We asked the public to write to us about the personal experiences that they had when trying to use the Ontario Family Court on their own. Here is Lily’s story.
“I am a single mother of two, had to file for Divorce and seek full custody of my two children four years ago. My children were the ages of 1 and 4 at the time and this was my experience.
I didn’t have the means to hire a divorce lawyer so I took it upon myself to contact the Newmarket Family Court (the Ontario Family Court in my jurisdiction) to gather all the information I needed to proceed. I was told to visit the court and I will be given all the forms that I needed.
Along with not having the money to hire a lawyer, I also didn’t have a car, so I borrowed my parent’s car and drove over to the Newmarket Court with both my children in tow. I was directed to the Family Court division where I would speak to the clerk who would give me all the paperwork I needed.
It was extremely busy and I was handed a “How To” booklet along with forms so I went on my way and returned home. I went through the booklet and did my best to complete my forms and returned to the court, again borrowing a car, to file my divorce forms. I waited in the line-up for what seemed to be days only to find that I did not fill in my Ontario Divorce Application and other forms correctly.
I searched through the booklet to see where I went wrong and nowhere did it show any errors, so I went to get new forms and returned home to fill them out correcting the mistakes the clerk advised I had made. I returned to the Newmarket Family Court a third time, waited again in a long line up and was given more forms, this time Affidavit forms.
I had to serve my spouse with the papers. When I completed that and returned to the Newmarket Family Court for the fourth time to file the Affidavit, I waited again in line for them to tell me that I served my partner incorrectly so I had to get new forms once again, serve the forms to my spouse once again, wait in line once again and then was sent to wait for a response.
This went on and on, back and forth from home to the court each time not given the proper information or forms that I needed causing me to have unnecessary visits to the court. The same procedure happened when I also filed for custody of my children. If I was given the option to fill out all my forms at once and given a complete tutorial, I could have saved so much time, have spared by children of the experience and saved myself frustration and my sanity.
There is nothing more frustrating than trying to further yourself and not being given all the necessary information upfront in one visit with two small children along for the ride.
If only there was another option…”
Lily’s story is a prime example of why we have been long time advocates of innovative, online divorce solutions. In the past two years more and more online resources have become available for those who are going through the process of a divorce or separation.
Creating your divorce forms online saves you unnecessary trips to the court and is an affordable avenue for those who don’t need a lawyer or simply can’t afford a one. For more information about how you can create your Ontario Divorce forms online please visit www.myontariodivorce.com or www.bermanbarristers.com.