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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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  #1  
Old 10-18-2018, 02:27 PM
JED JED is offline
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Default Self-rep: completing form 57B

Hi All,

I posted in August about an upcoming case conference I had pertaining to my ex wanting my daughter to relocate with him to another city to attend an arts high school. Despite the fact that this would result in split custody (my other daughter is 11), the judge ordered an "interim interim order" allowing her to go. We will have another case conference at the end of her first semester (end of January). I have no intention of "fighting" the judge's decision as I see little point to disrupting my children's lives any further. She is welcome to come back to me at any point but for now I have chosen to support her in her desire to go. What's done is done.

Anyway, my lawyer agreed that it would be reasonable that I self-represent moving forward. However, I still have to deal with the issue of costs that my ex is seeking. I know I have a pretty good case and am comfortable self-representing in court however I have to submit a form 57B. I was wondering if anyone has experience in completing this form...as the person NOT seeking costs?

JED
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:39 AM
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Tayken Tayken is offline
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... the judge ordered an "interim interim order" allowing her to go. We will have another case conference at the end of her first semester (end of January).
Huh? A judge at a conference has no ability to "order" this. This kind of material custody and access decision can only be made at a case conference on CONSENT of both parties.

So, either you were wrong and the matter was a motion or trial (where a judge has the power to make this order based on the review of evidence) or you CONSENTED to the move.

Which one was it? The order from a conference for something like this should read "ON CONSENT". If it does not you can appeal the order and quickly have it burned up and get costs. There are piles of cases in CanLII where judges have made similar substantial orders at conferences that they are not allowed to make.

HONESTY matters on this forum.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:44 AM
JED JED is offline
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Sorry, it was a motion. I got the legal lingo wrong...
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:50 AM
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Tayken Tayken is offline
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Sorry, it was a motion. I got the legal lingo wrong...
Phew. I was about to go into case law research mode and start filling the thread for you so you can appeal it.
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:58 AM
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Tayken Tayken is offline
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Anyway, my lawyer agreed that it would be reasonable that I self-represent moving forward. However, I still have to deal with the issue of costs that my ex is seeking. I know I have a pretty good case and am comfortable self-representing in court however I have to submit a form 57B. I was wondering if anyone has experience in completing this form...as the person NOT seeking costs?
I would lean on the following and recent decisions from Justice Pazaratz that neither party should be paying for costs regarding a schooling issue.

Bennett v. Burns, 2018 ONSC 5443 (CanLII)
Date: 2018-09-14
File number: 455/09
Citation: Bennett v. Burns, 2018 ONSC 5443 (CanLII)
http://canlii.ca/t/hv4ll
(No costs ordered. School dispute.)

Payne v. Jamieson, 2017 ONSC 5243 (CanLII)
Date: 2017-09-01
File number: 740/17
Citation: Payne v. Jamieson, 2017 ONSC 5243 (CanLII),
http://canlii.ca/t/h5rjb
(No costs)

Andrade v. Di Pietro, 2017 ONSC 5226 (CanLII)
Date: 2017-09-01
File number: 908/16
Citation: Andrade v. Di Pietro, 2017 ONSC 5226 (CanLII),
http://canlii.ca/t/h5rhp
(No costs, again...)

It isn't uncommon in school disputes that costs are not ordered. Especially in a matter as complex as yours. Something like what you went through did indeed need the court to intervene as it was a complex matter. It involved mobility issues with a child.

Neither party should have to bear costs probably.
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:36 PM
JED JED is offline
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Wow...thanks so much, Tayken! I really appreciate the information. On the advice of my (soon to be fired) lawyer, I did offer to pay half of what they were seeking ($2500) which they turned down. I agree, for all the reasons you outlined, I have a pretty good argument for not paying (or seeking) costs.

It sounds like you have a ton of experience in this area! Either you are a lawyer or you've had to navigate these waters self-represented and should actually have an honorary law degree. My lawyer was great. He had a solid argument in the motion hearing and even though it didn't go the way I wanted to, I wouldn't have done anything different. However, both he and I agreed that it probably makes sense for me to self-rep. I am not contesting the decision and I'm not in a financial position to "fight" this anymore.

My struggle currently, as ridiculous as it, is how to prepare from an admin standpoint without the aid of my lawyer. I have to fill out this 57B form which is fairly cryptic. I have researched the hell out of how to complete it to the satisfaction of the courts and have come up with nothing. My lawyer is still retained at this point so I've asked him if he could help me out with it and then I'll fire him. lol! He may not agree. Understandably, the firm he's with, as a policy, doesn't "half represent" clients.

Thanks again for the input.
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Old 10-19-2018, 01:53 PM
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I have a pretty good argument for not paying (or seeking) costs.
Your position on costs should be that school matters like this require the intervention of the court. They are not normal matters. So long as you weren't unreasonable in your position.

I can only assume that the OCL was involved (or similar professional) to ascertain the position of the 13 year old involved.

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He had a solid argument in the motion hearing and even though it didn't go the way I wanted to, I wouldn't have done anything differently.
How you present your position does matter. If your lawyer took an aggressive approach and personally attacked the other parent in the matter it could have had an impact. Aggressive lawyers (negative advocates) tend to do worse in family court matters.

Family law is not a "war" or "battle". If a lawyer and their client approach it from this angle in 2018 they will find themselves often on the wrong side of an order.

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However, both he and I agreed that it probably makes sense for me to self-rep. I am not contesting the decision and I'm not in a financial position to "fight" this anymore.
Well, I would never recommend anyone "fight". Especially in a family law matter.

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My struggle currently, as ridiculous as it, is how to prepare from an admin standpoint without the aid of my lawyer.
Your struggle isn't ridiculous. It would be if there was something to appeal on but, as you stated above it isn't worth it. The challenge you ran headfirst into is that a court will consider the position of the child in the matter. Especially when they are 13.

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I have to fill out this 57B form which is fairly cryptic. I have researched the hell out of how to complete it to the satisfaction of the courts and have come up with nothing.
Ask your lawyer for a deidentified costs order they have prepared for another client so you can review it.

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My lawyer is still retained at this point so I've asked him if he could help me out with it and then I'll fire him. lol! He may not agree. Understandably, the firm he's with, as a policy, doesn't "half represent" clients.
There are lawyers that will go on a limited retainer.
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