1. Get help from a family law professional
Question & AnswerWe’re not married. What if we can’t agree on what happens to our property and debts after we separate?
In family law you must think about using (ADR) or a family dispute resolution process to resolve your issues out of court if it’s suitable for you. ADR might not be right for you if:
- one person is afraid of another person because there is a history of family violence
- there are serious mental health or drug abuse issues
A family law professional may be able to help you resolve your issues out of court. They are people who are trained to help you reach an agreement or make a decision for you by using an ADR process.
These processes include:
Deciding which process is best for you depends on your situation and what you want. For example, a mediator doesn’t make decisions for you, but an arbitrator does.
Some of the reasons to use ADR instead of going to court are:
- You have more control over what happens.
- It can be faster and cheaper.
- It can be less stressful.
- It takes place in a private setting.
Each family court location in Ontario offers subsidized mediation services. You can get up to 8 hours of mediation for a fee that is based on each person’s income. You can use this service whether or not your have a court case. And if you have a court case, you can get up to 2 hours of mediation for free at the court.
You can also find mediators who offer their services at lower rates through JusticeNet. JusticeNet is a not-for-profit that helps people in Ontario whose income is too high to get legal aid and too low to afford standard legal fees.