Family Law

We understand that dealing with matters of Family Law can often be an emotional process.

At Vandeputte Law, we understand that separation is one of the most difficult life experiences you will ever face. When you retain our firm, you can rest assured that your matter is our top priority, and that it is our objective to provide you with the best possible service at an affordable cost.


A Separation happens when two people who have been

  • Married
  • Common law (living together for at least three years), or
  • Jointly owning property or have joint obligations (such as a lease)

choose to no longer pursue their relationship. A Separation Agreement is the most common way to deal with issues on how to handle the equalization of your family property. A Separation does not legally end a marriage, but is often a prerequisite step to divorce, especially when children are involved in the relationship. We can help you draft an agreement that outlines the parameters of this troublesome time.

Divorce is a Court order that terminates a marriage. A person may typically apply for a divorce one year after separation.

After divorce, a spouse loses certain rights to make claims for support or division of property. In many cases, before granting a divorce, a judge will require evidence that sufficient provisions have been made for the care of your children, in terms of custody and support. In certain cases, an application for divorce may allow your former spouse to contest any matter that had formerly been agreed upon. Whitney Smith can help you navigate the final step to ending the relationship, or ensure that you make an informed decision about whether you should oppose a divorce if you have been served with an application for divorce.

Custody refers to the right to make decisions about your children’s care, religion, medical treatment and education.

‍If you and your former partner have children together, you will need to make decisions about your child’s custody and care. As parents, you will either be given custody or access to your children:

  • As a custodial parent, you will have the right to make decisions about your child’s religion, education, and medical treatment.
  • As the parent granted access, you are able to visit your child and be informed about their education, health, and welfare.
  • Alternatively, custody can be joint between both parents.

When a judge rules on custody and access issues, he or she must do so by considering the best interests of your children.

Access refers to the living arrangements for the children and how much time each parent will spend with the child and under what terms.

Determining the best arrangement for your children can be a complex negotiation when the parents hold differing views. Children of a certain age (usually beginning around 11 or 12 years old) may have a say in their own living arrangements. In unfortunate circumstances, one party uses the custody or access of the children as leverage. Whitney can help bring the other side back to a principled negotiation on the merits rather than allowing your children to become bargaining chips.


Child support, although distinct from Access (see above) is often dependant on the amount of access each parent enjoys.

The principles behind child support are that each parent has a financial obligation to assist in raising the children. If the cost of raising the children is going to be disproportionately borne by one parent over another, the other parent ought to provide a financial contribution to the costs. Child Support is determined by the Child Support Guidelines of Canadian Law unless otherwise decided by the parents. However, the Child Support Guidelines are based on income. If one parent is intentionally unemployed or is hiding income or intentionally receiving less income, the courts may impute a level on income upon that person in order to ensure that the support paid is fair given the person’s means. If your spouse is hiding assets, runs his or her own business and intentionally takes less income, or is unemployed without legitimate cause, Whitney can help you achieve a fair settlement.


Child alienation is a painful component of divorce and custody disputes. It is the conditioning of a child to harbour hatred toward the alienated parent, forced to choose between the caregiver parent and the one whom they may feel has abandoned them..

‍Cases of suspected parental alienation are long, difficult and emotionally taxing. The relationship between the alienated parent and the child has already been damaged in many ways, and it is important to approach the case with a strong strategy and timeliness. As these types of cases are deeply painful and involve a lawyer and often a psychologist, it is prudent to work with professionals who are compassionate, thorough, and committed to halting the ongoing damage to both your child and your relationship with them. Whitney is prepared to help you navigate the law and aid you in salvaging and maintaining your rights to a relationship with your child.

Also known as “alimony” or “maintenance,” Spousal Support is paid by one spouse to another as compensation for any financial disadvantage that the recipient spouse has suffered as a result of his or her role in the relationship.

‍The amount of spousal support paid is often a highly negotiated figure and has complex tax implications. As with child support, there are times when parties attempt to hide, discount or otherwise lessen income in order to escape support obligations. We know that navigating this negotiation can be very stressful, and we want to guide you to an arrangement with your former spouse that will allow you to move forward.

