Family Law practice located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Specializing in separation, divorce, drafting domestic contracts, adoption, child support disputes, custody and access, property issues, wills, litigation, appeals.
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Fair and transparent — always.

At Johnston Family Law, we recognize that legal services can be expensive, especially in contentious family law matters. With this in mind, we provide our clients with a range of billing possibilities so that clients are never overbilled for the work we do.

Our model is built on a combination of an hourly billing structure and fixed fees. During the initial meeting, we provide our clients with a break down of the various rates of the lawyers and clerks, and services that we offer by way of a fixed fee. The rate charged will depend on the nature of the work, and the experience of the individual working on the file.



First 30 minutes free – after 30 minutes the lawyer’s regular hourly rate will apply, starting at $210 per hour.

Available at the outset of a matter so prospective clients can be comfortable that we are the proper team to address their needs.


Starting at $1,000.

A retainer fee of $1,000 is required to open any family law matter including litigation, drafting of agreements, mediations or negotiations.


Starting from $210 per hour.

A pay as you go model for clients that are looking for limited advice on narrow issues. Best suited to self-represented litigants looking for legal support on their file without full legal representation.

Financial Retainer

With the exception of legal coaching, we require payment of a retainer fee in order to open new files. The retainer amount our clients are asked to provide will depend on the nature and complexity of the file. Once a retainer has been depleted, we ask our clients to replenish their financial retainer so that we can continue working on their file.


Disbursements are expenses that are incurred on our client’s behalf over the course of a file such as postage, photocopying, court filing costs, and courier fees. Clients are responsible for any third party disbursements incurred on their file.

Wills/Powers of Attorney

We charge $500.00 for a simple will, power of attorney for property, and power of attorney for personal care. We charge $900.00 for simple mirror wills and powers of attorney for a couple. For complex documents, we bill based on your lawyer’s hourly rate, and we will confirm with you during your intake meeting if a flat fee or an hourly rate will apply.


We are proud to offer a 20% discount on all wills/powers of attorney drafting to first responders, members of the Canadian military, and teachers who are members of any Ottawa school board.

What clients can do to minimize their costs:

We always like to help our clients minimize their costs whenever possible. Clients can work with us in keeping their costs down by:


  • Making sure any documents provided to us are complete and organized chronologically; and
  • Addressing multiple issues in a single call or meeting. We recommend that our clients send a member of our team a checklist or an agenda of items to discuss in advance of all phone calls and meetings.