Fewer than 5% of family law cases proceed to trial. But if you have filed paperwork with the court, you will be “going to court” in some sense, for introductory information sessions such as the Mandatory Information Program (MIP) session or a first appearance date, and for case conferences. You should not be overly intimidated by the idea of going to court. But you should attempt to avoid going to trial.
The family court is a relatively accessible place, and one whose aim is resolution between the parties. If you read our article on Going to Court in Ontario you will see the various stages that all family law litigants will go through after one party files an Application. You will see that the process allows for the parties to resolve their issues at any stage. Even if you are coming to court, you should not expect to engage in an adversarial process. A judge will attempt to help you and your spouse come to terms with the issues you are facing, and to explore possible ways of resolving your differences. It is likely that along the way you will be able to come to an agreement, and see that agreement finalized in a court order.
You will only end up going to trial if you and your partner absolutely cannot compromise. If you do go to trial, you each will have to present your case before a judge, along with all relevant evidence, calling any witnesses who you wish to have corroborate your version of the case. The judge will make an ultimate determination of how your matter should be resolved.
It is possible that you and your spouse could resolve more of the issues between you, such as property division and spousal support, but be unable to come to an agreement on one issue, such as child support. A trial may therefore be necessary on that one discrete issue.
Will your separation be handled in court, or will your case go to trial? Talk to an Ontario separation lawyer at Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. to learn more. Call (905) 581-7222!