Light Of Family Law Issues
  • Legal Issues Surrounding Heterosexual And Same-Sex Relationships
  • Common-Law Relationships
  • Child Protection (Children’s Aid Society Proceedings)
  • Collaborative Law And Collaborative Practice
  • Family Mediation And Family Arbitration
  • Family Court Proceedings
  • Adoptions
  • Legal Issues Surrounding Assisted Reproduction


Our Barrie law firm has gained expert knowledge at every level of court from Ontario Court of Justice to the Supreme Court of Canada allowing us to offer optimal legal representation and advice no matter the severity of your case. Outside the courtroom, our family lawyers also solve disputes using mediation and arbitration and exercise “Collaborative Practice.” This unique practice allows couples to resolve difficult situations without putting stress on their children.


Our Barrie lawyers understands that cases involving children require extra care to minimize stress and trauma. Our family lawyers in Barrie take special measures with these cases and have advocated to protect children in several groundbreaking court decisions and court cases.

For help finding a professional family lawyer in Barrie, clients can book a consultation or request information by contacting us at (705) 812-2100.


  1. Know whether your position is reasonable – Both in court and out of court in settlement discussions, if your position is not with-in the range of what is “reasonable”, it may get you nowhere. You will lose credibility before a judge. In settlement discussions, your opponent will ignore you. Family Law matters are often emotional; your emotions may cloud your judgement. A related point is that you need to know what facts and issues are important and which are not. For example, spousal infidelity probably has no bearing on child custody. Child abuse probably has no effect on property issues. Mixing up what is important and what is not can make everything take a lot longer.
  2. Know what to expect, what you are getting and what you are giving up. In negotiating or deciding on litigation strategy, you need to know what the possible outcomes are and whether you could do better using a different course of Action You may want to be generous, or you may to keep as much from your spouse as possible. Unless you speak to a lawyer, you will not know whether you really are getting a good deal that will last – whether you could do better or do worse.
  3. A marriage contract, cohabitation agreement or separation agreement may not be binding without a lawyer. If you are signing a contract, you probably want it to hold up and you want the court to enforce it. Judges usually ignore family law contracts if both parties did not have lawyers. Judges are usually suspicious if one party only saw a lawyer for a few hours to get an ILA Certificate. If you want an enforceable contract, have lawyers involved throughout the negotiations.
  4. Lawyers know the court rules. The court process is complicated. Judges have expectations about how things will be done in court and those expectations may be based on more than just the Family Law Rules. However, judges hold self-represented litigants to the same standard as lawyers. This can place self-represented litigants at a disadvantage.
  5. There may be options that you have not considered. Family Law lawyers see a lot of cases with a lot of resolutions and they see the application of the laws in a lot of different situations. A lawyer may have ideas about ways to resolve both the case and their client’s problems in ways that the parties have not thought about. A lawyer may also be able to ensure that an unusual resolution is respected and enforced by the cuts.
  6. Family Law Lawyers can help settle a case – and that saves money. Lawyers are professional negotiators. Family Law Lawyers represent individual people, not big business or corporations, so Family Law Lawyers know that the cost of the process is important. Family Law Lawyers have strategies to get their clients the best possible resolution at the lowest cost possible.
  7.  Family Law Lawyers let you get on with your life. A relationship breakdown can be disruptive to your life. Doing everything that is required for court, or even negotiating a settlement, can take up an astounding amount of time -and while you are working on it you have to think about your old relationship. A Family Law Lawyer can take over that work and the “emotional baggage” that goes along with it so you can look forward and plan your future rather than focussing on the past.
  8. If you are involved with a children’s aid society, you need a professional on your side. The children’s aid society has lots of professionals to help it – lawyers, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors and others. The Society uses those professionals to get what i wants. You need a child protection professional on your side. A child protection lawyer can not only advocate for you in court , but help find other professionals to help you get what you want.
  9. The paperwork is important and it needs to be filled out correctly. Unlike on television, family court judges rely (heavily) on the paper that the parties file to make their decision. Except at trial, you don’t get tell your story by speaking to the judge. You tell it by writing it out on the correct court forms, serving it on the other party and filing it with the court ahead of time. Lawyers take courses not just on how to fill out the forms correctly, but how to write persuasively so the judge is sympathetic to their client even before that client walks into the courtroom.
  10.  You may end up paying for the other party’s lawyer! In Canada, the loser in a lawsuit pays some or all of the winner’s lawyer’s bill. If you sue and lose because you did not know what you were doing, the court will order you to pay for the other party’s lawyer. If that happens you have not saved any money by not getting a lawyer to help you – but the other party (with a lawyer) has saved a lot of money.

We offer multiple convenient locations in TorontoWhitby, Barrie and more to serve our clients better. Find the office closest to you by calling us at  416-449-1400 or by visiting our locations page.

When facing a matter in family court, many individuals find themselves struggling with emotional and financial burdens even more than legal ones. Because of this, many will attempt to go about the process without hiring a legal professional. Not only will going about this process without a lawyer be even more of a struggle, but a lack of professional representation can also easily make you seem unprepared, disorganized and lacking in good judgment to the courts.

This is just one of the many reasons why you should still seek legal representation even if you are not facing criminal charges. Here are the others:

First Impressions: Because most matters in family law are not criminal cases, there is often more emphasis put on your character. For example, in a child custody case, a parent with a lawyer will have a great advantage over one without. When you have a lawyer, they can speak for you and present your case in a way that will fit with the expectations and desires of the court.

