Family Law: Negotiation, Mediation and Litigation

I have had a busy family law practice for over 20 years. The great majority of my family law files were settled out of Court. Of those that ended up in Court, 9 out of 10 were settled at or shortly after we reached the first stage of the Court process; the Case Conference. Very few cases I handled required Motions. Few are still required Trials. Why? I think there are three main reasons for this.

Firstly, I have the experience to advise you as to what will likely happen on a motion or at a trial. With that knowledge in hand, we can strategize to obtain the same result without incurring the cost of arguing the issue.

Secondly, I pride myself on my skills as a negotiator. Whether it be through effectively written letters, or by way of settlement meetings with counsel and clients present, I do seem to get my clients results.

Thirdly, because I have appeared before the Court for a number of years, your soon to be ex-spouse will be advised by his or her lawyer that if the matter is not settled out of Court, an Application will be forthcoming. If you feel the major obstacle to moving on with your life is your ex’s intransigence on an issue that you are not prepared to concede, it is important that you retain a firm that has a history of litigating that issue. Your ex must know from the outset that stubbornness will not lead to victory.

I have decided, after 35 years of litigating, to no longer go to Court myself. If I cannot settle the case through negotiation, Mr. Jameson Glas will appear on our behalf in Court. Mr. Glas has spent the last two years under my tutorage. I am confident, as you will be, that he will represent you very well. I would of course continue to provide him with my advice throughout the course of your litigation. The advantage of having Mr. Glas represent you in Court is that his hourly rate is one-half of mine. Court is extremely expensive; it is an advantage for you to have bright, energetic counsel backed up by very experienced counsel, at a very reasonable cost.

Quite often I am asked if I can act for both you and your spouse in drawing up a Separation Agreement that reflects what you have agreed upon. There was a time when this was done by counsel, but we have become a more litigious society. I cannot meet with both you and your soon to be ex-spouse and draw up a Separation Agreement for you based on what you and your spouse tell me, unless I am acting as your mediator. (Please read my section on Mediation to fully appreciate this new approach to family issues). What I can do is meet with you for the purpose of drawing up a Separation Agreement that we will then present to your soon to be ex-spouse for his or her review and hopefully, signature. I will strongly recommend that your ex-spouse obtain independent legal advice before signing the Agreement, as it is in your interest that the Agreement not be set aside in the future for a lack of understanding or fairness. The cost of preparing the draft Separation Agreement will be based upon the time that I spend drafting it, which of course is dependent on the issues that have to be addressed and their complexity. However, if you and your soon to be ex have come to an Agreement on all of the issues arising from your separation, this is the least expensive way of incorporating that agreement into abiding Separation Agreement.

Please feel free to call me or Jameson Glas to discuss how we can best to help you with the family law issues that you have.

Kevin Haxell
Haxell Law
905-845-0767 extension 222