B.A., J.D., AccFM
Lawyer & Mediator
A Sensible and Effective Approach to Family LawPersonable, responsive, and resolution-focused, Darlene Rites is a family law lawyer and mediator who cares passionately about helping her clients move on with their lives. Since joining the firm in 2012, she has helped individuals make good decisions to foster financial stability and long-term peace and happiness.
Her practice covers the full gamut of family law services: from litigating disputes involving spousal support and high conflict child custody cases, to property division, interjurisdictional disputes and all legal conflicts resulting from a relationship breakdown. Her advice is always practical, and she is known for the humanistic and individualized approach she takes with each client.
Darlene brings a strong track record in both family law litigation and mediation. She holds an accredited mediator designation from the Ontario Association of Family Mediation (OAFM). Darlene applies alternative dispute resolution techniques whenever she can to achieve quick and positive outcomes in family disputes. She fervently believes in steering clients to an early resolution, one that minimizes conflict, stress, and financial impact.
When a resolution cannot be reached through negotiation, Darlene switches gears, bringing her years of experience as a successful litigator to the courtroom where she fights fiercely on behalf of her clients. A passionate and skilled advocate, she has litigated disputes at the Ontario Court of Justice, the Superior Court of Justice, the Ontario Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada.
Darlene is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, and welcomes Portuguese and Spanish speaking clients. In her free time, she enjoys biking, camping, and playing hockey.
Darlene Rites holds her Juris Doctor of Law from the University of Windsor. Drawn to the legal field from a young age, she completed an Honours BA at the University of Toronto with a double major in Political Science and Ethics, Society, and the Law. During law school, Darlene had the opportunity to hone her advocacy skills in a unique northern community, working as a clerk for the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories in Yellowknife.
Darlene was co-founder of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (L.E.A.F.) chapter in Windsor and continues to be an active member. She is also currently a member of the Family Lawyer’s Association and the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO). She also recently joined the new Advice and Settlement Counsel at the Superior Court of Justice
- 2007 – 2009 University of Windsor, Judicial Doctorate
- 2003 – 2007 University of Toronto, Honours Bachelor of Arts: Double Major – Political Science and Ethics, Society & Law
- Family Lawyer’s Association (FLA)
- Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO)
- Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (L.E.A.F.)
- Domestic Violence Advice Counsel to the Barbra Schleifer Commemorative Clinic and Abrigo Centre
- Legal Aid Ontario Panel Member
- Advice and Settlement Counsel at the Superior Court of Justice
2009 Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund Toronto, ON LEAF Contribution Award
- Quoted in: “Ontario Court of Appeal ruling misinterprets SCC’s Balev decision, says family lawyer”, The Lawyer’s Weekly, February 14, 2020, file:///Z:/Darlene/Ontario%20Court%20of%20Appeal%20-%20Da%20Rocha%20Article.pdf
- “What happens to child support if job’s lost to COVID-19?, The Lawyer’s Daily, June 3, 2020. https://www.thelawyersdaily.ca/articles/19371/what-happens-to-child-support-if-job-s-lost-due-to-covid-19-?category=analysis
- “A Streamlined Way to Change Ontario Child Support Orders”, Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario Newsletter, July 3, 2020, https://www.fdrio.ca/2020/07/a-streamlined-way-to-change-ontario-child-support-orders/