Out of Court Divorce: A Smarter Choice in Ontario

Divorce Choices
Out of court divorce
Source: DailyMail.uk

Do You Need a Lawyer to Get a Divorce in Ontario?

In Ontario, it’s not mandatory to hire a divorce lawyer when you’re going through a divorce. However, navigating the family court system and understanding family law issues can be challenging without one. A family law lawyer can provide independent legal advice and guide you through the court process and family law proceedings.

You can handle the negotiation if you and your former partner can agree on issues like child custodysupport payments, and parenting arrangements. This is often referred to as an uncontested divorce. However, if there are disagreements or legal issues, seeking legal advice is advisable.

Family justice services offer dispute resolution options like divorce mediation and collaborative law. These processes involve a neutral third party—a mediator or collaborative lawyer—who helps divorcing spouses resolve disputes without going to court. It’s a less time-consuming and often less stressful alternative to court proceedings.

What is the Cheapest Way to Get a Divorce in Ontario?

The cheapest way to get a divorce in Ontario is typically an uncontested divorce. This is when both parties agree on all issues, including child supportspousal supportparenting plans, and property division. In this case, the divorce agreement can be drafted with the help of a divorce lawyer or through family mediation services.

Family mediation is a cost-effective method where a neutral third party helps the parties involved in the process to work cooperatively and come to an agreement. This face-to-face method can help avoid the cost and stress of court proceedings.

Another affordable option is the collaborative process. Here, both parties and their lawyers agree to resolve all issues without going to court. Other professionals, like financial advisors or therapists, may also be involved to facilitate a fair and comprehensive separation agreement.

Remember, while cost is a factor, it’s important to consider the long-term implications of your decisions. Getting a free consultation from a divorce lawyer is always advisable to understand your options and potential legal issues.

Divorce Industry Documentary

I recently had the opportunity to preview Joe Sorge’s documentary, Divorce Corp. Billed as a “shocking exposé of the inner workings of the $50 billion a year divorce industrial complex,” Divorce Corp. shines a light on the wasteful and collusive methods observed daily in family courts.

Divorce Corp presents a somewhat narrow view of certain negative outcomes, which I don’t believe are commonplace. As a result, a viewer unfamiliar with the inner workings of the divorce process might get an incorrect impression. For instance, the documentary suggests that the only way to reach a separation agreement in Ontario is through court proceedings, which is not accurate.

So, how does an out-of-court divorce work?

Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADRs) or Consensual Dispute Resolutions (CDRs) are other options. These include negotiation, mediation, collaborative family law, and arbitration. We live in an adversarial culture where many believe that going to court is the only way to resolve a disagreement. However, the truth is that you don’t have to, and many family law lawyers advise their clients to avoid court if possible. In reality, divorcing spouses have more control over their outcomes if they opt to stay out of court, allowing them to make their own decisions rather than having them dictated by a judge.

How long can a spouse prolong a divorce?

Divorce Corp. does not present a balanced view of divorce; it is excessively biased. Like many of the people in the film, I went through a lengthy divorce that lasted more than seven years. However, I do not place all of the blame on family lawyers (at least not mine) and courts. Yes, there were challenging times! I agree that the system has its flaws. The costs of court proceedings were high, both financially and emotionally. But I don’t hold the system entirely responsible; my ex-spouse and I were also to blame because we were caught up in the “emotional divorce.”

What are the stages of divorce?

The emotional divorce and the legal divorce are two aspects that need to be navigated. Divorce is emotional, and if not properly managed, it can derail the legal process. Ideally, the two elements could be handled separately—you could spend a few years dealing with the emotional issues, then go through the legal process with a clear heart and mind. However, the reality is that emotions and legal processes cannot be clinically separated and must usually be managed simultaneously. The end result? You’re forced to make decisions when you’re least emotionally capable of doing so; when you’re least capable of properly evaluating your options; when you’re least capable of asking your legal counsel the critical questions. Most importantly, they are least able to evaluate options clearly, causing them to react rather than respond with a clear understanding of the long-term consequences.

While there are many excellent family lawyers, judges, and custody assessors, there are also some that are less than ideal. However, we cannot blame all poor outcomes on a few bad apples. One positive aspect of the film is that it promotes discussion on divorce, the legal system, the best interests of children, the cost of divorce, and other topics.

What should be discussed during this meeting? The need for a significant shift in how divorce is handled as a legal process. To profoundly impact society – and hence reshape attitudes for happier and healthier, positive outcomes – a wholesale shift to practically every facet of the divorce process is required. In other words, instead of being an adversarial and combative culture, let’s become a settlement-oriented society. For this reason, I created The Smart Divorce and became a divorce coach. I was inspired to find less painful ways to handle the divorce process and share what I discovered with others. Now, I help clients achieve more positive outcomes from their divorces, leading to a better and healthier future.

What are the negative effects of divorce?

Divorce has a large societal ripple effect; it affects more than just the transitioning family; its consequences are far-reaching. There are hard costs that can be measured in cash, as well as soft costs that can be documented through research – as well as unquantifiable social costs.

