SMITHEN Law, Child & Family Advocacy is a Toronto-based family law boutique firm that offers unparalleled service. We represent and advise clients in all areas of family law. Some of the issues we tackle daily for our clients are custody & access, child and spousal support, child protection, mobility, jurisdictional & cross-border family law issues, restraining orders, domestic contracts (cohabitation, pre-nuptial and separation agreements), exclusive possession of matrimonial homes, equalization and division of property.
If there is a pressing family law issue in your life, we’re available to help you.
We act for parents and other family law players in mediation, negotiation and in the courts. Our firm is frequently recommended by other lawyers (including opposing counsel in matters in which we’ve already worked), lawyers’ rating web sites, women’s shelters, court staff, police officers and especially former clients.
Family law is the whole focus of the work we do. We practice it, write about it and speak about it every chance we get. We work hard at putting our compassion, experience and knowledge into everything we do for you and your family.
We understand that you’re looking for a legal team with the ability to deliver exceptional advocacy. We know alternative ways to resolve disputes. While we work regularly in mediation and arbitration, we also have significant motion and trial experience. We regularly represent family law clients in multiple locations of the Ontario Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Justice in and around the Greater Toronto Area and beyond.
Powerful, persuasive and passionate advocacy is the cornerstone of our law firm.
We pride ourselves in resolving family law disputes quickly and cost-effectively. Most often that means not using court resources. It is, however, our court room experience that gives us perspective in moving matters forward in a sensible manner whether that’s through negotiation, mediation/arbitration or litigation. No matter what the forum, we rely on our powerful, persuasive and passionate advocacy in getting you the results you need to move forward in a spousal relationship or move on with your life after the breakdown of a marriage.
Family law frequently overlaps with other areas including business, criminal, immigration, estate, tax and trust law. We are always working with other lawyers who have this expertise as well as accountants, business valuators, mediators, parenting coordinators, psychologists, psychiatrists, real estate appraisers and addiction counsellors. If your case has one of these issues involved, we know where to get the necessary information to help you make informed decisions.
Whatever your family law challenge may be, we realize that it is the most pressing and important thing in your life. Simple or complex, we are here to enthusiastically serve you. If you’re involved in a child protection proceeding, we’ll help you put together a comprehensive plan to help you try to persuade a judge to return your children.
Kathy is a powerful advocate who strategically advocates for her clients in Ontario courts. She has also promoted her clients’ claims in private mediation and arbitration before some of this country’s most respected arbitrators. She is as persuasive on her feet in court, mediation and/or arbitration as she is in making compelling submissions for her clients in writing.
She provides a flexible, individualized approach to the cases she takes on, tailored to the specific needs of each family.
Kathy is fair, detail-oriented and fiercely loyal to her clients. She is devoted to improving and applying the law as it relates to families and children in Ontario.
She is particularly passionate about representing women who have been victims of domestic and/or sexual assault. She is committed to using her skills as a family lawyer to help them, and their children, find safety, stability and financial resources to build new lives free from violence. She works frequently with women’s shelters and other stakeholders to help keep women – and their children – represented in the family courts.
Kathy started her career as a lawyer at the age of 49. She studied as a mature student and single parent at Osgoode Hall Law School. She was called to the Bar of Ontario after a lifetime of unusual, personal exposure to the judicial system in Canada. Her experiences give her a practical but extraordinary perspective as a family lawyer.
Kathy earned a Juris Doctor degree in 2008 after graduating from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Journalism Degree, where her major was Broadcast, in 2002. She worked as a freelance journalist before becoming a lawyer. She regularly attends professional development programs to enhance her skills and is a new speaker at them, too.
Kathy worked for Pro Bono Students in the Family Law Project for two years as a volunteer student during law school. She helped self-represented litigants prepare emergency motions in the Superior Courts of Justice in Brampton and Toronto. Before becoming a lawyer, Kathy was a successful, self-represented family law litigant who was awarded $50,000 in costs in her own case where the imputation of income of a support payor was the major issue. Kathy articled for a criminal defence firm where she honed her skills at the intersection of family and criminal law.
Kathy spends her spare time engaged in art, film, helping her adult daughter plan her Big Fat Greek wedding, music, sculpture, screenwriting and Jewish genealogy.
To speak with Kathy about how she might assist you with your matter, please contact her Senior Law Clerk, Armando J. Dominguez, at 416-925-2123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Armando J. Dominguez is a Senior Law Clerk who joined the firm in May of 2014. He is a graduate of the Law Clerk Diploma (Honours) program at Humber College. Armando brings over eleven years of dedicated and passionate experience of working exclusively in family law to the firm. He has worked in cases involving collaborative law, mediation, arbitration, litigation and appeals.
