I practise exclusively family law from my office in Toronto (near Hwy 401 and Allen Rd.).
I have assisted clients in Ontario both within the Greater Toronto Area, and in courts beyond including Ottawa, Welland, St. Catharines, Stratford, Orangeville, Sarnia, London, Cobourg, Belleville, Barrie, Parry Sound and Cochrane.
Foreign jurisdiction clients (with Ontario based cases) have come from such places as Australia, China, Netherlands, South Carolina, Arizona, Calgary, and British Columbia.
How I Treat My Clients
I provide a high level of personal service to my clients. When I take your case you know that you are dealing one-on-one with a senior family law lawyer. To maintain a high level of service for my clients, I limit the number of cases that I will handle at any point in time.
Communication between a lawyer and client is crucial. I normally return phone calls and emails within 24 hours – usually much less. All incoming and outgoing letters, e-mails, and documents are forwarded to the client without delay.
I also like to save my clients money wherever possible. Where there is a staff person or associate lawyer available to competently complete tasks at a lower hourly rate, then rest assured that we will employ such measures to save you money.
The Types of Cases I Take
I practise exclusively family law, and will take cases dealing with any family law issue, such as divorce, custody, access, support, property division, marriage contracts ("pre-nups"), and child protection. I also am able to handle contested estate matters given the similarity to family law dynamics and the legal overlap with respect to many issues.
After more than 30 years as a family law lawyer, I find that I do best for clients who have challenging situations of fact and/or law. I welcome complex cases, particularly meritorious appeals on points of law.
Clients who face challenges with respect to seeing their kids (including ' parental alienation' situations) have especially sought out my services over the years.
No simple matters:
I normally do not undertake simple matters such as uncontested divorces. I am not able to accept Legal Aid matters.
I represent clients in all Ontario Courts, and have argued many cases at the Ontario Court of Appeal. Most of my cases are in Toronto, Oshawa, Whitby, Newmarket, Brampton, Milton, and Hamilton.
I also represent clients involved in arbitration or mediation.
I am a proud father of seven children and I have many grandchildren, I realize how essential it is for children to have significant contact and input from both parents. A divorce should not mean that one parent becomes cut off from the children.
Unless the children are in danger of harm, I will not represent any parent who advocates that the children should not see the other parent. Any parent who wishes to use his/her kids as a weapon to punish the other spouse would be well advised to avoid even inquiring about hiring me.
Is Gene C. Colman only a Dad's Lawyer?
I believe that men generally have been quite poorly treated by Canada's family law justice system. The "deadbeat dad" stereotype has unfortunately become mainstream and has made its way into the very fabric of the legal system.
I have found that in many cases for a father to maintain a meaningful relationship with his children post-separation/divorce, he must bring forth much more and better quality evidence than would a mother. Many of my clients are fathers who wish to maintain relationships with their children.
Do I represent women? Certainly. My clients quickly come to realize that my chief concern is representing people whose rights and concerns are unfairly threatened. Men certainly do not have a corner on injustice.
My approach to dispute resolution:
I will do my best to ultimately attain a fair resolution. The divorce case will end, but contact over children's issues will continue for many years.
Many people have complained that lawyers just take your money and make the conflict worse. In my view, it is the lawyer's responsibility to keep the conflict as civil as possible. It is a matter of good advocacy to act in a professional manner. The dispute resolution process should involve the following:
- The lawyer and the client gather the pertinent facts and documents.
- The lawyer suggests a realistic range of possible outcomes based on the law and the facts of the case.
- Lawyer and client seek a resolution that enables the two sides and their children to move forward with some degree of comfort and dignity.
If a conciliatory approach will 'do the trick', then negotiations are pursued. If tough litigation is called for, then the court route (or private arbitration) is vigorously pursued.
Please look around my web site. Read a little of what I have written. Consider your options very carefully. If you like, give me a call and we can chat a bit first on the phone. In any event, thank you for visiting Gene C. Colman's Family Law Centre.
If you would like to learn more about my expertise, click here.