What is a Family Lawyer? - Zukerman Law

What is a Family Lawyer?

Whether biological or the product of marriage, family dynamics are often complicated. Complex or highly emotional situations such as a separation or divorce only serve to further complicate these relationships and that is where a family lawyer comes in. Family law, in general, focuses on resolving disputes between spouses by way of separation agreements, mediation, or litigation in relation to property identification, valuation and division, spousal and/or child support, custody/parenting agreements and any other matters arising from a marriage or relationship breakdown.

In Canada, family law is governed by both federal and provincial legislation and Court Rules. In any separation, it is difficult to settle disputes, particularly over sensitive topics without the assistance of professionals. Family lawyers represent clients throughout negotiations, mediation and even litigation, should it come down to it. As with any specialized service, family lawyers will have their own expertise in certain areas, from dispute mediation to drafting agreements, expert counsel can offer guidance to clients.

What Do Family Lawyers Do?

The overall goal of a family lawyer is to resolve disputes between two parties and to help both sides define their rights and responsibilities toward one another. During a highly emotional time, it can be difficult to stay objective, particularly toward a former partner. Family lawyers work to create an unbiased middle ground in which resolutions can be found.

One of the most useful tools at the disposal of a family lawyer is the ability to negotiate, mediate or arbitrate. A good lawyer does not only have extensive understanding of the law and courtroom advocacy as it pertains to a certain case but offers compassion to each client’s unique situation. With over 32 years of experience under their belt, the experts at Zukerman are able to negotiate agreements that enable clients to manage their current situations in a healthy way, moving forward and looking to the future or to aggressively and effectively advocate in court or arbitration for their client’s when agreements cannot be reached.

Reaching An Agreement

Whether reached through negotiation, mediation or arbitration, agreements are an excellent way to set the framework for a successful arrangement going forward. Preparing an agreement with counsel helps clients to understand their rights, what a realistic agreement might look like and which fights are worth pursuing or conceding. We have counsel who are accredited with the Law Society as being Experienced Surrey Mediators, Collaborative Lawyers, and Surrey Family Law Arbitrators.

Child Support & Custody / Parenting Agreements: No matter the situation, the welfare of a child or children will always be the primary concern for parents. Speaking with a family lawyer can help to create an agreement that works for both parties and relieves tension, creating a stress-free environment for both parents and children. These agreements cover financial support, decision making responsibilities, along with residency and how time will be divided between households. Our Associates have extensive experience at being Surrey Child Custody and Child Support Lawyers.

Spousal Support Agreements: Going from a two-income household to a single wage earner can have a drastic impact on one’s financial situation. A well drafted spousal support agreement can help to create a fair scale and duration of support. These agreements are designed to be temporary but depend on a wide range of factors involving individual needs, means and capabilities and roles taken on by either spouse during the marriage or relationship. All of our associates are experienced Surrey Spousal Support Lawyers.

Property Division: Dividing assets or investments held either jointly or in one spouses name can often be a contentious issue. Determining “who gets what” is what most often leads to court hearings. Family lawyers can help to sift through assets, creating a clearer picture of what is excluded from division, what is divisible and what a fair valuation and division may look like. All of our Surrey Property Division Lawyers are experienced in property division and can also offer guidance on what should or should not be counted as marital property and can offer proposals that benefit their client.


Stuart Zukerman

Stuart Zukerman, a graduate of the University of British Columbia, has over 32 years of experience in litigation with a focus on Family Law, Personal Injury, Wrongful Dismissal claims, and Collaborative Divorce & Mediation. He has extensive trial experience in divorce, child custody, spousal support, asset division, and ICBC injury claims. As an accredited Family Law Mediator, he helps resolve disputes without court intervention. Stuart has also authored papers on family law and lectured at CLE courses.