Melody MacDonell


Melody has gained considerable experience in family law, including divorce, separation, marriage contracts, intra-family adoptions, and family court litigation. She has appeared successfully at both the Ontario District Court and the Ontario Court of Appeal. Although she is at home in the courtroom with an enviable track record of success in family law custody battles, property disputes, and domestic contracts, she believes going to court should only be an option when it is in the client’s best interest.

Melody earned a BA in English & Political Science from the University of Calgary in 1985 and graduated from the University of Ottawa with a Bachelor of Laws in 1990. She was called to the bar in 1993.

Representative Work

  • Successfully represented a client in a long and hard-fought custody battle by presenting credible witnesses in a neutral manner that helped the judge to reach a decision.
  • A client signed a marriage contract outside of Canada before his wife brought him to Canada. When the marriage broke down, he was left with nothing. Through diligent research and skillful negotiation, Melody was able to have the contract set aside in favour of a settlement obtained under Ontario laws.
  • A client wished to remarry and move across the country with her child. The father and his family opposed the move but through diligent examination of case law, Melody was able to convince the judge that the move would be beneficial for the child.

Professional Affiliations

  • Law Society of Ontario
  • County of Carleton Law Association
  • Past Vice-president of local chapter of Business Network International


  • Involved in evaluating the Bar Admission Course family law material
  • Featured writer in Westboro Neighbours Magazine

Community Involvement

  • Has sponsored children through World Vision since 1992

When she’s not in the office

When she’s not looking after her three dogs and one cat, Melody plays in a pool league, where she won the 2013 Woman’s Ottawa Bar Box championship.

I have referred several people to Melody MacDonell over the years. She is extremely knowledgeable, professional and efficient. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend anyone at Rasmussen Starr Ruddy.

— Dawna Christy

A big thank you to Melody and her staff. Melody is straight forward and knows her stuff. Although going through a separation is hard, I was very confident things would work out in my favor. And they did. Looking forward to the next new chapter to begin. Thanks again Melody.

— Kristina Dowsley

I don’t know what I would have done without them. You may not remember every word they say, but you’ll never forget how they make you feel.

— Judy Everson

Their personal skills are great: they’re very easy to deal with. I question a lot and they’re very accommodating.

— Donna Lea Andrews, Andrews Brothers Construction (Ottawa) Ltd.

I like the fact that I can pick up the phone and talk to my lawyer, not an assistant. Other firms are getting too big to provide personal service.

— Ken Crawford, C&M Electric

They have a clear understanding of our business and are very responsive. The partners are well respected among their peers.

— Jonathan Westeinde, Windmill Developments

They’re prompt, intelligent, give good advice, and charge reasonable rates.

— Stan Neathery, Integrating Solutions Inc.