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In hopes that this will be our last blog about Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, we are happy to report that Kim is (somewhat) officially a single woman. On April 19, 2013, a LA Judge dissolved the infamous union of Kim and Kris; with final papers to be signed.

Sources dish that Kris walked away with NOTHING! As we know, Kris was demanding approximately $7 million in settlement from Kim, he is set to receive a whopping zero dollars. Kris also dropped his claim for an annulment based on fraud. Both parties are also set to pay their own attorney's fees.

As detailed in our previous blog, Kris never showed up to his previous court date. Apparently the Judge was about to penalize him for being a no-show, but Kim asked the court to drop it. It seems as if Kim can now have the closure she has been desperately seeking and focus on the birth of her hip-hop royalty baby, fathered by Kanye West.

As it turns out, both Kim and Kris have saved themselves a large sum of money by settling their matter prior to Trial.

In Ontario, prior to going to trial, there are several court appearances that the parties must attend. First, fittingly, is the First Appearance which can sometimes be waived by both parties. Here the parties usually meet with a court clerk to set a date for a Case Conference.

Second is a Case Conference. Here, the parties' lawyers prepare a Case Conference Brief that summarizes the issues of the case. The purpose of a Case Conference is to create an open dialogue between parties in the hopes that they may reach a settlement. It can also be used to create a timeline and/or a schedule to exchange documents, etc.

The Judge at a Case Conference is not allowed to make any substantive Court Orders, but can make procedural Orders. For example, a Judge can order the production (in other words, demand) of a certain document to be exchanged by a certain date. A Case Conference is also a prerequisite to bringing a Motion.
The third appearance is the Settlement Conference. Here, Judges play an active role in attempting to bring the parties to a resolution. Like the Case Conference, a Settlement Conference Brief is also prepared.

The Trial Management Conference is the last stage before a Trial. Again, parties are required to submit a Trial Management Conference Brief in advance of the Conference. Here, the parties inform the court of who they intend to call as witnesses and how much time they anticipate spending on each part of the Trial. Again, Judges will typically try and encourage efforts to prompt a settlement between the parties.

The final step is the Trial which is very rare in family law. The likelihood of having a Trial in your case is fairly slim because the Conferences we have just discussed are designed to attempt to bring the parties to settlement.

Also, Trials, although they make good film plots, are actually very expensive for litigants. For this reason, less than one per cent of separation and divorce cases go to trial.