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Family Law

Trusted Family Lawyer in St. John’s, Newfoundland

Divorce, child custody disputes and spousal support claims can be complex and stressful processes. At Gittens, de Beer & Associates, we understand that such issues are often taxing. If you’re dealing with family disputes that require legal assistance, you can rely on our experienced family lawyers in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Our lawyers have appeared in court at all levels in Newfoundland as well as in the Supreme Court of Canada on family law matters.


We can provide you with guidance on a number of matters within the purview of family law, such as child support, separation proceedings etc. When you come to us, our team of experienced and knowledgeable lawyers fully understand the emotional and mental toll that the entire situation can take on you and, once hired, we make every effort to ensure that the final outcome of your legal battle turns out to be in your favour. Moreover, with experience in a wide number of legal areas, our team can look at cases from a holistic point of view and develop a strategy to best achieve the outcome you desire.  

Our Legal Approach

Our family practice group is committed to meeting our clients’ unique needs during what is often a very difficult time in their lives. While mediation and negotiated settlements are often recommended, we recognize this is not always possible for every client. We, therefore, maintain a very thorough and competent litigation team. We’ll do our best to cater to your unique needs during what is often a very difficult time in your lives. Call us today for a consultation.

Our family lawyers in Newfoundland are well-versed in Canadian law and have an understanding of how families work and the potential consequences of the legal process on the individual members of the family.

We are able to assist clients in the following areas:

  • Paternity claims
  • Sole or joint custody
  • Access and visitation
  • Shared parenting
  • Guardianship
  • Child support
  • Spousal support
  • Property division
  • Business assets
  • Restraining orders
  • Cohabitation agreements
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Mediation services
  • Separation agreements
  • Divorce proceedings

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have any rights if I’m not married?

Yes. While the laws are different for married couples, Newfoundland and Labrador legislation and the common law recognizes the rights and obligations of people who have lived together but are not married.


What is the difference between custody and parenting?

Custody, from a legal perspective, simply refers to who will make decisions about events and issues that affect children. In a joint custody situation, parents make the decisions together. In a sole custody situation, while the parents may discuss the issues, only one parent has the right to make the ultimate decision.


Parenting and access refer solely to how much physical time each parent will spend with the child (or children). This can include primary residence, which occurs when the child or children are living most of the time with one parent and visiting the other parent (access). However, parenting and access can also mean that there is a shared parenting situation where the child or children spend different amounts of time with each parent.


I’ve been served with documents for custody/child support/divorce in Newfoundland. What do I do?

Your response will depend on the nature of the claims being made. You should contact a lawyer to discuss the issues and how to respond to them. You should always read such documents carefully as they may contain deadlines for responses or dates for court appearances. Failure to respond to these documents or to attend a court hearing may result in a court order being made in your absence.


I’ve just left my spouse and he/she says that if I don’t agree to certain things, then a lawyer will be involved and I won’t get anything. What should I do?

Lawyers can assist clients in understanding their rights and obligations on the breakdown of a marriage. It is advisable for each spouse to speak to a lawyer upon separation. Generally speaking, there is an equal division of the assets and debts that the parties accumulated during their marriage. Parties are free to agree to something other than an equal division but should not do so without first getting legal advice.


My husband/wife/partner won’t let me see our child. What can I do?

It is a child’s right to have access to both parents. If a parent denies access, under Newfoundland and Labrador family law, an application can be made asking a court to order access to the child. You should contact a lawyer for more information.


I am getting married and my fiancé wants me to sign a pre-nuptial agreement. What are the benefits?

Despite the controversy surrounding pre-nuptial agreements, people getting married who arrange for these documents are not “expecting to get divorced.” In fact, there are many uses for a prenuptial agreement! It can protect a spouse from incurring all of the debt in the event that he or she becomes widowed and it can actually minimize divorce costs should it come to that. Speak with one of the lawyers of Gittens, de Beer & Associates to learn more about how valuable this document really is.


Is a father legally obligated to pay child support? 

As per law, both parents have a legal obligation to provide child support. The child has a right to receive financial support from both of his/her biological parents even after the separation or divorce proceedings are underway/completed. Thus, in most cases, a father would be obligated to pay child support and a custodial parent would not have the option of denying it. In fact, a judge may deny your request for a divorce if you are found to be unwilling to pay child support or if it is found that no reasonable arrangements have been made to ensure the well-being of your child. However, if your circumstances do not leave you in a position in which you can pay child support, please speak to an experienced family lawyer. Such an experienced lawyer may be able to assist you with your application for exemption or to at least reduce the liability that you are expected to bear.  


Why should I get a lawyer for child support? 

If you are planning to file for a divorce in St. John’s, it is highly recommended that you engage a family law practitioner to manage all affairs relating to child support. This is because the entire discussion regarding child support and the process that follows this discussion is rather cumbersome, clumsy and lengthy, and can often get ugly. Instead of forcing yourself to go through all of this, it would be a better option to engage a professional who knows how things work in the legal system and who can draw upon his/her own experience to get the most favourable outcome for you. Moreover, a lawyer will help ensure that the terms and conditions of child support favour you as much as possible.  

Talk to Our Family Lawyer in St. John’s

Call us today to schedule a free telephone consultation. The family lawyers at Gittens, de Beer & Associates are here to help resolve legal issues.

Dependable Counsel for Family Law

We can handle all complex and challenging divorce, child custody and spousal support cases.

Our Practice Areas

Engage an Experienced Family Lawyer

We can take care of all issues pertaining to family law, including child support, and secure a favourable verdict.

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