Long Term Cost Savings: While hiring a lawyer may seem prohibitively expensive, a quality family court lawyer can save and/or win you more than you are paying for them. A lawyer doing their job will get you more than enough to cover your fees and then some while also potentially winning you other valuable rulings.

Family Lawyers are Specially Trained to Help: Unlike trial or litigation lawyers, family lawyers are trained to help resolve a situation as peacefully as possible. Though a family lawyer does have the resources and capability to pursue an outcome that will be devastating to the other side, such as demanding unreasonable amounts of alimony or child support, this is not their default goal. They are there to represent your long-term interests and to get you what you deserve quickly, affordably and peacefully.

Reducing Emotional Trauma: Because of the high emotions that are often involved in a family court, having a go-between is essential for many reasons. Individuals who attempt to represent themselves often do far more harm than good, allowing their anger and other emotions to destroy not only themselves but other family members and the family’s financial wealth in the process.

Insurance Against Further Legal Bills: Along with a lawyer increasing the chances that you are the winner in your case, they may also save you your legal fees and the legal fees of the other party. Because Canadian law works under the idea that the loser in a case pays all legal fees, you could find yourself stuck with your own and the opposing party’s fees if you lose.

Making a Valid Agreement: While you do not technically need professional legal representation in order to have a valid domestic contract, the agreement could be invalidated if it is found that a party did not understand the agreement. Because of the complexity of the law, most judges will assume an individual does not fully understand the terms unless they were working with a lawyer throughout the process. If you or the other party fail to have legal representation, this could invalidate the agreement and cost both parties upwards of $50,000 a piece to enter into litigation to determine the validity of the contract.

Help Navigating the Court: Perhaps the biggest reason to have a lawyer in family court is the invaluable expertise they offer in navigating the contracts and court system. Something as simple as word choice could give the judge the wrong impression about you and you will not be able to rectify this.


Devry Smith Frank LLP (DSF) family lawyers have extensive experience and professional development in all areas of family law. We can help you avoid the many pitfalls of self-representation in court while getting the results you need for a peaceful and prosperous outcome.

If you are at a point where you are searching for “divorce lawyers,” then you need professional consultation and representation to help you through this difficult time. Choosing to divorce or separate from a spouse can be an upsetting and exhausting experience as you untangle the emotional, financial and strategic factors in your relationship. To help you navigate this complex and frustrating experience, you need compassionate divorce lawyers who can minimize your losses and expedite the process.

At Devry Smith Frank LLP (DSF), we match you with a divorce lawyer Barrie clients have relied on to understand both the legal aspects of divorce as well as the emotional and financial ones. Each of our divorce lawyers has the experience necessary to help you reach a peaceful resolution when possible and to fight for your rights even if the situation turns combative.


The most important thing to do when contemplating a divorce, is assess your emotional and financial state before going forward with a decision. All too often, one or both spouses are at a tense and emotional point when they first consider dissolving their marriage. While this does not mean it is a wrong decision, you will both need to take time after the emotions have settled down to ensure you feel the same way. To help you with this process, here are some steps to take when considering separation and divorce:

Get Perspective: In order to make sure this is the right decision for you and your spouse, you should consider getting outside help and input. While divorce is, ultimately, a matter for a couple to decide, others outside of the situation can sometimes offer sound advice and insight.

First, talk with other trusted friends and family members.  Those who are witness to your relationship may be able to tell you if it seems the situation does warrant divorce or not. However, be careful in who you choose to speak with. The friend who disliked your spouse from the second they met them, may not be able to give any kind of objective insight.

Similarly, do not involve children in this process. It can be tempting to speak with children about this situation as they are living in the household as well, but this has the potential to leave emotional scars and not get you any closer to the decision that is right for you.

Professional Counseling: If you have not done so already, consider seeking out professional marriage counseling. Counseling may not save the marriage, but it could help you get some issues out in the open and put you both in the right mindset to work with each other to a fair resolution.

Educate Yourself: When beginning the divorce or separation process, it is good to learn about this area of family law before hiring a divorce lawyer. Barrie clients can refer to our Devry Smith and Frank LLP Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law. You do not need to know everything but being informed about the basics can help ease you through the process and allow you to feel more in control.

Know your Options: Not all divorce must be taken to a traditional courtroom setting. Separation may even be a preferable option for couples who are on friendly terms. Choosing this option may have some financial upsides for you and your spouse, including tax benefits.

However, if you are generally on good terms but you differ on what you would like to see as the final outcome, there is “Collaborative Family Law.” In collaborative practice, divorce lawyers, medical professionals and others work together to get to a peaceful conclusion. It is similar to an “uncontested divorce” but there is emphasis put on working together, versus no one fighting it. Both collaborative and uncontested divorce are likely to result in a faster and more affordable divorce process than going to court.

Finally, there is taking the divorce to court. This is typically reserved for couples where one or both partners are extremely angry and seeking to maximize damage or prevent the other spouse from getting their full rights.


First of all, yes, you do need a divorce lawyer. Barrie courts, for divorce and most other matters, strongly recommend an individual have professional legal representation. Attempting to represent yourself often leads to delays, confusion and easily avoided mistakes. DSF professionals can help you decide on the best course of action including which type of marriage resolution to seek.

Call us at 705-812-2100 for available options or to