Family Law

Family Law - Book a consultation


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 Toronto family lawyer, clients can find professional and experienced help from the legal experts at Devry Smith Frank LLP (DSF).


Our family lawyers in Toronto 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 team of family lawyers 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


Over our decades of experience, DSF 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.


DSF understands that cases involving children require extra care to minimize stress and trauma. Our lawyers 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 Toronto family lawyer, clients can book a consultation or request information by contacting us at 416-449-1400. For online resources visit Family Law videos page. 

We offer multiple convenient locations in TorontoWhitbyBarrie 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.



Both in court and out of court in settlement discussions, if your position is not within the range of what is “reasonable”, it may get nowhere. Credibility will be lost before a judge and in settlement discussions, your opponent will ignore you. Family Law matters are often emotional and this may cloud your judgement. A related point is that you need to be aware of 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 the process longer.

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. At times generosity might carry moral weight, or you may want to keep a fair share of assets from your spouse. Unless you speak to a lawyer, you will not know whether you really are getting a good deal that will last or do better or worse.

These contracts cannot be bound without a lawyer. If you are signing a contract, it must be valid for the court to enforce it. Unfortunately, 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, it is advisable to have lawyers involved throughout the negotiations.

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.

Family Law lawyers see a number of cases with a lot of resolutions and see the application of the laws carefully applied to a ton of different situations. A lawyer may have ideas 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 courts.

Lawyers are professional negotiators. Family lawyers represent individual people, not big business or corporations, so they know that the cost of the process is important. Lawyers have strategies to get their clients the best possible resolution at the lowest cost possible.

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 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 focusing on the past.

You need a professional on your side. The Children’s Aid Society has lots of professionals to help them – lawyers, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors and others. The Society uses those professionals to acquire their needs. Alternatively, you need a child protection professional on your side as well. A child protection lawyer can not only advocate for you in court , but help find other field-related professionals to help you get the best deal.

Unlike on television, family court judges rely (heavily) on the paper that the parties file to make their decision. Except at trial, you do not have an opportunity to tell your story to the judge. It is informed by filling out 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.

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 substantial amount.

DSF has lawyers for this practice area in locations other than our Don Mills location. if you would prefer to work with one of our lawyers in one of our other offices,
please click on your preferred location below.

Call us at 416-449-1400 for available options or to