Patricia B. Simpson Professional Corporation Sensible Family Law

Separation is difficult enough. Your lawyer should facilitate solutions and not add to your problems. I offer patient and responsive representation and clear advice about your rights and responsibilities when a relationship ends.

I believe that most family law clients benefit when the legal issues arising from separation and divorce are resolved in the most collaborative, amicable and efficient manner possible. I also help clients to negotiate marriage contracts and cohabitation agreements.

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Legal Process Options

Relationships are all different. Clients need different kinds of help with their family matters.

Some couples have agreed on many things and need help “papering” their agreement. In that case I can draft a separation agreement or domestic contract, or provide you with independent legal advice (“ILA”) if your spouse’s lawyer did the drafting.

Some couples are going to mediation and my client needs some advice before or during that process, or needs ILA once the mediator has prepared a draft separation agreement.

Some couples need help with the negotiation. I can coach you through some of the discussions, or carry out the discussions with your spouse’s lawyer.

I recommend the collaborative process when there are many moving parts. In the collaborative process you and your spouse each have a collaboratively trained lawyer to advise and assist you. We use family professionals and financial professionals to make the process and negotiation more efficient and productive. We are all committed to a respectful process that recognizes that you are beginning a new and different chapter as a family.

Settlement Focused Family Law Services in Ottawa

I am a family lawyer in Ottawa, Ontario. I provide my clients with reliable advice about their family matters and about the processes available to negotiate and resolve any issues. I offer a no charge 15 minute telephone call so that you can tell me about your matter and decide if we might work well together. Call or email to arrange.

Separation Agreement

A separation agreement is a legally binding document that contains the terms of settlement reached by you and your ex.

Cohabitation Agreement or Marriage Contract

Often referred to as “pre-nup” or a domestic contract, a marriage contract or cohabitation agreement sets out terms that you and your partner agree should apply if your relationship ends.


Personalized solutions and advocate for your interests to achieve a fair and amicable resolution to your divorce case. A divorce is required if a party wants to re-marry.


Family Law Blog

Child Support in Ottawa, Ontario

The Federal Child Support Guidelines are intended to establish fair and objective amounts for support of children after separation.  The Guidelines set out a table of monthly child support based on province of residence, number of children, and annual income of the...

Apr 3, 2024

How Property Gets Divided on Separation

The information here is specific to Ontario, and the answer depends on whether the couple is married or living common-law, and on whether the couple has a cohabitation agreement or marriage contract.

Feb 6, 2024

Why a Collaborative Divorce Makes Sense

Find out Who Can Benefit from a Collaborative Divorce, How the Collaborative Process Works, Why Collaborative Separation Works. Contact Pat Simpson to discuss if a collaborative separation could work for you.

Jan 12, 2024


Technically, we don’t call them pre-nups in Ontario:  they are marriage contracts or cohabitation agreements.  All marriage contracts, cohabitation agreements and separation agreements are domestic contracts. Why would you want a marriage contract or a cohabitation...

Jul 7, 2023

Top 10 Tips for an Easier Divorce

WATCH THE VIDEO ON YOUTUBE Welcome. Thank you for joining Collaborative Divorce Ottawa's presentation of the top 10 tips for an easier divorce. I'm Pat Simpson. I'm a lawyer in Ottawa practicing with Low Murchison Radnoff with a settlement focused type of practice....

Jun 9, 2023

Thinking About Separating?

The decision to separate from a spouse or common law partner is a big one. A separation often involves major changes: from where you live, to how you parent, to your financial picture. A consultation with a family law lawyer early on can: explain your rights and...

May 18, 2023