Unique Approach to Divorce and Separation

Trusted advice for a seamless transition

Strategic planning to help you move through your divorce and separation and on to living your life. 

A divorce is the legal termination of a marriage, requiring a court order. In Canada, a divorce can be obtained under the following three circumstances: 

  • The spouses have lived separate and apart for at least one year,
  • adultery, and
  • cruelty.
Shirley Levitan ECO Divorce

A unique approach to the divorce process

Shirley works tirelessly to reduce the impact separation can have on you, your family and your children. Shirley’s unique approach to divorce is focused on efficient, practical and effective negotiations to help you obtain an out of court settlement that addresses your unique needs.

Shirley often works with various financial and family professionals, including business valuators, real estate appraisers, tax accountants, social workers, parenting coordinators and others, to ensure your situation is resolved in the most informative and effective way.

What do I want to resolve?

Shirley Levitan Family Law - Collaborative/Eco Divorce

Corollary Issues

The issues you need to resolve as a result of your divorce or separation are called “corollary issues.” Many of these issues are set out below. Frequently, the issues can be resolved via negotiation, and then the settlement terms are incorporated into a separation agreement instead of going to court and having a judge make the decisions. 

Regardless of the type of negotiation you choose, Shirley is here to help empower and advise you.

 

Shirley Levitan Family Law Property Division

Property Division 

The division of property can be extremely complicated. There are numerous twists and turns that must be considered to assess this issue, taking into account assets, debts, inheritances and gifts. With her corporate background, Shirley has the knowledge and experience to optimize the division of property for you.

Shirley Levitan Family Law - Spousal Support

Spousal Support

Spousal support is paid by one spouse for the benefit of the other spouse. There are many questions around this issue, such as:

  • Is there an entitlement?
  • For how long?
  • How much?
  • What is the tax treatment?

With so many grey areas, spousal support is challenging to assess. Shirley will clarify the law with you as it relates to your specific situation.

Shirley Levitan Family Law - Child Support

Child Support 

In Canada, child support is governed by Child Support Guidelines, established in each province and tailored to reflect certain financial standards of that province. Child support is payable whether the parents were married, living common-law, or even just dating.


Child support deals with complex issues such as how much? And until when? These guidelines are law and can become complicated depending on the circumstances. Shirley will clarify the law for you, and explain how it applies to your specific situation.

Shirley Levitan Family Law Property Division

Parenting (Formerly Custody and Access) 

In Family Law, custody of a child means having the right, and responsibility, to make major decisions affecting the health, education, religion and general well-being of the child. It is preferable for parents to try and deal with matters of decision making and residency outside the court system. Regardless of the negotiation process you choose, Shirley can help you get the result that is best for you and your family.

Shirley Levitan Family Law Property Division

Matrimonial Home

The matrimonial home is the centre of the family and plays a special role in family law. There are numerous issues to deal with, such as: whether to sell the house or buy out your spouse’s interest; financing options; should I stay or should I go?  how are the proceeds to be divided? There are also many misconceptions about the matrimonial home.

Shirley is here to advise and clarify the law for you.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Divorce & Separation

Do I have to give 1/2 of everything I own to my spouse if we separate/divorce?

If you are married, there is a formula applied for property division, taking into consideration each spouse’s assets and debts at the date of marriage and date of separation. There are many twists and turns in assessing the property division between spouses; it is not a simple 50-50 split of each asset.

Do I have to pay any child support if our children are living 50-50 with each of us?

This will depend, amoungst other things, on the income of each of your and your ex.

Do I have to share my inheritance with my ex?

Inheritances have special treatment in family law. Depending on when you inherited the money (before or after your date of marriage), you may not have to share any of it. This will also depend on what you did with the inherited funds.

Variation and Review of Support

Whether it’s child or spousal support you are dealing with, there are a number of circumstances that will require you to seek a variation or review of the support you are paying or receiving.

Call Shirley to guide you through, and help you with, this complicated process.

Testimonials

Shirley is smart, knowledgeable, no-nonsense, warm and approachable

Shirley took on my family law case after my previous lawyer had become a Judge.  It had been a complicated and challenging negotiation as my ex and his lawyer were trying to ensure that ‘no stone was left unturned’, even though there was nothing under those stones!  Shirley negotiated the final agreement to my very great satisfaction. She ensured that I was regularly informed and that I understood all the issues, and how the facts of my particular case related to the law.  Shirley is smart, knowledgeable, no-nonsense, warm and approachable. I was very pleased with the result and felt heard and well taken care of.  I highly recommend Shirley, you will be in good hands with her.

