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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 08-11-2011, 09:43 AM
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No but they can have kids, custody and support issues, and end up in family court.

I experienced this when it was a Toronto-only program, so I'm just assuming the province wide program is identical, or at least very similar.

As soon as you file an application for trial in family court you were required to attend the session. So if it was divorce, yes, but also if you were common law and seeking custody or child support or spousal support, you still went through the family court system and had to take the session.

The main purpose was to encourage alternative dispute resolution, be it mediation or anything else. We got a talk from a clerk from FLIC, a video starring Peter Mansbridge and then a Q&A with a divorce lawyer who's main theme was how much money he would charge us if we had to hire him.
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Old 08-11-2011, 01:27 PM
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It is the same across Ontario now. You go in to see a video and have a Q&A after.

The only problem I have is you have to attend every time your go back to court for another issue.

So I have a Divorce Final Order but need to bring my Ex to court to change CS due to the Ex's change in income. Ex does not want to pay CS. Each time this is required I need to attend the session. So if my Ex does not want to pay the proper CS according to tables (this depends on the Ex's income changing every year) then I have to attend the session each time I file a new motion.

They have a comments form at the end of the session so please fill it out and submit it.
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:25 PM
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Doesn't matter anyway. Walk into any class with a closed mind and see how much you learn. Nada.
Excellent point. Couldn't have said it better.
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Mess View Post
No but they can have kids, custody and support issues, and end up in family court.
What a shame eh?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mess View Post
I experienced this when it was a Toronto-only program, so I'm just assuming the province wide program is identical, or at least very similar.
I have audited the program in other jurisdictions. You are correct in your assumption.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mess View Post
As soon as you file an application for trial in family court you were required to attend the session. So if it was divorce, yes, but also if you were common law and seeking custody or child support or spousal support, you still went through the family court system and had to take the session.
The flaw with the system is that it is not required from what I can tell to file the stamped and signed forms in the continuing record. From what I can tell only if the other party requests it does it ever get seen. I could be wrong.

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Originally Posted by Mess View Post
The main purpose was to encourage alternative dispute resolution, be it mediation or anything else.
The video is "ok" but, a bit dated in my opinion. From my recollection they do not discuss anything about "collaborative" process or enough about it.

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Originally Posted by Mess View Post
We got a talk from a clerk from FLIC, a video starring Peter Mansbridge and then a Q&A with a divorce lawyer who's main theme was how much money he would charge us if we had to hire him.
My opinion is that the content provided generally surrounds "costs" more than the "best interests of the children". I think parents would walk away with more if the session was more focused on the needs of the children and defrocking a bunch of the "divorce myths" surrounding custody and access.

Money is an important issue but, I just feel the needs of the children is paramount to the "cost" of the litigation process. Also, everyone should walk out (my opinion) with a copy of Justice Brownstone's book "Tug of War".

Good luck!
Tayken
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 08-12-2011, 09:56 AM
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Short version, my ex hadn't paid a penny in child support in over 2 years since separation. I'd sent several offers, she wouldn't respond to them for up to 6 months.

When she attended the session, I talked to her on the phone shortly afterwards and her comment was "It's obvious that the courts will say that you are wasting their time!", a comment that was paraphrased from session.

Of course the judge at the first case conference ripped her to pieces. My point is, people end up in court most often because at least one party is not thinking things through rationally or attempting to be reasonable. My ex had no interest in negotiating, or settling, and she took nothing positive or useful out of the session.

The problem with both these sessions and Brownstone's book, "Tug of War" is that they don't address the issue that one party may be willing to negotiate and compromise, while the other party just wants to bulldoze, or stall, or avoid. Brownstone is fond of describing litigants as "immature" but he seems to miss the point (in his writing, at least, and in the radio interviews I've listened to) that the court is last resort and sometimes the only resort of someone who is truly being victimized. And being faced with irrational stubborness is what cost people so much time, money, stress, anxiety and wastes the court's time.

The court needs to be there to address situations where there is a power imbalance and no will to co-operate. In these cases, mediation and collaborative law aren't going to work, they are going to waste thousands more dollars and a year or more of people's lives.

The main benefit of the session IMHO is give people an alternative viewpoint that is hopefully objective, when they have just been seeing a "shark" lawyer that is looking to drag out a situation and milk it. Or, to be more generous, a lawyer of less than ideal competence or experience who isn't providing all of the options up front.
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 08-12-2011, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Mess View Post
The main benefit of the session IMHO is give people an alternative viewpoint that is hopefully objective, when they have just been seeing a "shark" lawyer that is looking to drag out a situation and milk it. Or, to be more generous, a lawyer of less than ideal competence or experience who isn't providing all of the options up front.
Very well said. Especially the comment "a lawyer of less than ideal competence or experience who isn't providing all of the options up front."

Thanks!
Tayken
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