How much does a simple divorce cost in Ontario?
85% of couples across Canada are unrepresented in court for family law matters. Dr. Barbara Landau is the president of “Separation Pathways,” a multi-disciplinary, client-centred, safe and affordable choice for families seeking a cooperative option outside court. She has proven evidence in her mediation career that there’s very little government support with legal aid to help people who want to resolve their marital problems out of court. The failure of legal aid to support mediation is really throwing money away.
A Separation Planning Meeting in Separation Pathways is at just $184.50 per person or $369 per couple. This meeting is up to 2 hours at a fixed cost (per person) with a Family Professional who seems most appropriate for addressing your issues. The focus is on understanding what issues you and your partner are looking to address, helping you prepare the necessary information – to minimize the cost of expensive professional time – and helping you decide on what dispute resolution method you and your partner are likely to be successful at. These are the first steps of the process. The overall program could be between $2000-$5000 per couple. Both parties must agree to the meeting in order to proceed.
After that, a proper plan of action is set, likely leading to one of our packages. These packages are specific to your needs starting from $715.50 per person and your initial $184.50 is discounted from the package price. Even our most expensive package is thousands of dollars less than alternative solutions that require lawyers and courts. Compared to the legal approach and courts which could get up to $10k per person or more, our approach is much more cost-effective and amicable as our professional team work at reduced rates to help couples with limited financial capabilities. Our Intake Worker will consider what your key issues are and set you up for a planning meeting with the most appropriate professional at a fixed very low cost. Meaning we are hoping it’ll be for the couple because almost every process out of court requires that both people consent and both people work together, which means that you’re sharing any professional costs.
All the professionals who work for Separation Pathways have agreed on reduced fees. They know that what we’re targeting is people who are that 85% who can’t afford mainstream services, so they’ve agreed. In that separation planning meeting, you work out a personalized plan. We guide couples on their separation pathways to affordable and cooperative outcomes and help them to get organized. The same person who does the planning meeting is also qualified to do the packages. We try to pick the most likely person so that clients have continuity of care. And if it isn’t the right person then we have on our roster lawyers, mental health professionals, mediators, arbitrators. Everybody who is with us in our hub is a highly experienced person.
Services Packages for Divorce Mediation
We have fixed-cost packages. If you need a parenting plan, there is a parenting plan package. If you don’t have children, you don’t need a parenting plan. If you don’t know, what can you do about finance and the division of property, there’s a comprehensive package and in addition, there is a meeting with the children which is probably the most important thing. Because when parents hear how children are experiencing the conflict, it really makes them think twice about writing horrible affidavits about the other person or dividing it up or about grandparents who grill the parents on whom the other parent is dating and what an impact that makes on the list.
The cost of the separation planning meeting is rolled into the plan. It’s like a down payment on picking a package. We give people a navigator for no cost. We call it a navigator because when we met with about 250 people for ideas about what did they need in order to make the family process better, almost everybody said that this is so confusing and we thought we just walk into court and say to the judge, I’m unhappy and the judge will give me a hug and say bless you and that’ll be the end of it.
The divorce process in Canada
The court process is so backed up. It can be three, five or more years. Your child can be graduating from high school and university by the time you get through the process. It can be very time-consuming. The speed of the response is very important. Some people want to move instantly. They have thought about it for quite a while, and they know they’re unhappy and they want to just get it done. Other people are very ambivalent. They may be very depressed; they may be shocked that this is happening. What we do is we try to work at the pace of the people that we’re seeing, but we can respond. Usually, you have the intake call within two days, and you can have your separation planning meeting within a week. We’re not talking about being on somebody’s waitlist for a year. If you need time to gather your finances, to look at what housing will cost, to get your pension valued etc., we’re going to coach you on how to do it at the most recent. Moreover, we have created the Family Law portal. It is free and aimed at helping people identify what the issues look like, what you need to address those issues, and what documents you must gather. We stand for simple and affordable ways.
Do you need a lawyer to get a divorce in Ontario?
People always want to know about family reform, and they keep asking for the same thing. They’re asking for an affordable, supportive approach that takes children’s needs into account. In the fields of mediation and family dispute resolution, Dr. Landau is a pioneer. She is committed to enhancing family members’ access to justice and minimizing pointless strife for kids who are separated from their parents. In most of Barbara’s cases, the people involved become greater friends and parenting partners than they ever imagined they would be.
You can find out more about what is salvageable due to family mediation and how it’s possible for the highly trained professional multi-disciplinary team of Separation Pathways to agree to work at reduced rates to guide couples through proper, simple, less stressful, inexpensive, and fast pathways to separation from the amazing podcast, which can be accessed at the link below.
Find out, in this podcast with Barbara Landau on CBC Morning Radio – on April 28, 2023