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Divorce Lawyer

Divorce Lawyer You Can Trust Serving Niagara and St. Catharines

Divorce is painful and complicated. Will you lose your home? How do you divide the finances? What financial resources are you entitled to? Here at J. Leigh Daboll Law Office, I’m accustomed to being the divorce lawyer St. Catharines can count on to guide individual clients and families through the dissolution of a marriage, leaving no unpleasant surprises down the road. If you do not want to take your case to court, I also offer mediation services so you can resolve your divorce with less animosity and more cooperation. It doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think. I provide expert legal counsel at reasonable rates.


My nearly 30 years of combined experience in family, criminal, and employment law makes me competent enough to handle various cases. I offer legal advice, represent you in court, and take care of proper documentation. As your trusted divorce lawyer in Nagara and St. Catharines, I will protect your rights, allowing you to maintain confidentiality while avoiding conflicts of interest. I have successfully helped several clients navigate complex legal matters.


Getting Divorced

In simple terms, a divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage. A divorce isn’t necessary, with separation from your spouse being a reasonable alternative. However, a divorce is essential if either party in a marriage wants to remarry. The first step towards a divorce in Ontario is applying with either the Superior Court of Justice or the Unified Family Court. Once you decide to divorce your spouse, I will help you file all such applications.


All divorces are unique, involving factors like child support and parenting time, the division of property, and prenuptial agreements made years ago. I've handled various divorces over the years, allowing me to handle your case with discretion and sensitivity. Whether you want to file for a divorce or are being divorced by your spouse, I will uphold your rights.

Legal Grounds for Divorce

In Canada, you can legally get a divorce if you want one. However, before you're allowed a divorce, you need to fulfil at least one of the requirements that indicate the breakdown of your marriage. In all cases, you need to provide the court with proof that your situation meets the criteria.

One-year Separation

Getting a divorce is straightforward if you have lived apart from your spouse for more than a year, with no possibility of returning to cohabitation. The courts allow you to get a divorce on these grounds even when you and your spouse live together. In these circumstances, some factors that are considered include:

You've lived with your spouse only out of economic necessity
The communication patterns between you and your spouse
The meal timings
The defiance of matrimonial obligations


Another grounds for a divorce is when there is proof of adultery against either party. In legal terms, adultery is sexual intercourse with someone other than your spouse on your own accord. Divorces often become complicated when adultery is involved because of the resulting anger. It's important to mention that a divorce cannot be filed on the grounds of one's adultery. Adultery is hard to prove in court, so other factors like a tendency to commit adultery are considered.


A person is eligible for an immediate divorce if they can prove their spouse has been mentally or physically cruel to them. Naturally, the 'cruelty' cannot be minor but has to be severe enough to make prolonged cohabitation impossible. This is a complex matter which varies from marriage to marriage. The courts consider many factors when cruelty against a spouse is considered, including the deterioration of the physical or mental state of the victim.


Getting a divorce on any of these grounds is an intricate process. I will assist you every step of the way and ensure you don't feel unjustly treated by the end of the proceedings.

Your Divorce Questions Answered

When working with an experienced divorce lawyer, your divorce questions will be answered. Is your spouse resisting the divorce? Do you not want to go to court? Are you unsure what will happen to your children because of the divorce?


As a divorce lawyer in Niagara and St. Catharines, I also provide legal guidance for other aspects of family law that coincide with divorce law, such as separation agreements, parenting time access, and visitation rights. I’ll be able to go over every aspect of your situation to provide the guidance and answers you need.

Get the Help of a Divorce Lawyer in Niagara and St. Catharines

I’m here to help you navigate the complexities and confusion of divorce without emptying your pockets. My goal is to help you design a plan so you can experience increasing confidence and independence in your divorce case. I will also assist you in looking more realistically and optimistically at the path you will take through your present personal difficulties. When you need legal advice relating to the dissolution of a marriage, contact J. Leigh Daboll Law Office, your divorce lawyer in Niagara and St. Catharines, for assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding divorce lawyers:

