Supreme Court commissions family law overhaul

National Post: April 3, 2013:

Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin has commissioned a report aimed at overhauling Canada’s family-law system. Its recommendations, which will be officially released later in April 2013, reportedly include strategies for streamlining the legal process, encouraging mediation and reducing litigation.

The number of self-representing litigants in family-law cases has climbed to above 70%, largely due to the exorbitant cost of family law lawyers. That statistic suggests the economic hardship that difficult breakups impose, but not the heartbreaking human costs imposed on parents — especially fathers, who often find the deck stacked against them in court.

It’s about time. Most people can come to a reasonable arrangement with the assistance of a third party. With the average cost of a litigated divorce over $16,000 each – and mediation producing similar outcomes as court for a fraction of the price – is it any wonder that more people are using divorce mediation?

There is a shortage of Edmonton Family Lawyers which is why the Edmonton family lawyer’s hourly  rates are so high. The process of writing letters back and forth between lawyers is ineffectual and ineffecient – and expensive.

I recently attended a trial recently where the couple began negotiating in early 2010 and went to trial in March 2013. During the 3 years the husband lost the home and couildn’t afford any more attorney fees. I spoke to witnesses from both sides – who each, independently, asked why this hadn’t been settled a long time ago.

Doesn’t it just make sense to try to work together first? And only if you can’t reach an agreement, then to seek the traditional two lawyer adversarial sytem of resolving your divorce?