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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 08-26-2014, 11:39 PM
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After two years of separation, I now have an arbitration date two weeks away. Mediation failed last year when my husband was not prepared to settle...I have tried on numerous occasions to get him to talk out some of the issues and come to resolution but he seems only to want to have his own way on everything. My lawyer has asked for a $25,000 retainer, now, up front, to be replenished before arbitration starts and says that she will need four days to prep. The arbitrator wants $10,000 this week. Does this seem reasonable to those of you who have gone through this? At this rate, the lawyer will be charging for four days work, and then asking for more $$ for the two day arbitration. I feel like I am being fleeced...I thought I was picking this lawyer for her good reputation, but so far she has accomplished nothing and billed me thousands. I am in the same place I was two years ago...How much does arbitration really cost (in Toronto). This seems to be turning into a $50,000 expense really fast...would love to hear from anyone who has been there...
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:06 AM
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My understanding is that Arbitration is (to use my own words) kind of a private trial. It will be legally binding (in most cases) so lawyers and the arbitrator proceed very carefully. The costs you have posted sound a little high to me, but if you have a real pro not out of line. It does seem like it will end up being cheaper than a trial. The costs are being shared with your EX right?
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:09 AM
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I think that it also depends on exactly what is at stake. Are the assets and support payments valued in the upper hundreds of thousands of dollars? Is there a major dispute about custody of the children?

Depending on these factors, only you can assess whether the $$$ spent on a resolution is worth it.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:16 AM
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And I am guessing from the costs that you folks are arguing over everything. . . house, spousal, child support, custody, access. The whole shebang. Am I right?
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:31 AM
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In Alberta arbitration is before a judge (free) so our arbitration was relatively inexpensive. We just had to pay for our own respective lawyers. 3 - 4 days preparation for the lawyer sounds reasonable. They have to prepare an extensive submission for the arbitrator.
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:04 AM
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Well the stakes are high for each of us, though some may say that relative to their own situation, not so. They also require arguments on different points of law...child and spousal support, issues surrounding the house and other assets. It could go either way to the tune of a couple of hundred thousand, so I guess at the end of the day I have to capitulate and hope that I am in good hands with my choice of lawyer and be as proactive as possible to help the lawyer. The fees for the arbitrator are split...I had to cough up ten thousand retainer for him alone, for two days, but the lion's share is for the lawyer, and yes, she did say 4 days prep. agghh.
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Old 09-01-2014, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maple leaf View Post
... This seems to be turning into a $50,000 expense really fast...would love to hear from anyone who has been there...
Make sure you ask the arbitrator to make an order on costs in the matter once everything is resolved. Arbitrators can award costs just like judges do. Make sure your arbitration agreement is properly written providing the power to do so though.
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Old 10-12-2014, 08:18 AM
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My two cents - and word of caution - please please investigate your arbitrator- how many cases have they arbitrated on? Hopefully your counsel will have some insight on that. Just went through a hellish matter - arbitrator (in her award) made no references to case law - just seemed to decide what she wanted - gave no reasons.
When concerns and requests were brought forward and the applicable Family Law sections were identified - she simply refused to acknowledge them. While I was fine with the CS and SS amounts - there were a couple other matters that were completely offside (especially since she had previously been the mediator and knew full well the issues). It has resulted in me having to proceed with an Appeal - yet more money again.
As Tayken has indicated above get a costs submission request in...we did...although given how the Award went - I'm not confident in how it will turn out.
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Old 10-12-2014, 08:26 AM
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One more thing - depending on your relationship with your ex - you may wish to ask for an enforcement order as well...While the CS SS and S7 payments I make are enforceable because they are set....the parenting schedule is not enforceable (without an order). This past summer my ex left the area for 2 weeks (which was against the order) and there was nothing I could do. When I spoke to lawyer - they indicated that the only way I could retrieve the children was to have an enforcement order.

Just passing on some info.
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Old 10-12-2014, 09:04 AM
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You are going for an appeal? As I understand it appeals are for errors in law.

In Alberta the arbitrations (called JDRs - Judicial Dispute Resolutions) are conducted by judges. I recall in our binding JDR that the judge reviewed the case law that each side was putting forward. The judge did not present any new case law. Immediately after the JDR (in our case it was 1 day in duration) we went to another floor in the courthouse and the judge read her decision and rendered the Divorce Order. She had basically facilitated the JDR so both party knew what the Order was going to be prior to going into the courtroom. The only written "decision" from the JDR was the Order for divorce.

I am quite interested in the process you went through.

Since the JDR (2010) I have been back to court many times as my ex isn't happy with the decision that he agreed to. In one instance we met with the same judge (after requesting clarification of her Order) and had her reword part of the Order. Yes my ex had 30 days to appeal the Order but he had no legal basis upon which to appeal as there was no error in law.
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