SC, Family Law Client, Toronto, Ontario

Shirley listened to our needs

We are a gay male Italian couple, and enlisted Shirley’s help with our surrogacy and egg donation journey.  From the beginning, Shirley was  knowledgeable, compassionate and diligent.  She was available on our timetable, and guided us through the many legal issues and complications.  Shirley listened to our needs and concerns with sincerity and made us feel secure and heard.  We are very happy with her assistance and can attest that you will be in very good hands with her.

GC and SP, Fertility Clients, Italy

Thank you for your guidance

I cannot thank Shirley enough for her guidance and wisdom through the negotiation of my separation agreement.  There were indeed times I was ready to ‘throw my hands up’, dig my heels in, and take it all to Court.  Shirley helped to ground me, and wisely advised that this would not be at all helpful; I would risk losing a lot going to court rather than negotiating-not to mention the high tab it would involve. When I felt down, she helped me to see the ‘silver lining’ and truly encouraged me to ‘hang in there’.  In the end, I had an agreement that dealt with all the issues that were important to me, in a way that made sense to me.  Thank you, Shirley!

HE, Family Law Client, Toronto

Shirley has gone above and beyond...

We are a same sex married couple from Australia, who are now blessed with two beautiful babies born in Ontario via egg donation and surrogacy.  From the outset, Shirley was there to guide us every step of the way.  She is knowledgeable, available and sincerely interested in helping her clients work through the maze of international surrogacy and fertility arrangements.  She was the first person we met in Canada when we began our journey, and assisted us all the way through.   Shirley also managed to organize the paper work so we were able to leave Canada and return home within record time after the birth!  She has gone ‘beyond and above’ for us in so many ways.  We are still in touch with her and our daughters continually hail ‘agoo’ in thanks to her!  We highly recommend Shirley and can attest that you will be in excellent hands with her helping you

Happy fathers, AS and JC (and our lovely twins!), Fertility Law Clients, Australia

I highly recommend Shirley!

Shirley took on my case after my previous lawyer had become a Judge.  It had been a very complicated and challenging negotiation as my ex and his lawyer were trying to ensure that ‘no stone was left unturned’, even though there was nothing under those stones!  Shirley negotiated the agreement to my very great satisfaction. She ensured that I was regularly informed and that I understood all the issues, and how the facts of my particular case related to the law.  Shirley is smart, knowledgeable, no-nonsense, warm and approachable. I was very pleased with the result and felt heard and well taken care of.  I highly recommend Shirley; you will be in excellent hands with her. “

SC, Family Law Client, Toronto, Ontario

Shirley helped me get through a very rough time

I hired Shirley on the recommendation of a friend of mine. The separation was not an easy time for me, and I needed someone strong, who, at the same time, could support me with sincerity and empathy.  I was not disappointed. Shirley guided me with patience and understanding through the maze of issues involved in my case (not simple), and negotiated an agreement directly with my ex (also not simple) until the end, when he got a lawyer to review it.  Her knowledge, experience and patience, plus how she dealt with my ex, helped get me through this very tough time. I cannot thank her enough and have recommended her numerous times since.

CR, Family Law Client, Toronto

I obtained the agreement I wanted!

I thank Shirley for her guidance, knowledge, and wisdom in settlement negotiations of my separation agreement. It was a difficult time for me, and Shirley helped me every step of the way. She made sure I felt heard, and that my goals and fears were acknowledged. It was important to me to maintain a positive relationship with my ex-husband throughout, and Shirley ensured that happened. Her patience, warmth, and experience helped to keep me grounded and focussed. I obtained the agreement I wanted, and my ex and I continue to co-parent our children with respect. A huge relief is an understatement!

SE, Family Law Client, Toronto

Shirley made this difficult process easy

Shirley Levitan BSc., LLB is phenomenal to work with. Shirley was highly recommended by one of my long-time clients as I was recently going through a divorce. Shirley made this difficult process easy, clear and had it completed fairly quickly. She took the time to explain and guide me through the negotiations, while delivering on everything she had promised. I would recommend Shirley Levitan BSc., LLB to anyone going through a divorce, as she is very knowledgeable and truly works for the best interest of her clients. She not only makes a difficult situation easy but makes herself available to answer any questions or concerns one may have. Shirley, I can’t thank you enough for your help and alleviating a lot of stress from my divorce. Thank You

PS, Family Law Client, Toronto

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