While there are several ways the litigation process in Ontario can benefit your divorce case, there are also potential drawbacks.
The Benefits And Drawbacks Of The Ontario Litigation Process
Divorce Litigation Benefits
There are benefits if you are in a very pressurized situation: for example, if a spouse has been left with no support and there is very little money to put food on the table, or if a parent has had his or her children taken away by the other spouse. You can go to court on an emergency basis and you can obtain relief. In urgent situations in Ontario, you are able to achieve results relatively quickly.
Another benefit of the litigation process is that there is a defined structure and rules. The lawyers and the parties, even if they are self-represented, have to obey the statutes, because they’re working within a certain structure. There is orderliness to the process; it goes through various stages and you can see an endpoint.
Divorce Litigation Drawbacks
Litigation in the court system also has a number of drawbacks. When trying to establish a point, vindicate one’s rights, or protect oneself, one tends to make inflammatory allegations against the other spouse. Hopefully, the lawyers know to keep that inflammatory rhetoric down, but some don’t. You want to prove your point so you might say things in an answer or write things in an affidavit that are very hurtful to the other side. If there are children involved, you’re going to have some sort of relationship with your ex-spouse in the future. You don’t have to be friends, but you do have to be civil. However, once these allegations are down on paper and stated in hurtful ways, the post-divorce healing process becomes much more difficult.
Another drawback of the litigation process is that some lawyers tend to see it as their personal battlefield, which can cause the legal costs rise and generally results in very dissatisfied litigants. Even when the litigation process is conducted professionally and responsibly, it tends to be fairly expensive.
For more than 35 years, Gene C. Colman has been providing trusted legal guidance to clients facing the complexities of the family law system in Ontario and worldwide. He is trained in mediation and values alternatives to divorce litigation, such as collaborative family law.