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Suite 217
189 Kent Street West
Lindsay, ON K9V 5G6

(705) 878-4820 (ph)
(705) 878-0776 (fx)

susanpeel@cogeco.net
www.susanpeel.ca
Litigation
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Family Law
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Litigation

Family law is relatively new law compared to other areas, such as property law, which dates back to the 1800s.  Family law cases were uncommon and undeveloped in 1800s and well into 1900's.  Until 1930, only the Federal Parliament could grant a divorce in Ontario through an Act of Parliament. Changes in society with more and more separations prompted changes in the law and legislation was eventually passed and caselaw has developed.

When lawyers became involved in family law matters, they initially approached family law in the same way all cases were handled...using an adversarial approach with the same win/lose attitude.  This approach to family law cases ignores the fact that legal issues are usually the tip of the iceberg and that emotional and communication issues usually drive the conflict.  The adversarial approach ignores the reality of relationships and sadly the children’s needs.

As family law has evolved, many lawyers (including myself) have realized that the Family Court is not the best venue to solve family law disputes.  In fact, a Report prepared by Justice Tom Cromwell of the Supreme Court of Canada condemns the current family law culture in Canada and calls for a revolution.  Family law cases do not belong in Court unless every effort to reach a settlement has been exhausted, or in cases of emergency or safety risks.   

I am committed to settling your family law case without going to Court.  I focus on family mediation, negotiation and collaborative law practice to help my clients resolve their cases. The Family Court system is the most expensive way to resolve a family case, is very stressful, and is fraught with delays.  

There are times when court action is unavoidable. In situations where your spouse has started a court action, there is an emergency or safety risk or it is not possible to reach an agreement with your spouse, Family Court is the only option. I will not represent you in Court but I do offer consultations and and referrals to litigation lawyers whom I trust.

A family court action is a formal request to the court system to assist in resolving your dispute. The Family Court Judge participates in a series of meetings to discuss the issues in your case and explore settlement options. If settlement is not reached, a Judge will impose a decision to end the dispute.

An example of what to expect in a Family Court case is provided.

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