Separation can be one of the most emotionally charged and stressful events in one’s lifetime, yet it does not have to be. What is essential to reducing that stress and potential conflict between spouses is having a calm and highly experienced advocate advising and guiding you through the legal process towards settlement on all issues. Graeme Fraser’s knowledge, skills and experience are unparalleled in this area of law.

First and foremost, Graeme strongly encourages and utilizes all forms of alternative dispute resolution in his approach to achieving a mutually desirable settlement. Graeme is a long term member of the Collaborative Practice Ottawa group, and he highly recommends this process to the majority of his clients.

In fact, the process used in resolving matters between separating spouses is perhaps the most important decision to consider at the outset. Frequently, a separation agreement can be negotiated and finalized between the parties and their counsel. This can occur through communications and correspondence between the lawyers’ offices, and/or directly through 4-way meetings with both spouses and their lawyers together. Very often, mediation can be the best option to consider, which can occur either with or without counsel present, depending on the personal circumstances of the parties involved. Private arbitration can be a desirable process also, as opposed to court, as the spouses can select the arbitrator to use and results are attainable much more quickly. It is clearly preferable to try to use any of these methods to resolve your family law situation, and Graeme’s excellent reputation and cooperative approach is very well suited to each and every one of these processes.

Family court proceedings, in limited cases, are sometimes the only realistic option.In addition to his private clientele, Graeme Fraser has been a principal Ottawa counsel for the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services for over 20 years. He has successfully represented the Ministry at countless trials in family court.

This experience, coupled with his criminal law background of 20 years, stands him in very good stead for his family law clients, in family court, where he is both comfortable and confident. If you require a senior family law trial counsel, you could not be in better hands, as Graeme will aggressively pursue the best possible result for you.


If family court proceedings are required to deal with all, or some matters between separating spouses, a claim for divorce may be included within that application. Alternatively, if spouses are able to resolve matters using any of the alternative dispute resolution processes described, a divorce application may be commenced and the order obtained on an uncontested basis.

Marriage Contracts & Cohabitation Agreements

Whether you and your partner intend to marry, or to live together in a common-law relationship, and especially if either or both of you are bringing property into the relationship, it is highly recommended that you execute a formal marriage contract, or cohabitation agreement. This will significantly reduce, and in most cases eliminate, any major disputes arising between you should you ever separate in the future.

In addition to all of the foregoing, Graeme Fraser provides legal advice and representation in these areas:

  • Support Variation
  • Custody Variation
  • Constructive Trust
  • Adoption
  • Annulment

The principal issues that must be dealt with upon separation include the following:

  • Parenting, also referred to as Custody and Access
  • Mobility Rights
  • Child Support
  • Spousal Support
  • Division of Property and Finances
  • Matrimonial Home – possession, transfer of ownership and re-financing, or sale
  • Pensions
  • RRSP’s
  • Debts
  • Taxes and Benefits
  • Life Insurance
  • Benefit Plan Coverage
  • Estates
  • Releases

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