David Morneau LL.B. - Waterloo Region Lawyer

We help clients navigate the emotional, financial and legal issues in divorce.

Morneau Family Law and Legal Innovation

For over 20 years, David has practised law with empathy, compassion and integrity, helping families through challenging circumstances with considerable care. He applies innovation and creativity in assisting clients in determining what they need to overcome the obstacles they are facing, empowering them to do so with dignity, honour and a focus on the future and communication, ensuring that they have all information and advice to make informed decisions.

David has been formally trained as both a family mediator and collaborative legal professional, is accredited as both and was one of the first in the province to receive recognition as an Advanced Collaborative Professional. His skill and experience allow him to handle all family law related matters.

Throughout his career, David has observed and analyzed our legal systems and has spoken widely about reform and change. He has acted as counsel for parents and children in the family justice system and was able to witness firsthand the impact that adversarial processes can have on families in transition. Through his training, he continues to learn new skills for conflict resolution which give the participants the ability to listen, communicate, solve their own differences, both now and in the future.

David believes in authenticity, honesty and being genuine and open with those he assists. He encourages his clients to develop a solution that is right for them and will help design a process that will help to meet an individual’s hopes and goals, while helping to recognize their worries and concerns. In his experience, this has a much greater chance of guiding families to a much brighter future.

David Morneau LL.B.

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Trusted & Knowledgeable Lawyers in Waterloo Region

Having served our community for more decades, David Morneau is dedicated to building strong and lasting relationships with our clients and helping them navigate their most challenging legal issues.


Collaborative Family Law

In Waterloo, collaborative family lawyers assist two individual parties in negotiating a resolution of their dispute. Prior to pursuing collaborative family law, both parties and their lawyers will sign a contract committing to the process in advance.

There are certain specific guidelines that are contained in this contract which is called a Participation Agreement. This agreement details that the parties will make full financial disclosure, cooperate with each other, work to settle the case in the best interests of everyone involved, and not go to court.

Each spouse will have a Lawyer that is trained in Collaborative Family Law. The goal when working on this settlement is to work to help both parties achieve the best possible outcome for all parties and children involved.

This is a voluntary process.

What is the Process to Select Collaborative Family Law?

When you initiate a divorce, selecting the type of process to use is the first decision you will need to make. We encourage parties to consider the following benefits of utilizing Collaborative Family Law.

  • Respectful communication is an integral part of Collaborative Family Law and will allow both parties to indicate each of your priorities and create a plan to achieve those goals.
  • During Collaborative Family Law, both parties must make full disclosure of financial information and create a settlement that ideally meets both parties’ interests.
  • Because both parties sign a participation agreement, there is a level of commitment to resolving the issues out of court.
  • The whole process is voluntary. As such, if you decide the process is not working, you may voluntarily end the process.
  • Parties maintain control over the process and can customize decisions, so the process meets your needs.


Divorce Law

No one says “I do” with the expectation of divorce in the future. Marriages can break down for a variety of reasons. If you and your spouse have decided to go your separate ways, a Waterloo divorce lawyer can help protect your rights and guide you through the process of finalizing your divorce.

Divorce is a complicated and emotional process. Even if you and your spouse are cooperative and amiable, it is advisable that you speak with a divorce lawyer in Waterloo Region.

Even in an uncomplicated divorce, there are legal documents that need to be filled out and filed properly as well as deadlines that need to be met. A lawyer will explain the process, what you can expect, and protect your rights along the way.

Choosing a divorce lawyer is an important step that will lay the groundwork for the entire process you are about to face. You want to know that your Waterloo divorce lawyer has the experience and knowledge necessary to fight for your best interests.

Types of Waterloo Divorce

1. Contested Divorce

A contested divorce occurs when spouses disagree on some or all issues raised in the divorce. Disagreeing on just a single issue will categorize the divorce as contested. A divorce may be contested for various reasons. It’s not uncommon for spouses to disagree on several issues, particularly when children are involved and if the couple is ending their relationship on a bad note. Divorcing spouses often have disagreements about:

  • Child support
  • Spousal support
  • Parenting plans
  • Division of assets

2. Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is when both spouses agree on all issues that are raised in the divorce. When spouses are in agreement, courts will typically finalize the divorce without requiring a court appearance.

A divorce becomes “uncontested” when the spouse that has been served chooses not to file an Answer within the required time period. Failure to file an Answer automatically makes the divorce uncontested. Uncontested divorces move much quicker than contested divorces, and they can save divorcing couples money on legal fees.



In mediation, a neutral third party (mediator) assists people by facilitating a discussion between them to bring things to a peaceful resolution. A mediator can help you negotiate fairly and constructive using skills which help people identify their values, wishes, goals, concerns and worries.

In the mediation process, lawyers may be involved in process itself or may provide advice outside of the process. An effective mediator will communicate with you and your partner as well as the lawyers (if lawyers are retained) to discuss what has or may be agreed to. Because the mediator is in the unique position to communicate with both of you, effective mediators will gain valuable insight from many perspectives. This allows them to help facilitate meaningful conversations which, in turn, often lead to resolutions.

This typically serves to be both a time-effective and cost-effective process. Because Accredited Family Mediators (David is among them) have ongoing training in intimate partner violence and coercive control, this allow them to modify and adapt the process to the needs of the individuals, something that court does not offer.

Choosing a lawyer to assist with mediation

When choosing a lawyer to assist with mediation, it is important to choose them carefully. Look for lawyers who have had formal training in a consensual dispute resolution process like mediation or collaborative law. That way, not only do you get the benefit of someone who has legal expertise, but also someone who can solve problems should they arise rather than undermining what has been agreed to.

An effective mediator helps explore what lies beneath the surface so that families in transition can come to a conclusion that best suits them.

David often says “Be let not by what you think you know, but by your curiosity to learn“.


Separation Agreement

If you and your spouse are in agreement on the terms of your separation, you are free to put your decisions into a separation agreement—which is a written contract that details the terms. Married couples, as well as those in a common-law relationship, can make a separation agreement. It is important that you understand that a separation agreement is not the same as a divorce; you must apply to the court to get a divorce after you have been separated for one year. Your separation agreement can, however, detail when and how you will get a divorce.

What is a separation agreement?

If you and your spouse decide to live separate and apart, but you do not want to divorce, you can enter into a separation agreement. A separation agreement is a written agreement that you and your spouse voluntarily sign without involving the court. Often, a separation agreement can allow you and your spouse the time apart you need while you try to repair a marriage that may be falling apart.

A separation agreement gives you the opportunity to work out problems, slowly and over time, without the pressure of a divorce action hanging over your head. Once a divorce action is begun and placed on the court calendar, you and your spouse will have to attend court conferences and meet specific deadlines. That pressure is avoided by both of you signing a separation agreement.

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