What does a Divorce Lawyer Costs in Ontario – Video
A common question among couples looking to end a marriage is “how much does a Divorce Lawyer Cost”. It depends. Let’s break it down for a better understanding. “Divorce papers” is the dissolution of marriage. Divorce in Ontario can be a “contested divorce” or “uncontested divorce”. A contested divorce means you and your spouse have a few issues to iron out, maybe around such things as ongoing parenting, child or spousal support, property equalization or division, or how to deal with the matrimonial home.
If it’s a cost-effective divorce you want, that depends on the dispute resolution process you choose to work out your differences. Read on and in this tutorial series I will lay out your various options.
For many divorcing couples, lawyers are seen as the one and only option for divorce in Ontario. While it is in your best interest to eventually engage a lawyer to review your final agreement, starting off in the office of one isn’t usually going to result in an amicable divorce.
High divorce lawyer costs can be avoided if negotiate a settlement than to go to divorce court. Unfortunately, some (not all) lawyers spin this into an adversarial and costly process.
Lawyer negotiations are conducted mainly by correspondence. Each piece of correspondence your lawyers write will cost you both a few to several hundred dollars. Suddenly, before you know it, several thousand dollars of your hard-earned money has evaporated.
Additionally, even with lawyer negotiations, it is possible for your case to end up in divorce court.
Family Court a Last Resort
Family Court should always be considered a last resort. It is highly adversarial, extremely expensive, painfully slow and the results are difficult to predict. Sadly, there always tends to be a winner and a loser. The adversarial nature of the process often escalates the animosity between the parties. The judge will decide the future of your family based on the law, without regard to creating a soft-landing for you and your family.
When you consider the fact that this judge, a person who has not met you or your children, and has only a minimal understanding of the context of the issues and how they relate to your family, will make decisions that will affect the rest of your life and life of your children, it is hard to deny that this is a very tenuous choice.
More about Divorce Lawyer Costs
Adversarial: This is the traditional court system. Each party has a chance to make the case against the other party.
There is no mediator present. Only each party’s lawyers.
It is mandated by the courts that each party exchange financial information.
Full disclosure of all financial information is law.
Finding the right lawyer for yourself.
Meetings between your lawyer and yourself.
Exchange Financial Statements
Court dates – If both parties cannot come to a settlement.
Is This the Right Process for You?
Perhaps, if your spouse declines to engage in settlement talks or is uncooperative. When domestic violence is a real concern You’re certain that your spouse will be deceitful in an alternate dispute process. You are ok that a family court justice (judge) makes the final decision in regards to your children and property.
There is virtually no privacy with this process. Documents and court orders are open to the public. Any information you present to the court is open for the public to view.
You can ask the judge for certain documents to be kept private (not guaranteed) such as.
Children’s information, etc.
Time Required for Resolution
There is no set time. These proceedings could take up to as much as 3+ years. You first have to:
Conclude the discovery
Schedule a judge to hear and rule on your case
This process is usually very costly to both parties.
Divorce lawyer cost could be from $15,000 to $100,000. Sometimes more.
There are few cost controls when it comes to a litigation trial.
If both parties cannot come to a final decision, then it is up to the judge (no jury in family law) to make the final decision.
The judge issues the final ruling. Usually, in these cases, one party is considered the loser. The party that lost the judgment are typically not happy with the outcome and can appeal the judge’s decision
Divorce Lawyer Costs
A perspective on what it could cost you both.
Canadian Lawyer Magazine’s 2018 Legal Fees Survey reveals a lawyer negotiated non-contested separation and divorce could cost you each between $5100 to $7400 to prepare and review the documents. If you are not agreeing (contested), the cost increases quickly by an additional $19,500 to $35,500. In all you could soon be spending $24,600 to $42,900 each. More if you either of you owns a business.
Ken S. Maynard is an Ontario Accredited Divorce Mediator (Acc.FM) and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA). He is a specialist in comprehensive divorce mediation services resulting in a separation agreement. You can meet with Ken at any of the 6 DTSW Greater Toronto mediation centres including | Aurora | Barrie | North York | Vaughan | Mississauga | Scarborough