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Leanne Townsend | Family Lawyer and Divorce Strategist
The Divorcing Well Newsletter


Leanne Townsend, family law lawyer

I am a partner with Brauti Thorning 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.

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Michael Shuster - selling the matrimonial home
Leanne's Divorcing Well podcast: Selling the matrimonial home

Couples often disagree about issues in divorce, and selling the matrimonial home is no exception. But making ill-informed choices in this area can have devastating financial consequences.

In a recent episode of my Divorcing Well podcast, I spoke to Michael Shuster, Ontario’s first Real Estate Divorce Specialist. He highlighted the three most common mistakes couples make when selling the marital home: fighting over the realtor, choosing a realtor who doesn't understand the potential obstacles associated with divorce and failing to research and vet agent candidates properly.

Michael has some important tips to share for couples going through a divorce. Listen to the episode on Apple or Spotify.

False allegations
False allegations in family court: Just don't do it

When a marriage ends, one person is inevitably more hurt and angry, and sometimes wants to make their former partner pay for the upheaval in their lives.

In an attempt to game the system in court, some people even go so far as to fabricate allegations against their partner, claiming emotional, physical or sexual abuse, drug/alcohol problems and in some situations, criminal activity.

In my new blog, I explore the type of evidence the court requires to prove abuse allegations and how when false claims are made, it can backfire with serious consequences.

Read more

Parental alienation - what you need to know

Parental alienation: Know the signs and take swift action

Parental alienation is one of the saddest things I see as a family law lawyer. It's a heartbreaking form of abuse that occurs when a child becomes estranged from a parent as the result of the psychological manipulation of another parent.

In a recent Instagram Live series with family law lawyer Steve Benmor, we explored the issue in two episodes, discussing what to do if your partner is minimizing your parental involvement and why it's crucial to seek out a therapist or counsellor when you see the early signs of alienating behaviour.

Check out the first episode here and the second here

Brene Brown's Wholehearted Inventory Assessment Tool
Divorce during a pandemic

Living within the restrictions imposed by lockdowns has been hard on everyone. For some couples, the lack of access to outlets that would allow them to blow off steam has resulted in more of their unresolved issues coming to a head, writes Michelle Dempsey-Multack in a recent column for

Staying together for the sake of the kids isn't the best option, she says. The longer two unhappy people stay married, the more children will be affected. Kindergarten-aged children who witness their parents fighting could suffer from depression, anxiety, and behavioural problems as adolescents, according to research from the University of Notre Dame.

"If you've chosen to divorce during the coronavirus pandemic, it's likely this decision did not come easy. Remind yourself that this is not a want, it's a need, in order for you, your children, and your soon-to-be-ex to live the happiest life possible," Dempsey-Multack says.

Navigating COVID-19 misinformation

With an explosion of fake news and the often mixed messaging coming from politicians and public health officials, it's hard to know which sources of information you can trust when it comes to COVID-19.

Alanna Shaikh, a global public health expert and a TED fellow, has some useful tips on how to navigate the information overload while staying safe.

Learn more
Quote of the month by Camryn Manheim

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.

Check It Out
Leanne Townsend, Family Lawyer

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

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