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What’s the difference between a Family Law Case and other settlements?

An oft-quoted statistic claims that 95% of family law cases settle. If that is true, it is lawyers and clients who are resolving matters between themselves and not resorting to judicial determinations. What implications does this have for the practice and, more specifically, the settlement of family law cases? I will address what I believe are the top three differences between family law settlements and other civil settlements, in order to make counsel aware of the typical pitfalls that exist when trying to settle a family law case.

As a specialist, I am well able to handle complicated family law matters. Multi-issue cases, sophisticated financial matters and complex custody cases are all within my expertise. I am able to dedicate the time and effort required to resolve difficult cases. My experience allows me to find and craft solutions where others might be stuck. But that does not mean that I am overqualified for straightforward cases – and not only because I consider very few family law cases to be “straightforward”. No family law case is exactly like another. Every case has its own particular facts. Each party has his or her own particular needs. Even if the parties are amicable, or there is just one issue to resolve, the case can benefit from my input and assistance. I can expedite the settlement, assist in drafting the agreement and apply for the divorce. I can distill the domestic contract down to its essential terms in order to produce a clear and accessible end-product.

The Differences between Family Law and Other Civil Settlements for Ontario Bar Association Program: The Essentials of Settlement December 10, 2008


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