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  • My Legal Briefcase

    My ex-wife keeps saying that my nine-year-old daughter doesn't want to see me even though we have a scheduled parenting plan. I haven't seen her in months. She keeps ignoring my emails I don't owe her any money. I would like to go to court to enforce our agreement. However, I'm not sure I want to hire a lawyer. I have a job, but lawyers are expensive. Legal Aid won't help me because I work. I have some assets and a modest income. What do I do?
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    Borrow the money, if necessary, but get an experienced family law lawyer.
    People have no hesitation financing a car. Right now, the Ontario courts are grossly
    overburdened by litigants attempting to represent themselves. Judges often complain that
    they continually have to explain that they continually have to explain the law and
    procedure rather than administer justice. "Duty counsel" court appointed lawyers in each
    Ontario Family Court have very limited responsibilities and only give initial advice to
    such self-represented parents and court appearances. That are not permitted so represent a
    parent. Usually, parents who represent themselves have little idea how the law works,
    what their rights are and how best to avoid the procedural mistakes that can cost them
    serious money in costs awards, nor do they know the best strategies to follow. Most
    importantly going to court may be the worst opinion of all. Good counsel can often avoid
    a courtroom confrontation altogether. They have all sorts of tools at their disposal that
    may avoid confrontation: Mediation, arbitration, custody/access assessments,
    conciliation, four way meeting of collaborative law. And when things go wrong, and
    cases do go wrong, that hardly damns the success of good counsel in most situations
    where the money is invested wisely. Sadly, some children no longer see their absentee
    parents because the "other" Dad or MOM would not turn whatever sources may be
    necessary to get the job done. Years later, it is often impossible to seek access when the
    child is older.

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