By Robert R. Berman B.C.L, LL.B, principal of Berman Barristers and founder of My Ontario Divorce
There’s good and bad in every profession. Choosing the right divorce lawyer is an important decision. A good Ontario family lawyer can make or break your case. For starters, make sure that your divorce lawyer’s practice is restricted to or at least has an emphasis in Ontario Family Law. You don’t want your corporate lawyer handling your divorce.
It’s also a good idea to confirm that your divorce lawyer has been in the game for at least a few years. There is no substitute for experience and not just legal experience, but life experience too. Divorce is a mix of reason and emotion, law and psychology. You want a divorce lawyer who has mastery of both the legal and human factors that play out in a divorce.
That means that your divorce lawyer should understand the fundamentals of negotiation and how they overlap with the emotions that inevitably influence the course of the separation and divorce negotiations. Firmness combined with finesse will usually carry the day and save you thousands of dollars.
The bad news is that a good Toronto divorce lawyer is usually expensive. A really good divorce lawyer in Toronto could cost $300-$500 per/hour or more. You usually get what you pay for. The good news is that you don’t always need a divorce lawyer to negotiate and file your divorce in Ontario.
If you and your ex have agreed on everything and all you want to do is put your separation or divorce agreement in writing and get divorced, you can do most of the work yourself. Here are your choices.
Some will take time off work to visit the Ontario Family law court and attempt to fumble through their divorce forms. This can be risky, because the clerks at the Ontario Family law court cannot offer you advice and can only provide you with the divorce forms. If you need assistance you could wait all day to speak with duty counsel and their ability to help is limited.
You can purchase a divorce kit at your local Staples or Business Depot, but like if you visited the Ontario Family Court to obtain Ontario family law forms, you will have little help or guidance.
There are services that offer online tutorials where you can create your own Ontario divorce forms online. These services guide you through creating your Separation or Uncontested Divorce Agreement and are fully automated, so at the end your court form or agreement is available to download and print. Some will even offer access to an online legal opinion so if you simply have an Ontario family law question, you can purchase credits and get answers online.
For more information about how to find a good Toronto divorce lawyer or about creating your Ontario Family Law forms please visit www.bermanbarristers.com or www.myontariodivorce.com.