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Family Law

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Family Law Services

What is Family Law?

Family Law includes includes situations such as:

  • Divorce
  • Mediation
  • Custody arrangements
  • Estates and wills.

All of these can be very emotionally stressful situations and the team at MacKay & McLean are here to help guide you through the process of determining a fair and equitable resolution.

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When you find yourself in a situation of separation and divorce, it can be hard to find simple answers to your simple questions, and each province in Canada has certain regulations and requirements that govern the process. Our associates can assist you in determining the next steps in this process to ensure your best interests are protected.

Child Support

Child support is payable for any child under 18 years of age and who remains in the care of the parents, including non-biological children. It may extend past the age of 18 years of age if the child is unable to provide for himself or herself due to illness, disability or other cause, including attendance at post secondary school.

Despite popular belief, where a child under 18 years of age resides with both parents equally child support is usually still required to be paid by one parent. The parent with the higher income (the “Payor Parent)” is required to provide support for the child to the parent with the lower income (the “Recipient Parent”. In cases where the parents have incomes that are approximately the same, child support may not be payable by either parent.

When the child is primarily in the care of one parent, the parent whom the child does not primarily reside with is required to provide support for the child. The amount of support payable by the Payor Parent is determined based on the Guidelines by using the Payor Parents income.

Custody & Access

One of the most challenging situations is determining a fair and reasonable custody agreement that includes access to the minor children who are under the care of the divorce petitioners. We will work to ensure the decision is in the best interest of all parties involved and help negotiate the terms in a way that makes sense.

Spousal Support

Spousal support or “alimony” may be payable by the higher earning spouse of a marriage or common law relationship upon the dissolution of the relationship. There are a variety of factors that determine the amount of spousal support that is to be paid and for how long support is payable.

A spouse may make an application to the Court of Queen’s Bench prior to the final resolution of their separation or divorce for interim spousal support. One of the main considerations as to whether spousal support will be ordered is whether the payor spouse has the ability to pay and whether there is a need for the financial assistance by the receiving spouse.

Once the matter moved to settlement discussions in order to determine if support should continue and for long factors such as the length of the relation and whether the receiving spouse relied financially on the payor spouse.

The Spousal Support Guidelines were developed to assist in determining the amount and duration of support. The Guidelines set out a high and a low amount that can be awarded.

Property Distribution

Assets accumulated during a marriage or common law relationship are considered personal and real property are included in the distribution of property when the relationship deteriorates. This includes bank accounts, pensions, CPP, RRSPs and any other property that is owned by the couple at the date of Petition and is presumptively to be divided equally. Assets may not be divided equally if it would be unfair or inequitable to so. Additionally, upon separation some property may be exempt or excluded from the family property distribution. While there are multiple ways in which property may be exempt the most common reason is that the property was owned by one of the spouses prior to the commencement of the relationship. Regardless of the ownership of the Family Home and household items they part of the property distribution.

Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement is a private agreement between a couple signed before they get married which sets forth the division of their assets in the event of divorce or death.

Interspousal Contracts

Prior to getting reaching the point of a common law relationship a written agreement can be entered into by both parties signing off on the terms of the agreement. Often an interspousal agreement is entered into to protect the parties from the possibility of separation or divorce and set out the requirements of the property distribution, spousal support and many other terms. Upon divorce or separation the terms of this Agreement are upheld and subsequently become the terms of the divorce or separation.

Mackay & Mclean Barrister & Solicitors

Our Services


Family Law

Family law includes divorce and mediation, custody arrangements, and estate and wills.


Real Estate & Property Law

This includes real estate, conveyance, mortgages, chattel mortgages, wills & estates.



Criminal & Traffic Law

This includes charges pursuant to municipal law, the Canadian Criminal Code, and Traffic Safety legislation.


Commercial Law

 Commercial law includes organization, shareholder contracts, and commercial contracts.


Civil Law

This includes charges pursuant to municipal law, the Canadian Criminal Code, and Traffic Safety legislation.



Debtor-Creditor Law

Debtor-Creditor law includes collection, promissory notes, general security agreements, and issues involving the Securities Commission.


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Your first consultation is free so that we may assess your need for a lawyer, cost of services and how we may help you.

MacKay & McLean provides the professional services of a large firm, with the intimate attention of a small firm. The legal process can be daunting and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. MacKay & McLean is with you every step of the way.