  • Q: What If I Need a Wrongful Termination Lawyer in Niagara for Advice but Not for an Actual Court Case?
    A: As your wrongful termination lawyer in Niagara, I would suggest you choose our “unbundled” law service option. “Unbundling” means that you can choose which services you want and which to forego, which can be less expensive in the end. If you don’t need your lawyer present in court but rather to offer legal advice, You should consider our unbundled option. This way, you will never pay for non-essential legal services beyond those you require.
  • Q: I Am Going Through a Divorce but Have Never Needed a Lawyer Before. Won’t Hiring a Divorce Lawyer Be Expensive?
    A: I am here to assist you by providing advice and leadership to you in a difficult time, but I will not provide services you do not need. Instead, I will simply assist you in assessing the legal risks of your situation, providing direction relative to your choices and the probable consequences of those choices. While I can’t accurately estimate your costs in advance, since I don’t control every aspect of the case, I will settle your file as quickly and economically as possible.
  • Q: My Ex-husband and I Need to Work out Our Parenting Issues. Does Hiring a Family Lawyer in St. Catharines Mean We Have to Go to Court?
    A: No, as a family lawyer in St. Catharines, I offer mediation services. This means that I can help negotiate a resolution that is reasonable for both of you, which will save you money unless the two of you can’t reach an agreement within a certain amount of time.
  • Q: What Information Will You Provide to My Opponent?
    A: All information you give me remains confidential. I will not divulge any details that would violate your privacy in any way. In fact, your privacy is protected by law in Ontario and must be observed unless you waive it.
  • Q: What If I Need Your Services Outside Normal Business Hours?
    A: While my office hours are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM throughout the week, we sometimes make appointments available outside normal hours if circumstances require it. However, those appointments are the exception. We can minimize the number of costly appointments you need to attend here at our office through voice mail, email and fax. In fact, we suggest that you email us at the following addresses: J. Leigh Daboll, Lawyer: Samantha Bouwers, Law Clerk, Criminal/Civil/Estates: Heidi Topa, Law Clerk, Family/Divorce: Jennifer Bourque, Law Clerk, General Matters: Weekend and holiday appointments are also not generally available, but are available in cases of emergency or by special prior arrangement. Unfortunately, we are not available for consultation without appointments.
  • Q: What Are Your Current Rates?
    A: We charge to the nearest one-tenth of an hour for all activity on your case. Each hour billed to you is based on actual work done on your particular case. These are our present rates: J. Leigh Daboll $350.00 per hour Law Clerks $100.00 per hour You will be billed a flat consultation fee of $500.00 (including applicable HST) for the first two hours of your initial consultation, payable at the time of the meeting and/or prior to my advice being provided to you. This payment may be made by way of cash or cheque only. Our fees are also based on one or more of the following elements: The time spent on your behalf, and the service which is performed; The complexities of the issues, and your potential emotional and monetary exposure; The extent to which the expertise of this firm contributed to a successful outcome; The degree and type of resistance encountered; and, The extent to which any work needs to be performed on an emergency basis. These rates may be adjusted at any time. However, unless you are advised otherwise, we will not raise our fees more than $50.00/hour.
  • Q: How Can I save on Legal Fees?
    A: By minimizing the time we spend on your case. This means that it’s a good idea to give some thought to your appointment before you show up or call. You might, for instance, come with a written list of questions and concerns. By our first meeting, you should provide us with any documentation or written materials we may need. We suggest that you prepare a written chronology of your situation for clarity. It is best to provide as much as possible by email. Do not send us non-essential electronic replies to emails we send you or telephone conversations we have had with you, as we will bill you for the time it takes to read, print and file those communications. Also, when you call us and leave a voicemail, please clearly state the reason for your call (i.e., status of the case, etc.)
  • Q: What Is a “Disbursement?”
    A: Disbursements are actual file expenses incurred in your matter: printing, photocopying (25 cents per page), couriers, long-distance telephone calls, fax transmissions (25 cents per page), postage, court filing fees, parking costs, consultations with outside experts, etc.
  • Q: What Is a “Retainer?”
    A: The retainer is an amount paid to our firm in trust on the understanding that it will be used to satisfy our accounts for legal services and disbursements, at the time accounts are delivered. The retainer is a source of payment for your accounts. The retainer is not a flat fee nor an estimate of the cost of our services. The amount of the retainer is arbitrary to some extent. Before the issues are clarified and before we know the degree of resistance offered by the other side, we cannot predict the amount of work necessitated, nor the time needed to complete it.

A Divorce Doesn't Have to Be Complex

Let J. Leigh Daboll Law Office help you make your divorce easy and smooth in Niagara and St. Catharines.

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