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Because we care

Diane McInnis pays special attention to environmental policies that promote a sustainable practice. The office is easily accessible by public transportation and a future LRT stop. We are a block away from the Iron Horse Trail and a few blocks from the Spur Trail for walking and cycling enthusiasts. Whenever possible, we try to be paperless, and when paper is used it is certified FSC. It's the small attention to details that make our clients feel welcomed.


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Diane McInnis - biography

Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Diane attended Dalhousie University and obtained her degrees in Science (1985) and Education (1986). She returned to Dalhousie and obtained her Law Degree in 1990. She articled in downtown Toronto, and was admitted to the Bar in Ontario in 1992. Her passion is family law and helping people through difficult family transitions, and as such currently restricts her practice to family law issues. Diane practices Collaborative Family Law - clients contract to resolve their family law issues without resorting to court. As a Family mediator, Diane assists clients mediate disputes and resolve family law conflict, but does not represent either client in the dispute.


Our Services
Separation and/or Divorce

When a couple separates, each partner’s legal status depends on a number of factors relating to the nature of their relationship. There are differences depending on whether the couple was married or living in a common law relationship. There are a variety of legal implications surrounding ownership of property, care and support of children if applicable, spousal support eligibility, and division of property and assets. The law firm of Diane L. McInnis will help you resolve these legal issues in an efficient and compassionate manner to help ease your family’s transition into your future.

Parenting: Custody/Access

After parents separate, custody and access of the child(ren) can become a very difficult and emotional ground of dissension. Diane McInnis, will always focus on the best interests of the child when advising clients about custody and access issues. Diane strives to assist clients in cooperative transitions in parenting their child(ren) and meeting the needs of their children. This may take the form of an agreement (or court order if no agreement) regarding decision making, joint, split or sole custody and a parenting plan which sets out residency.

Spousal support

The obligation to pay spousal support or the right to receive it depends on many factors including the means of the payor, the needs of the recipient spouse, the length of the marriage and/or cohabitation, the roles each partner assumed during the course of the marriage and/or cohabitation and other factors. Diane McInnis will help you determine eligibility for support or your obligation to pay, and ensure that the standards set by the laws of Ontario are met by clients.

Child support

The law in Ontario recognizes that each parent is obliged to provide for the needs of their dependent child(ren) according to each parent’s means. This obligation has been simplified by the use of Child Support Guidelines, which sets the amount payable per child based on the respective incomes of the parents and the custody/access arrangements. Diane McInnis will help you determine the appropriate contribution for the care of the children.

Domestic Contracts

Domestic Contracts include agreements entered into by couples, before, during or after a marriage, and cohabitation agreements (for unmarried couples). These agreements deal with the respective rights and obligations of the parties during the marriage or cohabitation and upon separation, divorce, annulment or death of a partner. The most common domestic contract is a separation agreement after the couple is no longer in the marital or cohabitation relationship. Diane McInnis will help you determine what your needs are and will work diligently to facilitate fair and appropriate resolutions.

Family Mediation

Diane McInnis is an experienced and qualified family mediator, and a member of ADRIO (Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario). Diane assists clients resolve family law disputes in a cooperative and family centred manner. Diane will help couples generate options to resolve disputes, however, as a mediator, she acts as a neutral, and as such does not provide legal advice to either client. Mediation can occur with or without the presence of legal counsel. A draft separation agreement may be the final goal of mediation, which the parties may take to their own lawyer for independent legal advice before finalizing. Mediation is a cost effective way for parties who are willing to have serious discussions about their legal issues and want a result that is satisfactory to both parties.

Elder Law

Diane McInnis has experience dealing with seniors and elder clients with regard to cohabitation, marriage later in life, and separation and divorce, as well as powers of attorney for property and personal care. Diane understands the unique considerations and interests of elder clients, and is sensitive to their needs and enjoys working with seniors.

Views of the Child Reports: Private Representation of Children

Diane acts on private retainers to provide Views of the Child reports for a fixed fee of $1500 + disbursements. This is not legal representation of the child, but a summary report to the court on the views of the child in a custody dispute. Appearance at court is billed at the hourly rate of $200 + HST. For more information about the Views of the Child reports, see http://lukesplace.ca/what-is-a-voice-of-the-child-report/. Diane also accepts private retainers to act as legal counsel for children, in custody disputes for a reduced hourly rate of $200 +HST.

Children’s Lawyer

Diane McInnis is a member of the legal rights panel for the Office of the Children’s Lawyer and is appointed to represent the views and preferences of her child clients in both the Ontario Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Justice. She acts for children in custody/access disputes as well as children who are the subject of Child Protection proceedings. Diane also represents children under private retainers in custody and access disputes.

Collaborative Family Law

Diane McInnis is Legal Professional member of the Collaborative Law Association of Waterloo Wellington and has served on its core committee since 2013 and a member of the Collaborative Law Federation of Ontario. The Collaborative Approach to solving family law disputes is a team approach in which both parties’ lawyers, as well as family professionals and financial professionals, as needed, work in a cooperative and cost effective manner to negotiate the terms of the parenting plan, equalization of assets, support issues, etc. This approach requires commitment to resolve issues out of court. Each party has the support of legal counsel throughout the process, resulting in a custom made separation agreement that meets the unique needs of your family.


Initial Consultation

The initial consultation is an interview booked for up to a two hours during which the family history is taken, the nature of your claim is ascertained, and possible approaches for resolving issues are discussed.  The client will understand the basic legal issues and possible next steps. By the end of the meeting, the client has enough information to make an informed decision about a preferred process.  After this initial interview, the client may make the decision whether or not to enter into a retainer and whether the lawyer wishes to accept the file.  The initial consultation fee is set at a reduced rate to afford both the prospective client and the lawyer to mutually agree on entering into a further professional relationship without obligation. $350 - includes HST

All other legal services

Charged by the standard hourly rate. $300.00 +HST*


Legal Aid Certificates, Notarial Services

Legal Aid Certificates: are accepted subject to an office file quota, for post-mediation ILA and negotiation of a separation agreement only.

Notary Public Services: Commissioning oaths and affirmations, Certifying and witnessing affidavits, declarations or other documents, certifying a document as a true copy. $50.00***

*Payable by cash, certified cheque, or money order, credit card or debit

** Subject to change without notice

*** Reduced fees for 3 or more documents. Preparation of affidavits is charged at regular legal services rates.

NOTE: HST IS ADDED TO ALL LEGAL FEES.


Contact Us
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238 King St S
Waterloo, ON
N2J 1R4, Canada
Telephone: 519 954 5291

Use our form or contact Jacklynn directly at jackie@dmfamilylaw.ca