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Family Law

Trusted Family Lawyer in St. John’s, Newfoundland

Divorce, child custody dispute and spousal support can be a complex and stressful process. At Gittens & 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 lawyer 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.

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 through 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, having 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
  • Co-habitation agreements
  • Pre-nuptial 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 legislation and common law recognizes the rights and obligations of people who live 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 is 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 to understand 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 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 is denying access, under Newfoundland 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 pre-nuptial 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 a lawyer to learn more about how valuable this document really is.

Talk to Our Family Lawyer in St. John’s

Call us today to schedule a free telephone consultation. The family lawyers at Gittens & 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
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