BEASLEY LAW OFFICE|
Family Law in London:
We believe all separating spouses should seek competent independent
legal advice from a lawyer knowledgeable in the area of family law so
that they can make informed choices and decisions.
You may choose the process to resolve your separation issues: typically
negotiated settlements or litigation. The basic difference is who makes
the final decision: you and your spouse or a judge.
The alternative to a negotiated resolution is litigation. Although many
court actions start, more than 95% of family law cases are resolved before
a trial is completed. Cases can be settled at any stage of the litigation
process: once the other party is served, after the first court attendance, at
a case conference, after a motion, at the settlement conference stage and
even at the eve of trial.
People who are able to resolve and negotiate their separation issues are
more likely to be happy with the result, follow through with the
settlement and reduce their legal fees.
In London, Ontario, one level of court is able to deal with all areas of
family law. In the past, property issues and divorce were dealt with in a
higher court while both the higher and lower courts were able to deal
with custody, support, restraining orders etc.. In Ontario, some areas
continue to have a 2 tier system for family law courts including St.
Thomas and Woodstock, while others have a unified family court.
The Family Court has a Case Management System
In Ontario Superior Court of Justice - Family Court, there are 2 sets of
pleadings, one is for the motion which results in a temporary order and
one is the Application which results in a final order and such order is
usually obtained after settlement or a trial at a later stage of the proceeding.
On the first return of an application, a case conference may be set if the
matter is opposed. If the matter is not opposed, an order may be
obtained or a hearing date set.
A motion is the determination of the issue on a temporary basis. It is not
final but the order stands until a Judge makes another order. Under the
new Family Court Rules which came into effect on September 15, 1999,
no motion may be heard prior to a case conference “except in a situation
of urgency or hardship or for some other reason in the interest of justice”.
A motion results in a temporary order. The term “temporary” has
replaced the term “interim”. Motions are decided by the Justice on the
basis of the Affidavit evidence and your sworn Financial Statement.
Your attendance at the Case Conference is required.
The Case Conference is an informal discussion between a Justice, the
parties and counsel for both parties. This meeting is a preliminary
meeting with a Justice and issues are identified, disclosure of information
and documents discussed, and a time table for motions or other next steps set.
The Case Conference Memorandum is a document that is filed with the
court so that the Justice can read about your circumstances prior to the
Your attendance at the Settlement Conference is required.
The Settlement Conference is an informal discussion between a Justice,
the parties and counsel for both parties. The Justice advises what he or
she would do if they were the presiding Justice at the trial.
The Settlement Conference Memorandum is a document that is filed
with the court so that the Justice can read about your circumstances prior
to the Settlement Conference.
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