Dr. Julie Macfarlane, Project Director of the National Self-Represented Litigants Project, has given us permission to copy here a post she wrote on October 31st, 2016, for the NSRLP blog dealing with a costs award against a family law self-rep. It's well worth reading. She points to how common misperceptions about self-reps by lawyers and judges can cause real harm, and how everyone in the family law system needs to have a better appreciation of the difficulties self-reps face in trying to get matters heard fully and fairly. Thanks for letting us re-post this. JM
One of the most interesting Ontario Superior Court of Justice decisions in a while has tipped us off to “the two magic words of custody cases.” One of Ontario’s most respected family law judges goes through a contested custody case, with lots of conflicting facts, and boils it down to 2 simple words of advice. He calls them “the two magic words of custody cases.” You won’t believe how sensible they are.
Collaborative family law is a way for divorcing partners to resolve their disputes respectfully without going to court. It's also referred to as “no-court divorce” or “divorce with dignity.” This process offers couples support and guidance from a lawyer trained in collaborative family law and potentially additional professionals such as financial specialists.
Judges are like get a rest of us. There are things they like and things they don't like. When you’re trying to convince them to agree with you, it's useful to do the things they like, and avoid the things they don't. Here are seven things judges have told us they hate.