Separated but Still Living in the Same Home?

I am Chair of the Family Law Group at Mills & Mills LLP and practice exclusively in the area of family law, with a particular focus on cases involving domestic violence and spousal abuse. Every month I send out a newsletter full of helpful tips, advice and insights that will help you navigate through family law challenges.

Leanne’s Divorcing Well podcast: Support for men

Going through a separation or divorce is as tough on men as it is on women. Yet many of the supports and resources to help people navigate the process are geared to women, leaving men to muddle through on their own.

On a recent episode of my Divorcing Well podcast, I spoke with Brenda Bryson about the importance of divorce supports for men. She says men are often labelled as the villain in divorce, and that leaves many feeling isolated and alone.

Bryson is on a mission to empower men to share their experiences around the ending of their relationships by giving them the tools they need to find their bliss and live their best lives.

Listen on Apple or Spotify.

Separated, but still living under the same roof?

The past 15+ months have been filled with so much uncertainty and stress that some separating couples are choosing to temporarily remain in the same home to reduce the amount of change their children are facing.

n my new post, I offer some guidance on what couples who are in this boat should consider. At the top of the list is agreeing on the date of separation. If you’re no longer a couple, but living under the same roof, it’s crucial to come to an agreement as to your date of separation. I strongly recommend a properly executed separation agreement to avoid potential conflict down the road. 

This option isn’t suitable for everyone, but it’s workable if there are boundaries, clear communication and respect.

Read the blog

Leanne Townsend nominated as one of Canada's most influential lawyers in 2021

I am thrilled to announce I have been nominated as one of Canada’s most influential lawyers in 2021. 

The Top 25 Most Influential is a recognition of lawyers who have played a significant role in the legal profession and Canadian and international society in the last 18 months, according to Canadian Lawyer magazine. 

This Changemakers category for which I’ve been nominated includes lawyers and judges who have been leaders, innovators or catalysts for positive change in any area of the profession such as diversity, legal technology, law firm and practice management, education, access to justice, etc.

Being a family law lawyer is challenging work, but I love my job and the opportunity it gives me to advocate for my clients.

If you would like to vote for me, I’d appreciate your support. Please click the button below. Voting closes on June 25.

The Dish on Divorce: Understanding the financial aspects of divorce

Sorting out the money in divorce is one of the most complicated aspects of ending a marriage. When a couple separates, each spouse must file financial disclosure detailing their income, expenses, assets and debts. Those financial statements are used to determine spousal support and equalization payments, if they apply.

On a recent episode of The Dish on Divorce, we spoke with Mark Harendorf, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst at Accounting For Divorce. In addition to helping clients prepare financial statements, Mark also reviews their separation agreements and provides advice around the financial and tax implications of how assets are being divided.

Emotions often run high in divorce, and sometimes that limits a person’s ability to make sound financial decisions. A classic example is when one spouse wants to stay in the matrimonial home. Mark says he helps clients evaluate the merits of doing so and provides them with alternatives that might better serve them, such as selling the home and splitting the proceeds.

Catch the replay here and drop us a comment on what you would like to see in upcoming episodes.

Highlights from Instagram Live

Every week, I co-host an Instagram Live show with family lawyer Steve Benmor, where we discuss issues on the minds of divorced or divorcing spouses. Here are the topics from a couple of recent shows. Click on the link to check out the full episode.

Conflicts over COVID vaccinations

Can a parent restrict a child’s time with their ex if they haven’t had a COVID-19 vaccination? Although there are no legal cases on this issue yet, Steve and I discuss how family courts may handle the question.

Should you represent yourself in court?

More family law litigants are choosing to represent themselves in family court. In this IG Live, we explore the pros and cons of this approach and provide some options for people who don’t want to hire a lawyer to settle their family law matter..

Serving clients during COVID-19

As we navigate the new normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic,
the safety and well-being of clients is my top priority. Social distancing is vital right now to prevent the spread of the virus so I will continue to work with clients through virtual meetings. If you have any questions or concerns about your family law matter or would like to schedule a meeting, please reach out to me by email.


Looking for more information on what to expect during a divorce, abusive relationships, love and money, life after divorce or other family law topics? 


Check out the In the News and Blog sections of my website where there’s a wealth of great content to get you up to speed on everything you need to know.

Leanne Townsend, Family Lawyer

Partner, Brauti Thorning LLP
Brookfield Place161 Bay Street,
Suite 2900,
Toronto, ON M5J 2S1

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Leanne Townsend Lawyer and Divorce Coach
Leanne Townsend is a multifaceted entrepreneur and attorney experienced in the areas of family law and domestic violence. She provides a full range of family law legal services in addition to running workshops and other programs to support people as they go through divorce.

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