Armando has worked on very complex family law cases throughout his career. He assisted in a file where an Anton Pillar Order was obtained as well as others where hidden properties, foreign assets and complex financial statements were involved. He is particularly adept at dealing with the filing intricacies of each court house he deals with as a family law clerk.
Armando oversees all aspects of the firm’s client management, including telephone calls, meetings, drafting, assembling, serving and filing court documents. He enjoys working directly with clients and understands the complex emotions that result from a separation and divorce. Armando strives to remove any intimidation clients may feel about the family law process with his warm and charming personality. His focus is always on assisting the client.
Armando is a native of Venezuela. He and his wife earned law degrees before moving to Canada. He spends all his free time with his wife and two young daughters who are the light of his life. They travel internationally every year. Some of their recent adventures have been to Japan, France, Italy and Spain. Armando loves baseball and is a proud New York Yankees fan.
Armando can be reached at 416-925-2123 or email@example.com
Chloe is a bilingual law student who will bring her persuasive advocacy, negotiating skills and passion for family law and child protection work to the firm in early December 2017. She is a graduate of both McGill University and the University of Exeter, a recognized law school in the United Kingdom. Her law degree at Exeter was accredited in Canada in April 2017.
Chloe has worked in private practice learning about family, immigration and refugee law. She has outstanding research and editing skills. She has worked with lawyers and clients at the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto learning about child protection law in her role as a disclosure worker. She also supervised 30 volunteers at JusticeNet and worked as a Triage Coordinator for Pro Bono Law in the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto. She was a volunteer probation officer, too, working with offenders.
While in law school, Chloe founded Women & Law Exeter which was responsible for drawing attention to the challenges women face in the legal profession for which she was recognized by her peers with a Community Development Award. She was also published in the Exeter Student Law Review.
Chloe holds an Ontario Core French Certificate. She is passionate about long distance running, yoga, tennis, baking and vegetarian cooking.
Chloe can be reached at 416-925-2123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“K. Smithen was a wonderful lawyer to work with. She was attentive to my situation and closely followed my case every step of the way. She listened to my story, answered all my legal questions, and worked very hard in the progression of my legal matter. She is a passionate lawyer and fights for the best interest of her client and the child. She was extremely professional and managed the case with such grace. Overall strong family law lawyer. You’re more that just another person with K. Smithen; she is a compassionate person that works very hard to meet your needs. Strongly recommend her!!”
“Ms. Smithen is professional and cares for her clients. I was able to focus in my situation and relay all the legal stuff to her. Due to her knowledge, I was able to secure a home for my kids. She offers good advice and makes sure the job gets done. Her rates are fair and the quality of her job is excellent. She is prompt to respond even on weekends or evenings. During the worst time of my life I felt protected and cared for. Without her I would have been a mess. She is strong communicator and when in court she has a great presence and makes you feel comfortable in an unfamiliar environment. When sick you call a doctor. With a divorce, you want her representing you.”
“Dear Kathy, Thank you so much for having all that you have done as my lawyer. You truly are doing an amazing job so far. I am so glad that you understood my situation. I love that you are meticulous in your approach. I am grateful to you because my children are now able to get the help as needed. just want you know that I acknowledge how hard you work and I do appreciate that. When I did my research in looking for a lawyer, I want you to know that I did come upon some of your history, but none the less this never bothered me. In fact, I want you to know for someone that has come such a long way in her journey of ups and downs and who you have become today, that’s quite amazing. So thank you for being YOU!”
“Mrs. Smithen is a wonderful lawyer who helped me get out of a violent marriage. She was kind and gentle with me and my kids. She knew what my concerns were before I even asked her about things. She was very tough but fair and polite with my husband's lawyer and made it clear that she was sticking by me no matter what. She seemed to know everybody who worked at the court house from the clerks to the police officers. I always felt in good hands and protected even though I was scared to death of going to court. If I had to go through it all again, she is the only lawyer I would trust to be my champion.”
The SMITHEN Law, Child & Family Advocacy web site provides general information on legal and related matters. Our web site does not contain legal advice. If you require legal advice, you need to retain a lawyer. If you would like SMITHEN Law, Child & Family Advocacy to give you legal advice please contact us. We would be pleased to assist you.
Until we specifically agree to act for you on a matter, you should not provide us with unsolicited or confidential material. Unsolicited information will not be treated as confidential and will not be protected by lawyer-client privilege.
The SMITHEN Law, Child & Family Advocacy web site contains links and documents maintained by third parties. The linked sites have separate and independent privacy policies which we recommend you read carefully. SMITHEN Law, Child & Family Advocacy does not endorse the form or content of any of those documents or web sites.
