Common Law Couples in Ontario
August 16, 2022
Family disputes, such as separation and divorce, are one of the most challenging legal processes a person can face. They are emotionally and financially draining and consume enormous amounts of time and energy. Add to that the inherently personal nature of family law disputes, and the result is that individuals often feel isolated, vulnerable, and overwhelmed. For these reasons, as family law practitioners, we focus on mitigating the challenges by working toward resolution in a compassionate, caring, and safe environment. Our mission is to help empower our clients with choices and confidence.
At Long Shariff & Associates, we are committed to finding the best solution for each client in an efficient, healthy, and cost-effective way. Our practice is primarily focused on family law, with additional practice areas such as wills & estates, and criminal law, all of which supplement and support our family law practice.
Long Shariff & Associates is the largest family law firm in Stouffville. We proudly serve our community as well as traditionally under-serviced surrounding areas including but not limited to, Ajax, Brooklin, Aurora, Newmarket, Uxbridge, Whitby, Oshawa, Mount Albert, Ballantrae, Zephyr. We also regularly serve clients in Markham and throughout the Toronto area.
Our team places a strong emphasis on client service, and we always strive to treat every person with empathy and understanding. We know our clients are facing stressful situations and we aim to eliminate that stress in any way possible. To that end, we encourage the exploration of solutions focused on achieving our client’s goals and interests while minimizing conflict whenever possible. We also work to represent clients in the most cost-effective manner to avoid unnecessary expenses. Our clients often tell us our approachable nature provided them with considerable relief during an otherwise very anxious time, which we take as the highest compliment.
At Long Shariff & Associates, we believe a team approach is the best approach. We collaborate with one another on a regular basis to ensure each client benefits from the breadth of our experience. We can often be found congregating in groups to discuss a particularly complex file or issue, in order to pool our knowledge and resources and identify the best path forward. When you retain our firm, you receive the benefit of decades of combined experience working together in your best interests.
At Long Shariff & Associates, we believe that working towards a shared goal is the best approach to take in most family law disputes. For this reason, we often encourage a collaborative process for resolving family issues. When we meet with a client, we take the time to learn all of the nuances of their situation before providing an honest and open assessment to help identify their options and the best path forward.
Both of our founding partners, Jennifer Long and Romaana Shariff, are trained collaborative family law lawyers and find this to be the ideal resolution method in most cases. The process is not positional like other resolution methods; it requires both parties, and their lawyers, to work together to resolve all issues, from financial matters to parenting plans. We believe that the focus on meeting each party’s needs over conflict will almost always result in a more efficient and productive resolution than other, more contentious processes. Even in cases where there are plenty of negative emotions to go around, collaborative family law often helps to cut through those feelings and get to a resolution that works for everyone.
While methods such as mediation, negotiation and arbitration can be a more efficient and cost-effective dispute resolution option than a trial, they still tend to be quite adversarial by nature. However, if collaborative methods don’t have the desired result or a client’s circumstances demand a different tactic, these are effective alternative options for avoiding litigation. ADR methods differ from one another in process but are often each more cost-effective and flexible than litigation in court.
We generally believe that traditional litigation should be used strategically and as a last resort for most of our clients. The process is combative by nature, which can create increased stress and be counterproductive to preserving family dynamics. Further, litigation is often drawn out and more costly than other resolution methods. However, in certain situations, or after other methods have failed, litigation may be necessary. When this is the case, all of our lawyers are well versed and trained in litigation and have many years of experience at various levels of court. We also have the benefit of having Colin Still, counsel with Long Shariff & Associates, who is a seasoned and highly respected family law lawyer with over 35 years of experience in highly complex financial litigation issues.
At Long Shariff & Associates, we offer a full range of family law services and have considerable experience in a variety of resolution methods. We assist clients with the following issues:
The compassionate lawyers at Long Shariff & Associates work with clients seeking attentive and experienced representation in a variety of divorce, separation and related family law matters. We work as a team to identify the best method to ensure our clients’ needs and goals are met in each situation and bring about a successful result. To discuss your matter with a member of our team, please reach out to us online, or call us at 905-591-4545.