The Cost of Litigation in Toronto – Litigation Costs Arising from Divorce Disputes in Toronto are on the Rise

People in divorce disputes end up ruined by the cost of litigation  because they fall into typical pitfalls: Conflict generates a sense of self- absorption: compared with before, each party becomes more focused on self alone, more protective of self and more suspicious, hostile, closed and impervious to the perspective of the other person.

People who face divorce disputes tend to become more entrenched in their own position. This “positioning” increases litigation costs because there is little room for finding mutually acceptable solutions.

A person feeling vulnerable may hastily conclude that for divorce disputes, an aggressive lawyer is needed to “defend” him or her in court. If both spouses retain an aggressive lawyer to defend them in their litigation in Toronto, there is little chance of any cooperation. That’s when litigation costs really get out of hand. In Court, people still can cut down the cost of litigation if they select lawyers that will be vigorous but at the same time open to suggesting ways to settle. Choosing aggressive lawyers definitively increase litigation costs and does not guarantee results.

As highlighted by Supreme Court of Canada Judge Beverley McLachlin, the increased cost of litigation may also be caused by the fact that trials are now longer, there are delays in the justice system, and the judicial system is taxed with deeply rooted and endemic social problems including drug addiction and mental illness. Family law in Canada is poorly adjusting to these pressures.  In addition, the high cost of litigation unfortunately means that many people find themselves financially unable to access the court system. Some of them decide to defend themselves which also increases litigation costs.

Even if the delivery by the judicial system of family law in Canada has improved in recent years, litigation in Toronto continues to be very expensive. People are therefore encouraged to try to avoid resolving their divorce disputes in court. As an alternative to litigation in Toronto, separating couples can use mediation.

There are several types of mediation styles but two popular types of mediation styles are based on “interests” or based on “positions”. Among all of the types of mediation styles available, some mediation lawyer Toronto practitioners might be more comfortable with a “position” based approach, but I always employ interest-based negotiation because it produces win-win agreements.

As a mediation lawyer Toronto practitioner, I will also make suggestions about what types of mediation team might be needed. There are several types of mediation teams:

  • Clients only
  • Clients and lawyers
  • Neutral financial and/or parenting professional

People owe it to themselves and their family to try to keep a cooperative and flexible approach as a way of keeping the costs down.

For more information please contact Nathalie Boutet.

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