Family breakdown is already a typically conflict-prone life event. But in recent years, a growing trend has emerged: allegations of criminal conduct arising at the start or during separation or divorce. Oftentimes, one spouse makes an accusation of domestic violence against the other spouse — and the results are immediate.
At Neuberger & Partners LLP, our lawyers have fought hundreds of domestic violence cases throughout Toronto, many of them intertwined with bitter family law proceedings. In an interview with Law Times, our founder, Joseph Neuberger, pointed out that fabrication comprised 15 per cent of those cases. If you are entangled in a case involving the intersection of criminal and family law, our lawyers can help.
The Impact Of Criminal Charges On Family Law Proceedings
Ontario has a zero tolerance policy for domestic violence. Once a family member reports an incident — even if false — the police are mandated to lay charges. While the policy protects victims in legitimate cases of abuse, the rules are now increasingly exploited by spouses seeking to gain leverage in a divorce case.
An accused faces immediate arrest by police. Bail conditions often stipulate that an accused may not return to the home or directly contact his or her spouse. This further complicates access to children as well as necessary interactions during the divorce.
The post-arrest conditions typically give rise to the accuser gaining de facto custody of children and exclusive possession of the matrimonial home. This can have potentially long lasting consequences for the accused in child custody, financial support and division of property.
Until the criminal charges are settled through the criminal justice system, the family law matter cannot proceed.
Thorough Investigation And Synchronized Legal Counsel
When a criminal charge arises in high-conflict divorce, seeking integrated legal counsel is a critical first step. At Neuberger & Partners LLP, our lawyers work in tandem with family lawyers, including Debra Snider, who has considerable experience in both family and criminal law. Together, we craft legal solutions aimed at eliminating inconsistencies and ensuring the best possible outcome in both the criminal and family law cases.
We use targeted investigative techniques and strategic legal planning to navigate the intertwined family and criminal law issues. From social media searches and incisive cross examination techniques to gaining expert opinions from secondary experts, we can help you to manage the impact of criminal charges during the course of your divorce case.