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Local lawyers add voices on how to improve court process

by | Jul 9, 2019 | Local News | 0 comments

More than a dozen representatives from the area’s legal community gave their thoughts on reforming the family and civil court processes during a consultation hosted by Parliamentary Assistant to the Attorney General, Lindsey Park, and Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark.

The session, held Thursday, July 4 at the Brockville Courthouse, is part of a larger consultation tour taking place across the province this month. The aim of the consultations is to discuss ways to reduce costs and delays in the family and civil court process and encourage earlier resolution.

“We need a process that helps couples make the best decision for them and their children with a court system that causes minimal additional pain and collateral damage,” said Park.

“I want to thank Parliamentary Assistant Park for including Brockville on her consultation tour as it’s important for our government to hear the perspective from the legal community in rural and small town Ontario,” said Clark. “I was so impressed by the thoughtful suggestions put forward by local lawyers to improve the family and civil court process. We appreciate them taking time out of their own busy schedules to take part and I encourage members of the legal community and the general public who have suggestions to make a written submission.”

By some estimates, over 40 per cent of marriages in Canada will end by the 30th year of marriage. Many Ontarians going through a separation or divorce interact with the court system for the first time in their lives. They often already face significant financial and social changes to their life, their family and their children, before they start the court process.

Through these province-wide consultations, the Ontario government is looking for ways to:

  • Direct family law matters out of a combative court process, where possible.
  • Reduce the cost of the process to families and taxpayers.
  • Streamline the process to shorten the time to resolution.

The Ontario government is also looking for input on ways to improve the court process for civil disputes.

Individuals, families and businesses interact with the court process every day and, more often than not, they face unnecessary delays and exorbitant costs to resolve their matters. This adds to the stress of many families, as well as to the cost of doing business in Ontario.

The consultations will look for ways the system can improve to encourage earlier resolution of cases before costs escalate.

Clark noted the Ministry of the Attorney General welcomes written submissions from the public with suggestions for improving the family and civil court processes, including ways to encourage earlier resolution of cases, shorten times to trial and reduce costs for individuals, families and businesses going through the court process.

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