How do I change child support in my separation agreement?

2. Get help from a family law professional

You and your partner might not be able to agree on a new to deal with the changes to your situation. In family law you must think about using (ADR) or a family dispute resolution process to resolve your issues out of court if it's suitable for you. ADR might not be right for you if:

  • one person is afraid of another person because there is a history of family violence
  • there are serious mental health or drug abuse issues

A family law professional may be able to help you resolve your issues out of court. They are people who are trained to help you reach an agreement or make a decision for you by using an ADR process.

These processes include:

Deciding which process is best for you depends on the facts of your situation and what you want. For example, a mediator doesn't make decisions for you, but an arbitrator does.

Your separation agreement might even require that you first try a process like mediation to work out your issues before taking any further steps like going to court.

Some of the reasons to use ADR instead of going to court are:

  • You have more control over what happens.
  • It can be faster and cheaper.
  • It can be less stressful.
  • It takes place in a private setting.

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.

You can also find mediators who offer their services at lower rates through JusticeNet. JusticeNet is a not-for-profit that helps people in Ontario whose income is too high to get legal aid and too low to afford standard legal fees.

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