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Can we stop our family law court case and try to solve our problems another way?

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Can we stop our family law court case and try to solve our problems another way?
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CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Ministry of the Attorney General
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Law Society of Ontario

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Can we stop our family law court case and try to solve our problems another way?
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Reviewed: 
July 31, 2017
Answer

Even if you start a family law court case, you can talk with your partner at any time and try to resolve your issues out of court. You can talk to your partner on your own, with the help of someone you trust, or with the help of a lawyer or mediator.

If you both agree on how to deal with some or all of your issues, you can put what you've agreed on in a separation agreement or you can get a consent order from the court.

A separation agreement is a written contract that you and your partner make that says how you will deal with your issues. You and your partner sign it and then you must both follow it. It does not need to be approved by a judge before you sign it.

You can make a separation agreement at any time.

A consent order is a court order that says what you and your partner agree to. It is based on your consent agreement or minutes of settlement. These are written documents that say what you are agreeing to. They can be handwritten and signed or typed and signed.

You can only enter into a consent order if one of you has started a court case.

You can talk to a lawyer who can help you understand what the law says and what your options are. They can also explain the court process and help you resolve your issues out of court.

If you can't afford to hire a lawyer for your whole case, some lawyers provide "unbundled services" or "limited scope retainer" services. This means you pay them to help you with part of your case.

If you can't afford to hire a lawyer at all, you may be able to find legal help in other places.

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