Ellis Legal Group

Divorce & Separation

Divorce & Separation

The fear and uncertainty often surrounding divorce and separation can be barriers to making the best long-term decisions. Ellis Legal Group will educate you about your options, guide and advise, and support you through your relationship transition.

We place the well-being of our clients and their families above all to achieve resolution in the most amicable and collaborative way possible. This not only results in more assets being kept within your family, but it can also help alleviate the lasting and harmful effects of a contentious dissolution.

A Collaborative, Respectful Approach to Resolution

The Ellis Legal Group practices family law, including divorce, separation, custody and access, child and spousal support, division of assets, and all other matters related to the ending of a marriage or common-law relationship. Our associates are not only highly experienced in all the legal aspects of family law, but also understand the emotional toll it can take on all affected parties when a significant relationship ends. 

We place the integrity of the family unit and the health and wellbeing of our clients and their children first and foremost. We empower you to make informed decisions for yourself and your family by providing legal information, advice and access to necessary resources. 

In our experience, decisions reached amicably and respectfully by all parties, in collaboration with legal counsel, result in assets being kept within the family, and not used to fund expensive and contentious courtroom battles that further strain already fragile relationships. 

While we strongly advocate for mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution, sometimes court action is simply unavoidable. In these cases, we have successfully advocated for our clients in both the Provincial Court and the Court of Queen’s Bench.

Accessible, Affordable Legal Services

At Ellis Legal Group, our associates take a team-based approach to working with clients. Our senior lawyer provides strategic direction and support and junior lawyers implement elements of the strategy, depending, of course, on the complexity of your file. All our associates practice exclusively in the area of family law, which includes divorce, separation, child and spousal support, division of assets, prenuptial and cohabitation agreements, and estate planning. 

We are committed to offering the highest level of service in the most transparent and economical way possible by offering full-service representation, unbundled services (when feasible, you decide what elements of the file we work on), flexible payment plans, flat billing (where possible), and credit card payment options. 

We seek to guide all parties involved toward the least contentious resolution possible. This not only saves you time and money, but it also helps you move through the process more quickly and with less disruption, which is particularly important when children are involved. 

Ellis Legal Group offices in Calgary and Okotoks are welcoming and informal so you feel safe and comfortable. We ensure you understand all aspects of the law related to your particular matter, explore solutions collaboratively, and are accessible and supportive throughout the process. 

When meeting in person is not preferred or possible, we are able to work remotely, with the exception of obtaining signatures.

Delivering Your Ideal Outcomes

At Ellis Legal Group, we advocate fiercely but not aggressively. We listen, really listen, to what your ideal outcomes would be, educate you on the law related to your matter, and guide you through the pros and cons of any decisions. 

Our preferred approach is always to help all parties reach an amicable agreement through mediation or other forms of dispute resolution, but if necessary, we will advocate vigorously on your behalf. 

We empower clients to take the lead in making decisions. You decide what level of involvement you require from us - from full-service representation to advice on negotiating your settlement, preparing a document, or attending court on your behalf.

Client-centred Family Law Advocates

Our experienced team of lawyers is dedicated to family and estate law and will provide you with the highest quality legal advice and service available. We ensure you understand all aspects of the law related to your particular matter, explore solutions collaboratively, and are accessible and supportive throughout the process. 

Call us at (403) 879-1635 to book your free consultation today.

The Journey to Resolution: Our Process

At Ellis Legal Group, we work with you in the most efficient and transparent way possible so you always know what is happening and what to expect.

  1. Initial consultation: a 30-minute phone consultation to review your current situation, answer any pressing or immediate questions and provide you with preliminary legal advice and options for proceeding. This initial consultation is free of charge.

  2. In-person consultation: to obtain further information, provide more comprehensive legal advice, and discuss options for proceeding. A flat-rate fee is charged for this consultation, which usually takes from 1-2 hours depending on the complexity of the situation.  This is an important opportunity for each of us to determine if we are a good fit to work together.

  3. Retaining us: the retainer agreement is signed by you, which outlines the specifics of the role we will be playing in your matter as well as our fee arrangement. It is important to understand that we cannot commence work on your file until such time as you provide us with your signed retainer agreement and whatever initial retainer funds are required.

  4. Exchange of client disclosure: required documents and financial disclosure are gathered to ensure we have a full understanding of your circumstances and the information we need to move your case forward.

  5. Strategy planning: once we have an opportunity to review the disclosure, we’ll be better suited to provide advice and develop a strategy for proceeding. In some cases, we may determine that we need more information or disclosure, so we might discuss the options for obtaining that information.  If we believe we have everything we need, we can discuss your entitlements and obligations. We are also able to discuss your options for resolution, which may include making an offer, proposing a settlement meeting with the other party, attending mediation, arbitration or other alternative dispute resolution options. An amicable resolution is the goal whenever possible, but sometimes, despite all best efforts, we are compelled to go to court. 

There is no way to determine exactly how long a divorce or separation will take as there are other parties involved whose actions are beyond our control. What we do know is that a family law professional whose primary goal is a peaceful resolution whenever possible, can significantly decrease time and cost required.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I really need a lawyer? 

A: You can engage a lawyer as much or as little as YOU decide, as long as both you and the lawyer are clear from the outset as to the role that you require a lawyer to play. At a minimum, however, you should always get a legal opinion about your situation before making any decision that has potential legal implications.

Q: How much will my divorce cost? 

A: There are a number of factors related to the cost of a divorce, and the cost will really depend on how much time the matter takes to resolve and how motivated both parties are to settle. We charge an hourly rate so generally speaking, court proceedings will result in the most cost while out-of-court settlements tend to be less costly. 

Q: Can my ex and I make our own separation agreement?

A: The Courts consider agreements between separating parties as a little different from an average business contract due to the delicate nature of the relationship, where power imbalances, vulnerability and sometimes sheer emotion can result in unequal bargaining power. For that reason, in order for a separation agreement to be upheld by the courts, certain legal formalities must be met. This includes both parties having have received independent legal advice before signing the agreement. So while it is very possible or you and your former spouse to come to an agreement between yourselves, if the other party is later unsatisfied with the deal you’ve made, they can ultimately still appear before the court to seek further relief. The Court can consider the agreement you’ve made, but the court is not bound by the terms of the agreement if you have not obtained independent legal advice or met other legal requirements.

Our Practice is Dedicated to Family Law

Our Practice is Dedicated to Family Law

Let us be your greatest asset during times of family transition. Ellis Legal Group takes a client-centered approach by educating our clients on family law, guiding you through a range of legal options, and customizing solutions to meet your unique needs. Being client-centered also means we do everything in a caring and supportive manner and with the utmost professionalism and integrity. Serving Calgary, Okotoks and surrounding areas.

Get Started Today With a Free Consultation

Divorce, separation, entering a marriage or common-law relationship, and planning your estate are significant, and sometimes traumatic, life transitions. Let us provide you with the information and support you need to plan for your best future. 

Call us at (403) 879-1635 and book your free consultation today.

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