Chantel Lawton

Barrister, Solicitor and Notary Public


Helping separating families through the difficult transition to independent lives with dignity is my passion. During the journey of separation and divorce, I provide you with the support you need to help your family focus on, and achieve whatever goals your family have laid out. Most importantly, I make sure your family is going to be okay. I support you and your family each step of the way. In the collaborative process I help guide you through to a respectful and peaceful process towards a resolution. The process is focused and tailored for your unique family.

My goal for the collaborative process is for your family to be able to move forward, to be okay, and to to have the closure needed to be at peace.

I graduated from the University of Western Ontario with an Honours Bachelor of Music (Education) in 1997. I obtained my Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Windsor in 2001 and was called to the bar in 2002. My practice has focused primarily on Family Law. I have been working as a collaborative lawyer since being specially trained in 2012.

Chantel Lawton

Chantel Lawton

Barrister, Solicitor and Notary Public
I've been assisting my clients with all of their Family Law needs since 2002. My primary focus is on Collaborative Family Practice, Separation and Divorce. I also provide services for Wills and Estates.

"We are committed to maintaining an understanding, positive, welcoming and safe environment for you and your family."

Family Law

We provide exceptional service to you in all aspects of Family Law, Collaborative Family Practice, Divorce and Separation. Separation and Divorce is a difficult and emotional process. You require the knowledge, expertise and support we can offer to you.

I use my specialized training in Collaborative Family Law to support you and your family find an effective resolution of your separation or divorce. Through the Collaborative approach, I guide you and your family to a resolution that is focused on what is most important to your family. Using the principles of Collaborative Practice, I work with the Collaborative team to identify each family's goals and interests, what is important to them, and to creatively develop options for resolving the issues based on the needs of their unique family.

We can assist you with:

  • Collaborative Family Practice resolutions
  • Family Mediation
  • Separation Agreements, Marriage Contracts, Parenting Agreements, Cohabitation Agreements
  • Supporting you through the Mediation process
  • Divorce
  • Representation in Family Court
  • Family Adoptions
  • Custody and Access
  • Child and Spousal Support
  • Property Division
  • Independent Legal Advice
  • Will and Estate Matters

What is Collaborative Family Law?

What do you want for your family? What do you want for your children? How do you want to feel at the end of the process? What is most important to you? These are the types of questions we ask both spouses engaging in collaborative negotiation. Collaborative process allows you to control the outcome. The end result of a collaborative negotiation is a binding separation agreement between yourself and your former spouse. The process is completely private and confidential.

Collaborative law is not about engaging in a battle where there is a winner and loser. Instead, it is a process through which both parties are able to speak about what is important to them and the team works towards a resolution that is a win for both spouses and the children.

What is Family Mediation?

  • A way to resolve issues arising from your separation or divorce.
  • A voluntary process that can be designed to meet your families needs.
  • Private and confidential.
  • Both spouses work with one mediator who guides the discussion and helps you reach a resolution. Mediation can include lawyers for both spouses or can be with just the spouses.
  • More cost effective and efficient then some other options.
  • Can be a faster path to resolution then some of the other options.
  • Designed specifically for your family to ensure that it is a safe and respectful discussion.
  • Focuses on what is important to both spouses and working to fulfill those needs, where possible.
  • Results in a Memorandum of Understanding or a Separation Agreement which you then seek independent legal advice about prior to signing.

What is my role as your Family Mediator?

  • I remain neutral throughout the process. This means that I do not choose sides.
  • I design the process to meet the needs of both spouses. We talk about what is important to each of you and focus our discussions on finding a solution that addresses those concerns. This is called interest based negotiation.
  • I ensure that both spouses have a voice in the discussion and that what is important to them is heard and understood.
  • I work with both spouses to guide them towards resolution of their dispute that is acceptable to everyone.
  • I help both spouses generate options or choices for the issues that are being discussed.
  • I provide you with legal information.
  • I do not provide you with legal advice.
  • I prepare a Memorandum of Understanding or a Separation Agreement which you then review with your own independent lawyer before signing.

What types of Family related disputes can you mediate?

  • Parenting
  • Custody and Access
  • Financial Issues such as Property Division, Equalization, and Pensions
  • Child and Spousal Support
  • Separation Agreements
  • Co-habitation Agreements

For more information about mediation services available, or to schedule an intake, please contact our office.

I also work with several organizations such as:

Ontario Collaborative Law Federation
Victoria-Haliburton Law Association
Family Law Resolution Centre
Kawartha Collaborative Practice
As well as a panel lawyer for the

"We are here to help you through your challenges every step of the way. We do so while maintaining reasonable rates in an efficient and personal manner."

Wills & Estate Matters

Wills & Estate Matters

A proper will that is structured to fit with your estate plan is the best way to ensure that your loved ones receive the benefit of your estate the way you intend. We will assist you to develop your plan and structure your assets in such a way as to give the most benefit to your beneficiaries. I can also assist your estate trustee in distributing the assets of your estate in a manner consistent with the terms of your will.

Having a power of attorney in place for your personal care and your financial affairs is often one of the last things that people want to deal with. It is also one of the most important. These documents protect you and your family when you are your most vulnerable. We strive to help you make a plan that will meet your needs and those of your family.

Wills & Estate Matters

When I look at the families engaged in Family Court I wonder WHAT IF

  • What if the couple had support each step of the way?
  • What if the focus was not on the “fight” but on the “resolution”?
  • What if the family was able to consider what was important to them?
  • What if the couple was able to set their own goals and work to fulfill them?
  • What if the professionals supporting the parents and their children focused on guiding them forward and ensuring they'll be okay?
  • What if the emotional, legal, and financial needs of the family could all be supported?
  • What if a process could be tailored to meet the individuals needs?

The answer to these questions is the Collaborative or Mediation Process.