Even without hiring a lawyer or going to trial, the cost of getting divorced can add up. Filing fees, Separation Agreements, mediators… it’s all astronomically expensive. If you end up in court battling over custody or money, you’ll be looking at a lawyer’s bill in the neighbourhood of $5,000-10,000 per day.
The exorbitant cost of litigation, combined with the backlogged court system– which sees approximately 70,000 divorcing couples per year across Canada– has led to a recently expanded “Mandatory Information Session” pilot project.
The new program applies to all spouses applying for a contested divorce. Upon filing a contested divorce application with the court, each spouse will be given an information sheet about the mandatory mediation session that they are required to attend. Their divorce proceedings will not move forward until each spouse receives a stamp of confirmation of their attendance.
The mandatory information sessions are divided into two groups– Applicants and Respondents- but the message to each group is the same: the contested divorce process is long, traumatic, and very expensive, and should be avoided at all costs. The information sessions are geared to encourage spouses to attempt to use negotiation or mediation to resolve their separation issues (custody, support, property) without entering into a nasty battle in court. The majority of cases that are bogging down our court system are the ones where spouses are fighting tooth-and-nail over petty issues, no matter the cost.
Many spouses are resistant to the idea of the mandatory information session because they have made their decision and want to get divorced as quickly as possible. On the other hand, divorced spouses who have gone through the contested divorce litigation process often wish that they had tried mediation as a way to save their sanity and their money.
This program is reflective of the need to keep divorcing spouses out of the court system. It’s beneficial not only to the government but also to you as an individual seeking a divorce. Save yourself tens (or in some cases, hundreds) of thousands of dollars and settle your issues out of court. Try our free software and create your own separation agreement at MyOntarioDivorce.com. Invest in a mediator. If you still need help, try our innovative and affordable flat-fee divorce solutions at BermanBarristers.com.
For more information on separation, divorce, and other family law matters, please visit MyOntarioDivorce.com.
Robert Berman B.C.L, LL.B
Founder & Family Lawyer