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OCLF Divorce Act Changes Submission to the Federal Department of Justice
Following input from our members, the OCLF has responded to the Federal Department of Justice’s consultation on proposed changes to the Divorce Act.  We were heartened to see a recognition of “collaborative law” added to the Divorce Act, but noted that the term “collaborative practice” was more in keeping with the unique interdisciplinary/holistic nature of our process.  The OCLF encourages the federal government to take a leadership role and set an example for the provinces and territories by the use of less adversarial terminology and more emphasis on out-of-court processes for separating families.  We will continue to monitor the progress of the proposed Divorce Act changes.


Comparative Effectiveness of Conflict Resolution in Family Law
A recent study prepared by The Canadian Research Institute for Law and The Family compared the costs and the effectiveness of four methods of resolving family law disputes, and found that mediation and collaborative law provide significantly higher value to disputants than arbitration and litigation in most cases.  Paul Godin’s article summarizes the highlights of the study and provides a link to the study itself.


OCLF submission to the Law Commision of Ontario
The OCLF has submitted a detailed response about Collaborative Practice to the Law Commission of Ontario (LCO).  Their interim report “Towards a More Efficient and Responsive Family Law System” contained some misconceptions about the process.  We are hopeful that the LCO will take us up on our invitation to learn more about the Collaborative option and will incorporate some of our comments in their final report. 


Changing the Experience of Family Dispute Resolution:  Collaborative Principles in the Courtroom, by Laura Fryer.  This article first appeared in the November, 2010 edition of “Matrimonial Affairs”, the newsletter of the Ontario Bar Association’s Family Law Section.  In a panel discussion at the OCLF Conference in September, 2010, three judges, all former Collaborative lawyers, reflect on the benefits for families of importing collaborative principles into matrimonial litigation.

Informative Links on Family Law

Latest Federal Government Information on Child Support Guidelines

Links to Department of Justice Publications

Ontario Government-based Family Justice Services

Department of Justice Parenting After Divorce Site

Ontario Family Justice Matters, including On-line Publications

Office of the Children’s Lawyer in Ontario

Supervised Access in Ontario

Family Responsibility Office

Ontario Information on Child Support Guidelines

Community Legal Education Ontario Publications (CLEO)