Our lawyers work as a team to provide the best family law services to our clients.
Our firm has over 15 years of experience in the area of family/divorce law. Adela Crossley has extensive knowledge and experience in all areas of family and divorce. Rick Rye, with extensive experience as a general practitioner, offers our family law clients practical and efficient advice, using his broad based knowledge of the law relating to property, business, financing and estate issues.
At Crossley Law, we believe in working with our clients to select the right legal process, depending on the circumstances of each client.
A breakdown of a marriage or a relationship is extremely stressful and impacts on all aspects of life; we understand that our clients are going through a difficult time, emotionally and financially. There are worries about what will happen to your children, where will you live, how your assets and debts will be divided, how much money you will have to live on. These worries are even further compounded if you suspect that your partner is hiding assets or income.
We take the time to understand your concerns and will give you the information that you need to start on a path towards resolving your legal issues.
At Crossley Law, we explain the various legal procedures available to you and then work with you to create a strategy for resolving these issues.
Crossley Law provides expert legal advice in all areas of divorce and family law.
Our practice areas include:
Custody / Access (Parenting Plans)
Child and Spousal Support
Property / Debt Division (Equalization of Family Property)
Tracing of Hidden Assets or Income
Cohabitation / Marriage Agreements
Mediation / Arbitration
Motions to Change
Ways to Resolve
There are different ways to resolve a family law dispute.
You have options when determining how best to resolve your situation: negotiation, mediation, arbitration or court action.
Not all options are suitable for every situation. After meeting with you at your initial consultation, we will explain the different approaches and help guide you towards the option that makes the most sense for your situation.
Generally each party will retain their own lawyer and with the lawyers the parties will work together to arrive at a written agreement. Negotiation is the least formal of all options available to family law clients. This method allows the parties to remain actively involved in the resolution process. Negotiation is only an option if both parties are willing to work together in good faith to try to resolve their situation.
If negotiation fails or is not an option, then the parties will either need to mediate, arbitrate or begin a court action in order to resolve their dispute.
Mediation is only available as an option if the parties agree to use this method of dispute resolution. Through mediation, the parties will hire a mediator to assist them in trying to reach a settlement, which will then be incorporated into a separation agreement.
A mediator can be a lawyer, social worker or psychologist. The type of mediator that is hired will depend on the nature of the issue that the parties are trying to resolve. If the parties are unable to agree upon a parenting plan for the children, then often the mediator will be someone who is also a qualified social worker or psychologist. Most other types of disputes will generally involve hiring a mediator who is also a family law lawyer. This type of mediator is normally trained to handle all types of family law disputes, including custody/access (parenting plan), property division and support.
If mediation fails, then the parties will either need to resolve their dispute by arbitration or by beginning a court action.
Arbitration is used as an alternative to the court process and can only be used if the parties agree to this process. In selecting arbitration the parties have determined that they cannot resolve the issues between themselves, either through negotiation or mediation, and that they need a decision imposed upon them. The parties will no longer play an active role in how their situation is resolved. That decision will be made by the arbitrator. The parties will have an opportunity to put forward their case to the arbitrator and the arbitrator will then make a decision. The decision of the arbitrator is binding on the parties and can be enforced by the courts, if necessary.
The benefit of using an arbitrator as opposed to proceeding by court action is that the parties can select their arbitrator, thereby ensuring that the person has experience in their type of situation, and generally the arbitrator will decide the case much more quickly than it would be determined through the courts.
The court process is available to all types of disputes. A party does not need the consent of the other party to begin the court process. Generally, the court process will be used if negotiation and/or mediation are not reasonable options or if the parties were unsuccessful in resolving their dispute through other methods. By proceeding to court the parties are allowing a judge to decide for them how their situation will be resolved. A judge can make both temporary and final orders. The decision of the judge is binding on the parties.
Even after the court process has begun, if settlement appears to be a possibility, the parties can still try to negotiate a resolution or they may opt out of the court process and proceed to mediation/arbitration.
We look forward to helping you. Simply contact us today.
Child Protection (Children’s Aid Society)
Ontario Children's Aid Society Law Firm
Ontario's children's aid societies are largely funded based on the number of files opened. This means that the more investigations started, the more money the organizations receive. While it is important that we look into serious child abuse allegations, many families are falling victim to false complaints of child neglect and abuse from overzealous schools, doctors, vengeful former friends and other meddling parties.
At Crossley Law, we advocate on behalf of parents being wrongly investigated or unnecessarily harassed by the children's aid society (CAS). With more than 15 years of experience in family law, Adela Crossley has a high success rate in having these damaging, unfounded cases withdrawn often without any court intervention.
If the Children's Aid does have valid concerns within the meaning of the Child & Family Services Act, then we guide the parents to the appropriate supportive services that will help to address the concerns. We take a very hands on type of approach; we do not rely just upon the services that the Children's Aid might offer. Rather, we find the appropriate services for the family and we advocate with Children's Aid to get on board and work cooperatively with us. We don't just sit back and let the C.A.S. drive the agenda. We take control where appropriate and we make sure that the C.A.S. intervention lasts only as long as is needed.
It is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible if you have been approached by the children's aid society.
We will listen to the circumstances of your situation and determine whether an investigation was the appropriate course of action. We will also work as a team with therapists, doctors and other professionals to prove your case.
Contact Crossley Law if you are being targeted by the children's aid society or any other family and child services department or organization. We are here to work hard to protect you, your rights and the parent/child relationship.
Child Protection - Hague Convention Applications
One of the most stressful situations for any divorced or separated parent is likely the thought of losing access to his or her children. Legally, there are many safeguards in place to protect parental rights and access. When a parent leaves Canada with the children, however, the situation becomes more complicated.
International child abduction is a complex area of the law requiring the right legal representation. The lawyers of Crossley Law in Toronto have experience with international child abductions and taking the legal steps necessary to bring the children back to Canada. Known for being strategic in protecting their clients, they will take every necessary step to reunite you with your children.
The Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, also known as The Hague Convention, is an international treaty governing child custody across international borders. Canada is a signatory of this treaty, and its provisions have been adopted into Ontario Law.
The Hague Convention was made to address custody issues in the country the child normally resides in. That means if your former partner took your child out of the country, the treaty would call for the cooperation between countries to ensure the immediate return of the child to Canada.
Founding lawyer Adela Crossley has experience with international child abduction cases and can help you go through the entire process. Crossley Law is built on the premise of not settling for less than what is in the clients' best interests. You will receive that kind of representation.