Commonly referred to as a prenuptial agreement, a marriage agreement addresses the rights and obligations of the parties during the relationship and in the case of a future breakdown of the relationship.

‍This contract can determine:

  • Value and ownership of properties;
  • Spousal support;
  • Decisions about the education, religion, or upbringing of possible children; and/or
  • Other matters that may pertain to your situation.

A Cohabitation Agreement helps determine rights and obligations of a couple who lives together.

‍This contract acts similarly to a Marriage Agreement, but is meant for couples who are not married. This agreement will determine who owns what in the home in the case the relationship ends, however, it cannot deal with matters of child custody.

A Guardian is someone who is responsible for another person who is incapable of making his or her own decisions.

‍A person can be incapable of making decisions regarding management of property, or be incapable of providing or withholding consent to medical treatment. A guardianship order must be issued by the court as a result of an application brought against the person who will be subject to the guardianship order. A suitable candidate to become a guardian may be a friend or relative, so long as the applicant is able to act in the best interest of the incapable person. To be appointed a guardian for property, the court will typically require an asset management plan. Vandeputte Law is prepared to help you navigate the intricacies of substituted decisions law so that you can best assist your loved one.

Schedule a FREE CONSULTATION and regain control of your future!


W.N. – Casey’s and his team have always provided our family and business excellent advice and service. Casey is a leading lawyer in the Hamilton area

D.H. – I had the pleasure of using Vandeputte Law to handle a very sensitive family matter. I found them to be very professional and timely in handling my family issue not to mention getting the results I was looking for. I’m very happy in all aspects and would recommend them in the future. Since the matter has been resolved I have further used them in setting up a Will and will continue to rely on them in the future for any legal matters. Its nice to know I know have a one stop shop for all my legal needs. Thank you Whitney and Casey
A.P. – I highly recommend Casey and his team! They were very professional and efficient in completing my divorce. They kept me apprised of all progress and what to expect through the whole process. I have referred a number of family and friends, and will continue to do so. Thank you Vandeputte Law!
T.D. – Professional, responsive and knowledgeable.
Great communicator. Committed to helping and getting fair settlements. Highly recommend and will use Casey again.
T.V. – Casey and his team offer a great wealth of knowledge and really take the time to understand and listen to the needs of his clients, while getting the matter at hand done in a timely manner! Thanks Casey and your staff, we will be recommending you to our family and friends.
N.F. – Casey has incorporated 3 of our companies this year. The quality of service and turnaround time has been phenomenal. His staff is quick to answer questions or to scan and send over documents that we require ASAP. They are warm, friendly, and highly professional. Best lawyer we’ve ever used!
P.F. – We had a great experience with Kelly and the whole team. Had a last minute issue that was messed up by another service and we were way past any expected way to meet the deadlines. Called Vandeputte for some advise and somehow this team managed to pull it off on time and with smiles on their faces. Totally professional and went out of their way to help us even though the initial error had nothing to do with them. Thank you again!



Navigating a separation is fraught with so many challenges it can leave you feeling anxious, vulnerable and frustrated. Initially I had representation and that first experience was worrisome. I doubted that my lawyer was helping me.

In time, I decided to try and figure it out on my own. However, this too, is daunting for different reasons. The technical language of law and its processes and procedures are out of my league. I was feeling desperate and the entire time I was never closer to a resolution. In fact, it felt that the harder I tried, I still was slipping backward. It was a game to be played and I didn’t have a coach, I didn’t know the rules, and it seemed I was going to be run into the ground by the other team who was eagerly positioned to take advantage of my inexperience.

In an attempt to finally resolve the matter, I came to Casey Vandeputte and his team. From the moment I walked through the door and met the staff, everything felt…right. Amidst feelings of worry and doubt, I began to feel a new sense of confidence. Each person on the team I spoke with added a layer of kindness and friendliness which makes a stressful occasion much easier to manage. But this was just the start.



At Vandeputte Law, we strive for high levels of communication and accessibility.