Get the upfront legal advice you need

Move forward with clarity, understanding and confidence.

We offer a one-on-one assessment and upfront legal advice session with one of our lawyers.

The overwhelm and uncertainty of separation can make it difficult to know what to do next. Whether you’re considering separation or already separated, it’s important to get upfront legal advice, as soon as possible. We make this easy in our confidential, value-packed Balbi Assessment.

The Balbi Assessment is not a lawyer consultation.

The Assessment is different than a typical lawyer consultation. It’s a comprehensive assessment and legal advice session, not a meet-and-greet. Our focus is on helping you, not on you hiring us. The Assessment is also not constrained by time, like a consult. We take the necessary time to give you the upfront advice you need. Therefore, you will leave your Assessment with greater understanding and clarity about how to move forward.

Balbi Assessment

Typical Consultation

Comprehensive assessment

Detailed, upfront legal advice

Purpose is your understanding and plan

We take the time you need

Available as a stand-alone service

Designed process

Useful resources to take home


Limited advice

Purpose is hiring legal services

Set length of time

Meeting to hire lawyer


Resources not provided

What to expect at your Assessment

We begin your Assessment by hearing from you about your circumstances, history, goals, and questions. Once we understand your situation, we then give you our advice. During the legal advice portion of the session, we will:

1. Identify your legal issues

A comprehensive review of your legal issues will help you avoid surprises, manage risks and maximize the opportunity of a complete resolution.

2. Explain your legal rights

Being informed of your legal rights and responsibilities will help you make good legal decisions, minimize unknown consequences, and navigate your resolution.

3. Discuss your resolution options

Choosing the right process for your family will help minimize conflict and support a more efficient and cost-effective outcome.

4. Recommend tips and strategies

Small things can have unexpected consequences. Our advice and resources will help you better understand the possible benefits and risks of your decisions.

5. Provide valuable resources

There is a lot of separation and divorce information available. We select and organize for you what we believe will be the most helpful. You will receive a reference binder, checklists, and literature to support you as you move through this process.

6. Help you start your resolution plan

Most people find it helpful to have a plan. Through the Assessment process, we will help you start to think about your goals and how to best reach your desired resolution.

7. Answer your questions

We will happily answer your questions and help you avoid misinformation, so you feel greater clarity and confidence moving forward.

You do not need to hire us to represent you to have an Assessment. To keep things simple, our Assessment is a flat fee.

Our Balbi Assessment also works well as a second opinion, if you already have a lawyer. Talking your matter over with us can help put your mind at ease or give you other ideas on how to resolve your issues.

Upfront legal advice can help make your separation experience easier.

✔ Increase your understanding and clarity

Learning how the law applies to you and your family, on separation, is new for most spouses. Understanding the legal framework and process often results in a more positive experience.

✔ Make good decisions

It’s possible to make poor decisions when you don’t have the information you need or your emotions are running high after separation. Being informed can help you feel calmer and make better decisions.

✔ Have more control over your life

After separation, your decisions may have legal consequences they didn’t before. Your spouse may take unexpected legal steps. Legal advice can often help to minimize surprises and the impact of separation.

✔ Better manage your legal dispute

The resolution process you use will impact the time, cost and possible outcome of your matter. Choosing the right process will help you maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of your resolution.

✔ Reduce your stress

Legal advice often includes strategies that can help deescalate the interpersonal and legal conflict between you and your spouse. Being informed, using the right process, and better managing the conflict can all help to reduce your stress.

✔ Avoid legal pitfalls

Most people are not fully aware of their legal rights and responsibilities until they talk to a lawyer. It is possible to make decisions or take steps that may have unintended consequences. Avoid unnecessary complications and pitfalls by being informed.

✔ Reduce conflict with your spouse

Reducing your own uncertainty and fear by being properly informed will help you to have healthy discussions with your spouse. Deescalation strategies and learning about out-of-Court resolution options will also help you better navigate your family’s legal and interpersonal conflict.

✔ Support your children through the divorce

Children experience the grief of their parents’ separation and need parental support through the family change. Therefore, we will provide resources to help you co-parent after separation and keep your children out of the middle of the conflict.

✔ Create a plan on how to move forward

Plans keep us on track and progressing in the right direction. The separation and divorce process should also be designed and intentional to meet your needs. Legal advice will show you the landscape and options to create your path to resolution.

✔ Save time and money

Using the process that is right for your family and advancing a reasonable position will help manage costs, keep the process efficient, and create the opportunity for a positive divorce experience.

If you’re looking for more information, our answers to frequently asked questions may help.

Q: Why is upfront legal advice important?

Once retained, lawyers give their clients advice as their matter progresses. This is important and we also do this. Upfront legal advice in the Assessment is summary advice. This means that you don’t have to hire us to book an Assessment. This type of detailed advice allows you to see the big picture and plan ahead.

Q: Where does my Assessment take place?

The Assessment can take place online using video conference, on the phone or in person at our office, following our COVID-19 protocols.

Q: Which lawyer do I meet with?

You can choose which of our lawyers to meet with. Our Intake Coordinator, Christine, would also be happy to help you identify which lawyer is best for you.

Q: How long does the Assessment take?

An Assessment usually takes two hours, depending on the issues and circumstances. Because of the variety of issues involved, we will take the time needed to give you the upfront advice you need and answer all your questions.

Q: How much does an Assessment cost?

The Assessment is a flat fee. The fee is based on the lawyer you meet with. Call Christine, our Intake Coordinator, for more information.

Q: What should I bring to my Assessment?

We encourage you to bring the following documents with you to your Assessment:

  • Your government-issued photo identification
  • Marriage certificate
  • Your resume
  • Financial documents
    • Income Tax Returns for the last three years
    • Most recent pay stub and bank statements
    • List of your and your spouses’ assets and liabilities
    • Property documents
  • List of your questions
  • Photo of your spouse (colour, recent, head and shoulders portrait)
  • Any other documents you think may be relevant

If you want more information about our Balbi Assessment, please contact Erin, our Intake Coordinator. She will be happy to talk through the details and answer your questions to help you decide if it’s right for you.