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Hello, my name is Andrew Feldstein of Feldstein Family Law Group. Today I will be speaking about how principles can get in the way of settlement.

Clients often want to go to trial because they say they want their day in court. They want to be heard by a judge and a decision to be made. If they are angry at their spouse, they may want to go to court to blame their spouse for bad behaviour. But that’s not the court’s role. Family courts are not interested in playing a blame game and divorce in Canada is no fault. That’s why you shouldn’t use your family law case to fight your spouse on the “principle” of it. In a family law matter when you continue to pursue an action, “based on the principle of it” it gets in the way of a reasonable settlement.

A reasonable settlement, negotiated with your lawyer or with the help of a mediator or judge, will render a far better result for you than keeping the matter going based on principle, due to the high emotional and corresponding financial costs involved.

You also shouldn’t fight and demand ongoing litigation just because you want to spite your spouse and delay the process of a property division or a support payment order. If you act unreasonably the court can have you pay the other party’s costs. To decide whether you acted unreasonably, the court will look at your behaviour in relation to whether you made an offer to settle, the reasonableness of any offer you made, and any offer you failed to accept. So continuing to fight “on the principle of the matter” could result in you paying more costs, even if judgement is rendered in your favour.

No one will benefit from your principled rendered judgment if it has wiped out all your assets. Don’t be stubborn on principle. Be smart, listen to your lawyer and start moving forward.

If you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your family law matters, please call us at 905-581-7222, or for more information, please visit our website at Thank you for watching. I’m Andrew Feldstein for Feldstein Family Law Group.