GENERAL INFORMATION - COURT AND ALTERNATIVES
TO GOING TO COURT
What alternatives are there to
going to court?
What is Collaborative
What if my former spouse is
not obeying the court order or divorce judgment?
How can I get a court order
What alternatives are there to going
Not many parents go to trial about custody. Proceedings can be expensive
and stressful both for you and for the children. You have choices other
than going to court to reach agreements on parenting arrangements.
You can go to a family mediator. A mediator is generally a person
with a legal or social work background who has special training in
helping people resolve disputes. A mediator works with both of you
and helps you discuss and decide on the arrangements for your
children. Click her for links to mediators.
You can meet with a lawyer who will explain your legal rights and
obligations and help you negotiate an agreement.
You can meet with a
family therapist, child psychologist, social worker, family doctor
or other professional who knows about the effects of separation and
divorce on children of different ages.
Another alternative is to use a
assists couples or individuals with filing their own simple divorce
(uncontested divorce) or joint divorce in Canada.
Many courts now
offer parent-education sessions, which present options for settling the
issues you face upon separation and divorce. These sessions also discuss
the impact of separation and divorce on children.
Collaborative Family Law is a cooperative approach to negotiating and
settling the issues arising from separation outside of court. Separated
spouses, with the assistance of specially trained family law lawyers,
negotiate their issues, as they define them, in a controlled, safe, and
respectful setting. These structured negotiations happen in meetings
between the spouses and their lawyers. These meetings allow the spouses
to explore their issues together, as they define them. The lawyers act
both as communication/negotiation coaches for their clients, and
simultaneously fulfill their usual role of advising their clients about
their legal rights, entitlements and obligations. The parties focus on
effectively communicating to gather facts and discover each other's
interests. Emotional tactics, threats, or abusive communications are all
identified, discussed and eliminated. The lawyers, having agreed to not
take part in any litigation that may occur if an agreement isn't
reached, efficiently focus their time and effort solely on settlement,
rather than posturing or preparing documents or themselves for court.
Everyone, including the lawyers, are focused on creating together a
stable, fair, legal separation agreement.
Click here for links to
AFTER YOUR DIVORCE
What if my former spouse is not
obeying the court order or divorce judgment?
Your divorce judgment may include court orders dealing with parenting,
child support and spousal support. Both parents must obey these orders.
When one parent does not, the other parent can take action. Here are two
When you have a right to see your child but, for no good reason, your
former spouse will not allow it, you can go back to court to ask for
help. A judge may set out a very specific schedule for access or grant
extra time to make up for the visits you missed. You could also ask the
judge to change the parenting arrangements.
When your spouse is supposed to pay child or spousal support under a
court order, but is not paying, enforcement offices will help you
collect the money. All provinces and territories have these offices.
To find out how you can get help dealing with these situations, get in
touch with your local court or family law information office, the
support enforcement program in your province or territory, or a lawyer.
How can I get a court order
The divorce judgment legally ends your marriage and you cannot change
that. But sometimes you may need to change other parts of the judgment,
such as the child's residential schedule or child or spousal support.
You may ask a judge to change an order for custody when there has been a
significant change in the condition, means, needs or other circumstances
of the child and/or yourself or the other parent since the last order
was made. You may ask a judge to change an order for child support if:
the special expenses of the child change;
your income or your former spouse's income changes; and/or
there are other significant changes in your circumstances or those
of your former spouse or the children.
In a few situations you may also change a spousal support order.
If you and your former spouse agree about what needs to be changed, you
can file the application form with the court and the judge will consider
and, most likely, approve the change. This is called a consent order,
because both you and your former spouse consented to it. Where child
support is involved, the judge continues to have an obligation to ensure
that a reasonable amount of support (in light of the
child support guidelines)
is agreed to.
If you cannot agree, you can go back to court, present your case and ask
a judge to make a new order.
GO TO GENERAL
Divorce in Canada
Divorce in Canada and
Divorce in Canada
and going to court and alternatives
would like start an uncontested divorce for Ontario,
click here to visit our sponsor's site.