3. Get help from a family law professional

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Family Law - Separation and divorce

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How do I change my court order?
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3. Get help from a family law professional

You and your partner might not be able to agree on changing your court order. In family law you must think about using alternative dispute resolution (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.

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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Reviewed: March 1, 2021

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