Most of the time, couples cannot settle or resolve their issues and differences; thus, they resort to non-adversarial means such as mediation. Individually, collectively or through a family law lawyer, couples can approach the Courts and give complete discretion to a judge to make the decision for them to better their relationship.
Occasionally, all issues can be resolved privately, apart from parenting and decision-making responsibilities for the children or what will happen to the family or matrimonial home. For this, the parties may go to court and ask the judge to resolve their dispute.
TYPES OF COURTS
Three types of courts in Ontario deal with matters pertaining to Family Law: The Family Court branch of the Superior Court of Justice, the Superior Court of Justice, and the Ontario Court of Justice.
The Family Court of the Superior Court of Justice handles all family law cases in some localities. All family law issues, such as divorce, custody, access, property division, adoption, and child protection, are handled by this Court.
In some localities, the latter two courts deal with certain family law matters. The parties need to determine who can handle the family law matter, disagreement, or dispute that needs to be resolved.
The parties must reach out to the Superior Court of Justice for divorce, decision-making, parenting time or spousal/child support issues. Additionally, matters pertaining to equalizing shared assets such as the matrimonial home, joint bank accounts, etc., are also settled here.
The parties must reach out to the Ontario Court of Justice for issues where the couple does not want a divorce but wishes to request support payments or settle disagreements regarding decision-making responsibility or visitation time. This court can also hear instances involving adoption and child protection.
A qualified family law lawyer can be the best to give case-by-case advice on which court to contact about the matter.
DUTIES OF THE COURT – HOW TO TACKLE THE PROBABLITIES OF RECONCIALIATION IN DIVORCE CASES?
Statutes impose obligations on the court. Before evaluating the evidence in a divorce case, the court has to be certain that there is no chance of the spouses getting back together or reconciling unless the situation is so extreme that it would be manifestly inappropriate.
If the court determines at any point of a divorce proceeding that there is a chance of reconciliation from one or both parties based on the facts of the case, the evidence, or their respective attitudes, the court has a duty to:
(a) adjourn the proceeding to confer a chance to the spouses to accomplish a reconciliation (14 days is typically the adjournment period); and
(b) with the consent of the spouses or at the court’s discretion, appoint an experienced or trained person in marriage counselling or guidance, or extenuating circumstances, any other person who may assist the spouses in achieving reconciliation.
After fulfilling the duties mentioned above, When the court decides that the divorce is to be granted, it is bound to ensure sensible arrangements for supporting any child of the marriage. With reference to the applicable guidelines, divorce is not granted until such arrangements are made.
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