Families Will Benefit From Justice Improvements
McGuinty Government Making Legal System More Affordable And Straightforward
Affordable, faster and less confrontational -- that's the new direction for family law in Ontario.
By next summer, families across the province will have access to improved services through Ontario's courts.
Ontario is increasing access to justice by expanding valuable services to all court locations. Families will soon have access to:
- The Mandatory Information Program that offers more options for families experiencing breakdown and helps them learn about the effects of separation and divorce.
- The Family Mediation Service that helps families identify challenges and work out solutions outside the courtroom, which saves parents money.
- Information and Referral Coordinators who will refer families to community agencies that can help them resolve challenges earlier and at less cost.
The new approach to settling family disputes will help more Ontario families avoid the courtroom in favour of an early, affordable, out-of-court resolution.
This is part of the government's Open Ontario plan to make the family justice system more straightforward, focused and affordable, and to provide accessible and consistent family justice services for all Ontarians.
- The Mandatory Information Program was piloted in Milton, Brampton and Toronto and will be available in 17 additional courts by April 2011 and the remainder of the courts by summer 2011.
- The Family Mediation Service and Information and Referral Coordinators are currently available in 17 Family Courts locations and will be made available in the remainder of Ontario's courts by summer 2011.
- Approximately 160,000 people use Ontario's family courts each year.
“We made a commitment to Ontario families to make our family justice system more affordable, faster, simpler and less confrontational. These programs deliver on that promise. This is about the people and not just the process. Ontario is committed to providing families with the justice services they need, when they need them.”
“The Ontario Bar Association supports expansion of early information sessions and mediation services, as well as other reforms making the family justice system more accessible and less upsetting for the children and families in these difficult, life-changing times. As lawyers who serve these families on the front lines, we always appreciate the opportunity to work with government to improve the justice system.”