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This web site is provided without warranty of any kind. In no event is SMITHEN Law, Child & Family Advocacy liable for any damages in connection with the use or inability to use this site.
2017 © SMITHEN Law, Child & Family Advocacy
SMITHEN Law, Child & Family Advocacy recognizes the importance of privacy and sensitivity of personal information. As lawyers, we have a professional obligation to keep confidential all information we we receive within a lawyer-client relationship. Our relationship with you is founded on trust and we are committed to maintaining that trust. We are committed to protecting any personal information we hold.
YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS
From January 1, 2004, all businesses engaged in commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (the “Act”) and the Canadian Standards Association Model Code for the protection of personal information, which it incorporates. These obligations extend to lawyers and law firms, including SMITHEN Law, Child & Family Advocacy. The Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.
SMITHEN Law, Child & Family Advocacy is responsible for the personal information we collect and hold. To ensure this accountability, we have developed this policy and trained our lawyers and support staff about our policies and practices.
PURPOSES FOR COLLECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
Our firm collects personal information for the following limited purposes:
. to establish and maintain client lists;
. to represent you as our client; and
. for internal purposes including the professional development of firm lawyers and law clerks.
WHAT PERSONAL INFORMATION DO WE COLLECT?
Personal information is any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be deduced. We collect and use your personal information in order to provide you with legal services. Our firm restricts the collection of personal information only to that information that is necessary for the purposes noted above. We are committed to collecting personal information in a fair, open and lawful manner. Wherever possible, we collect your personal information directly from you at the start of a retainer and in the course of our representation.
In most cases, we shall ask you to specifically consent if we collect, use or disclose your personal information. Sometimes, your consent may be implied through your conduct with us.
USE OF YOUR INFORMATION
By retaining our firm, you have confirmed your trust in us. We are honoured by this trust and take pride in serving you.
We use your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you and to administer our client (time and billing) databases. We are obliged for legal purposes to retain our client files after the end of the retainer.
SMITHEN Law, Child & Family Advocacy does not disclose your personal information to any third party to enable them to market their products and services. For example, we do not provide our client mailing lists to other law firms.
Our firm stores and maintains personal information in conformity with the requirements of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the model code for the protection of personal information created and approved by the Canadian Standards Association.
DISCLOSURE OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
Under certain circumstances, SMITHEN Law, Child & Family Advocacy will disclose your personal information:
. When we are required or authorized by law to do so, for example if a court issues a subpoena or
summons to witness;
. When you have consented to the disclosure;
. When the legal services we are providing to you require us to give your information to third parties (for
example, a professional retained to conduct a custody/access assessment or a mediation) your
consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise;
. When it is necessary to establish or collect fees;
. If we engage a third party to provide administrative services to us (like computer backup services or
. If we engage expert witnesses on your behalf; and
. If the information is already public known.
IS MY PERSONAL INFORMATION SECURE?
Our firm has developed and implemented security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the personal information kept by us. We take all reasonable precautions to ensure that your personal information is kept safe from loss, unauthorized access, modification or disclosure. Among the steps taken to protect your information are:
. Premises security;
. Restricted file access to personal information;
. Deploying technological safeguards like security software and firewalls to prevent hacking or
unauthorized computer aces; and
. Internal password and security policies.
We ensure that any of our employees who deal with personal information are properly trained and are aware of the necessary and appropriate measures required to protect personal information.
Our firm makes information about its policies and practices respecting the collection and maintenance of personal information available to all interested parties.
We are pleased to answer any questions that you may have regarding the collection and maintenance of personal information.
You may ask for access to any personal information we hold about you. Summary information is available on request. More detailed responses which require archival or other retrieval costs may be subject to our normal professional and disbursement fees.
Our firm is committed to maintaining accurate, complete and up-to-date personal information. If you are aware of changes to the personal information you have given to us, simply inform us of the changes and we will update our records accordingly.
CAN I REQUEST ANONYMITY?
Whenever it is legal and practicable, we may offer the opportunity to deal with general inquiries without providing your name (for example, by accessing general information on our website).
COMMUNICATING WITH US
You should be aware that e-mail is not a 100% secure medium and you should be aware of this when contacting us to send personal or confidential information.
REQUESTS FOR ACCESS
If you have any questions or wish to access your personal information, please write to our Privacy Contact at SMITHEN Law, Child & Family Advocacy, 5 Brian Peck Crescent, Suite 302, Toronto, ON M4G 4J7.
On our web site, like most other commercial web sites, we may monitor traffic patterns, site usage and related site information in order to optimize our web service. We may provide aggregated information to third parties, but these statistics do not include any identifiable personal information.
Disclaimer | Privacy | © 2017 SMITHEN Law, Child & Family Advocacy