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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 10-02-2013, 09:12 PM
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Anyone else have the (mis) fortune of having to attend one of these new information sessions? I did today.

I filed a Motion to Change a Final Order and was told that I had to attend one of these prior to my first appearance, which is tomorrow.

First off, excellent idea on behalf of the Ministry. Secondly, extremely bad idea to implement this program as mandatory for EVERYONE (but everyone doesn't really mean everyone...my husband was served by his ex only a month prior and they didn't have to attend - at his first appearance clerk found that odd, but still no notice to attend). I digress....

I'm in Year 9 of separation, Year 8 of various legal issues (can't find an agreement that he likes enough to follow, not just sign) and already have a Final Order filed with the court.

The information session was about the effects of separation on adults, children and a whole lot of information about the almighty benefits of mediation offered by the court mediation team (Axis).

While I agree mediation is an excellent way to resolve issues, but, am I not the only one who exhausted these methods prior to filing motions? I mean, if we were able to negotiate and settle issues outside of the legal forum, wouldn't they have been accomplished by now?

There was absolutely no information provided that wouldn't be found on the internet somewhere, any family law site, any family law office, the courthouse, etc, etc.

They didn't answer specific questions and the overwhelmingly heard message was "get a lawyer". If you're dealing with support for adult children - get a lawyer, if you're dealing with spousal support - get a lawyer, so on and so on.

At the end, I'm not sure what the purpose was for the Ministry?? Is the goal to better prepare self-represented people for the court process? Because if it was, there wasn't any real information provided in that area. Was it to encourage people to spend their life savings on lawyers (I already did that, now I have to self-rep)? I'm a little confused on the whole reason I had to endure that today?

The two hour MANDATORY session turned out to be 2.5 hours. When I add the parking costs, the travel costs, the lost wages for 4 hours of work - I could have had a full hour consultation with a really good lawyer that concentrated on MY SPECIFICS, not terms so generalized they only seem to apply to the Cleavers of Divorce Court. Should I not be able to afford that - unpaid time off work, parking, etc for this MIP (remember, I have to be back there for undefined time tomorrow for first appearance).... is this not making the whole "system" even more prohibitive to the average person?

I dunno, it felt like another "hoop".....
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:29 PM
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I went, it sucked. For anyone who has been 'in the system' for any length of time, it is an absolute waste of my time, and time off work to go.

There was one guy (I say 'guy, but it was really REALLY difficult to tell) there who interupted the entire time asking questions specific to his case about how his parents are trying to get custody of the kids. There was a woman there who attended with either a sister or friend, who brought her 8-9 year old son with her, she and the friend kept asking questions about 'the deadbeat dad' in front of the boy. The session was repeatedly interupted after she sent him out to play in the main courthouse when he was bored and returned - several times - accompanied by security and police.

It was a complete and total waste of my time, I got absolutely ZERO new, relevant or useful piece of information that I hadn't gotten here, elsewhere on the internet or FLIC.

I could see this being way more useful for people who are JUST seperated, and if they had different 'levels' of sessions available with more complex issues discussed, or an opportunity to submit questions prior to the session to be addressed.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:43 PM
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Well, I'm very glad it wasn't just me that felt that way. I must say our session was less kindergarten like than yours.

I think the premise is excellent....but, the information needs to be served way before anyone gets to the "file a motion" or "receive a motion" stage.

It was a complete waste of my time as well. I actually found it more infuriating than anything, which definitely doesn't help my case at all.

The terms in which these people spoke were hilarious. It was like we have nothing to do all day, every day, but sit in the FLIC offices waiting for help that may, or may not come (even they said that). Or, countless hours to wait in the courthouse for the "possibility" of getting in-house mediation - which, again, they disclaimed was a long, long wait for possibly no service at all - love the "first come, first served" way of handling things.

I felt my anger rise listening to the Cleaver like way they presented the issues. The lawyer couldn't even answer a simple question like "how many months does someone have to be in arrears before they take the measures of enforcement you're discussing now"....she didn't know, or claimed not to know. Probably refused to give the actual answer of ...."oh sweety, it'll be three months before FRO even considers him in arrears...."

I think some more up-front, honest advice is needed out there. Especially if you have the misfortune of dealing with high-conflict ex's. I mean all the agreements in the world can't make anyone do the right, responsible thing and pay support, show up for access, file responses to motions....
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:48 PM
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I went to the mandatory sessions. They were held in a room in the basement of the fortress-like courthouse which had been retrofitted a number of years back for the trials of biker gangs. It was nighttime and pouring rain (think horror movie weather). During the coffee break all the stalls in the washrooms were full of people crying. A couple of dads got into an argument with the security guard staffing the metal scanner. Possibly the most depressing environment I have ever encountered in my life. It was so bad I just had to laugh.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
It was so bad I just had to laugh.
The MIP session I attended was set up as "applicants night". From what I was told, they hold separate nights for applicants and respondents, to prevent any incidents I'll assume.

There were about 25 people there, I was the ONLY man at the session.

After the session we were told to line up at tables, and when it was our turn we had to find our name in a list, and sign for attendance of the MIP.

The list had name, lawyers name, etc...

I scanned the list of lawyers. I took a really good look - so much time that the clerk asked me if I needed help to find my name. My ex's lawyer was representing 50% of the applicants that night.


At that moment, I laughed. She had retained an Alimony mill lawyer..
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:47 AM
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Luckily I was exempted from taking that stupid class but from what I've heard it's a total waste of time.

Just another cog in the Divorce industry wheel. The goal is not to help people get through divorce but rather dessuade them from self representing.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:00 AM
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I went to file a motion to change yesterday and found out I have to attend the MIS AGAIN!!! I already went when the ex first filed - I told the clerk that but apparently we both have to attend again.

Which means I'll likely have to attend a third time when I file the motion to change or CS next year (since he's extremely unlikely to file the change on consent - he likes to argue).

Ridiculous!!!!!!

They may be a pain in the butt but they can be entertaining. So many ANGRY people. Just take some popcorn, sit back, and watch the show.
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