You are here

Why do I want to go to family court?

Why do I want to go to family court?
Learn more about this topic
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Legal Aid Ontario (LAO)
Ontario's Family Law Limited Scope Services Project
National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP)

Was this information helpful?

Why do I want to go to family court?
This question has an answer and 4 steps
July 31, 2017

Many couples, whether married or in a common-law relationship, need help to resolve their legal issues after they separate or divorce.

Some couples are able to resolve their issues on their own. You can talk to your partner on your own, with the help of someone you both trust, or with the help of a lawyer or a family law professional.

For example, each family court location in Ontario offers subsidized mediation services. You can get up to 8 hours of mediation for a fee that is based on each person's income. You can use this service whether or not you have a court case. And if you have a court case, you can get up to 2 hours of mediation for free at the court.

But maybe you and your partner cannot agree, even with the help of a family law professional. Or, maybe working with a family law professional isn’t the right option for you. For example, if:

  • you are afraid of your partner because of a history of partner abuse
  • there are serious mental health or drug abuse issues
  • you can't talk to your partner even with help
  • you can't work together with your partner even with help

In any of these situations, it may be better to start a family law court case to resolve your issues.

Going to court can be a complicated process and it can take a lot of time. It can be stressful and expensive, but it is sometimes necessary to decide your issues

Trying another option

After you are in court, you and your partner can still agree to pause your case if you want to try to reach an agreement out of court.

There isn't one option that is best for everyone. The best option to resolve your issues depends on things like your relationship with your partner, how complicated your legal issues are, and your goals.

Parlez Français