How to Tackle the Family Court Process in Ontario and Survive!
Let’s talk more about the separation and divorce process in Ontario!
Hi, my name is Thomas O’Malley. I’m an experienced family lawyer in Durham Region and the GTA.
If you and your family lawyer decide that you must go to family court first since it will be difficult to negotiate a separation agreement with your spouse, you must complete your court paperwork.
Your family lawyer will take the detailed information that you have provided to them to complete the court documents or paperwork.
One of the most important documents that your family lawyer will prepare is a court Application.
You set out your claims in your court Application that you are seeking against your former spouse.
You must work closely with your family lawyer to determine your specific claims in your court Application.
Your claims usually include claims for custody and access respecting your children, child support, spousal support, and property claims.
You must set out the details of your case in summary form in your court Application.
You must also complete your Financial Statement in detail and a Form 35.1: Affidavit in Support of Claim for Custody or Access if you have dependent children.
When your family lawyer has completed these court documents, you will review them in detail with your lawyer and make any necessary corrections.
Then your lawyer will file these documents with the local court in your area.
Your lawyer will arrange to have your court documents personally served on your former spouse.
Your spouse has 30 days after they are served with your court documents to respond to your claims with their own court documents.
Your spouse will complete a document called an Answer. Your spouse will include their version of the history of your relationship or marriage. They will also make their claims that they are seeking, including child custody and access, child support, spousal support, and the property issues.
This next point might surprise you: you actually want your spouse to hire an experienced family lawyer as well.
Many people think they get a big advantage if their spouse does not hire a lawyer.
This often is simply not true. Often your case drags on and on because former your spouse does not understand their family law rights.
You are much more likely to get a good family law settlement that protects your family law rights when your spouse has an experienced family lawyer representing them as well.
After your spouse has completed their court paperwork and served it on you, your family lawyer will advise you whether you need to bring any motions for temporary orders in your case.
Next, you need to understand that your case will usually take a year or longer to settle or go to trial. However, certain issues cannot wait until there is a final settlement or trial for resolution on a final basis.
You might need to bring a motion in family court when you need a temporary order for child custody and access or spousal support, for example, during the court process before there is a final settlement or a final order.
A motion is a specific time in front of a judge in which your lawyer argues that you are entitled to some temporary orders during the family court process, such as a spousal support order to help you pay for your living costs because your spouse is no longer contributing to your living costs.
Your family lawyer will advise you whether you should bring any motions during the separation and divorce process.
I will discuss more details about the separation and divorce process in Ontario in another video.
If you would have any questions about your separation, divorce or family law case and you would like our help, there’s a few ways to contact our office. You can leave a message on my Facebook law office page, visit my website at www.canadiandivorcelegaladvice.com, or call me directly at 905-434-8837.
We would be happy to speak to you.
Oh, by the way, did you know you can protect your family law rights and get essential information on settling your family law issues with your former spouse with the daily indispensable family law advice and tips at my FREE Facebook group?
Click here to find out more: Durham Region Separation and Divorce Legal Support Group
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