On a scale of stressful life events, divorce, for example, comes in second only to the death of a spouse or child. It can manifest itself in the workplace as lost time, increased errors, and stifled innovation. Angry employees may project their frustrations onto coworkers or customers. An employee’s productivity can take up to 5 years to recover. Furthermore, I heard somewhere that 50% of women and 30% of men are still angry 10 years after their divorce! It’s no surprise, given that many people are pushed to make decisions when they are emotionally unprepared.

In addition to the effects and distresses of divorce, which have been highlighted in much of the research in terms of poverty and the impact of divorce on children/adult children, it is also crucial to note the number of children whose relationship with a parent changes drastically. This could be due to parental abandonment or estrangement, fatherlessness, or the loss of a single parent role model; it’s a major concern because it could harm the next generation. How do you think this generation of children will view relationships and commitments? Will the number of marriages, divorces, and cohabitations increase or decrease as a result?

The consequences of parenting challenges following a divorce can be severe and long-lasting. Maintaining relationships with their children as they grow older and into adolescence when peers are sometimes more important than parent time, is a challenge for some parents.

Divorce has ramifications that go beyond financial. It’s about the people, not just the procedure, and how it affects them.

Divorce has Ramifications

With each successive marriage, the divorce rate increases, reaching over 60% for a second marriage and over 70% for a third; evidently, the third time is not the charm. Furthermore, many people who remarry choose to live together, and research has shown that the rate of breakup in these relationships is higher than in marriage.

So, how can you prevent the terrible outcomes shown in Divorce Corp.? You are in control and have the power to make decisions. What is the truth? You decide!

You have control over the outcome if you stay out of court. With knowledge and education, you can empower yourself. You have options other than going to court. Make use of them.

You have the authority to decide what is in your children’s best interests if you co-parent respectfully. You will have a long-term relationship with your former partner, whether you like it or not. Your children are entitled to a relationship with both parents, regardless of how you feel about your ex, and they should not be placed in the middle of your conflict.

As Divorce Corp. suggests, we need to start talking about divorce and how it affects society. However, it is up to all of us – the general public as well as divorce professionals – to transform the family justice culture. It is up to us to make the decision, and we must not allow a few bad apples to mar the experience for others who want to shift away from an adversarial system toward one that is far more respectful and honest. And while that conversation is going on, take charge now and arm yourself with knowledge and education so you can have a smart divorce, as I call it.

The second part of this conversation will focus on reforms to family justice. People should be given a balanced perspective from a variety of professionals, in order to develop their own conclusions and make informed decisions about all aspects of the divorce process, in my opinion.

Final Thoughts

Divorce is a challenging and often time-consuming process, but it doesn’t always have to involve lengthy court proceedings. Divorcing spouses can work cooperatively with the help of a neutral third party, a divorce mediator, to navigate the complex family law issues and reach a separation agreement without going to court.

Divorce mediation is a family dispute resolution process that encourages parties to negotiate face to face, fostering a collaborative process that can be less adversarial than traditional family courtOpens in a new tab.. This method can be particularly beneficial when child custody and support issues are involved, as it allows for the creation of personalized parenting arrangements that prioritize the welfare of the child.

Involving family law lawyers in the mediation process can provide independent legal advice, ensuring that both parties understand the legal implications of their decisions. Collaborative lawyers sign an agreement to work cooperatively, focusing on resolving conflict and reaching an agreement that respects the interests of both parties.

The negotiation process in divorce mediation can be less stressful and less time-consuming than other processes, such as court proceedings. It allows for a free consultation and exchange of financial information, which can lead to a fair spousal support and child support payments agreement.


In conclusion, divorce mediation offers a more amicable and efficient alternative to court process. It allows divorcing spouses to maintain control over their separation, make decisions about their family’s future, and potentially achieve an uncontested divorce. It’s a testament to the power of working cooperatively and seeking resolution through negotiation rather than conflict.

Remember, every family’s situation is unique, and it’s essential to seek legal advice from a family law lawyer or other professionals to understand the best course of action for your circumstances. Family justice services are there to support you through these challenging times, helping you navigate the complexities of family law proceedings and reach a resolution that respects everyone involved.

Divorce is a challenging journey, but it doesn’t have to be navigated alone or in a courtroom. As you’ve discovered from this post, there are alternative paths like uncontested divorce, mediation, and collaborative law that can lead to a smoother, less stressful separation.

But understanding these options and choosing the right one for your unique situation can be daunting. That’s where a divorce coach can make a significant difference. As a divorce coach, I can provide you with the guidance, support, and education you need to make informed decisions about your divorce process.

If you’re ready to explore these alternatives and take control of your divorce journey, I invite you to schedule a ‘Get Acquainted Call’ with me. This is a no-obligation opportunity for us to discuss your situation and see how I can assist you in making your divorce smarter and less painful.

Schedule a Get Acquainted CallOpens in a new tab.

Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Reach out today, and let’s navigate this path together.

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