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Going to Court

Going to court in Canada can be a stressful and confusing process, especially when it comes to family law cases. Whether you are seeking a divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, or division of property, going to court can be a necessary step in resolving these issues. In this article, we will explain the process of going to court in Canada for family law cases, including what to expect and how to prepare.

Top Family Lawyer Toronto

Tips for Going to Court

Going to court can be a stressful and emotional experience. If you’re involved in a family law case, it is crucial to approach the legal process in a strategic and organized manner. At our law firm, our experienced family lawyers can help you understand the legal process and the issues specific to your case. 

We work closely with our clients to gather evidence and prepare strong legal arguments to support their position. It’s also important to stay organized by keeping track of important dates and deadlines and ensuring that you have all necessary documents and information. 

We encourage our clients to maintain a respectful and professional demeanor throughout the process, as it can help in dispute resolution. Our family lawyers adhere to the ethical standards set by the Ontario Bar Association and are committed to providing effective and compassionate legal representation for our clients.

Filing a Court Application

If you decide to proceed with your case, the next step is to file a court application. This is a legal document that sets out the relief you are seeking from the court. For example, if you are seeking a divorce, you would file an application for divorce. If you are seeking child custody, you would file an application for custody. The court application must be filed with the court and served on the other party or parties involved in the case.

Responding to a Court Application

If you receive a court application, it is essential to respond within the stipulated timeframe. Typically, you will have 30 days to respond, but the deadline may vary depending on the jurisdiction and type of case. Seeking assistance from a family lawyers is advisable in such cases. 

Your response should outline your stance on the issues raised in the court application. For instance, if you receive an application related to child custody arrangements, your response should articulate your position on access and custody matters. 

Negotiation and Mediation

Before going to court, it is often a good idea to try to negotiate a settlement or engage in mediation. This can save time and money and may result in a better outcome for both parties. Negotiation involves discussions between the parties or their family law lawyers to try to reach a settlement. Mediation involves the parties meeting with a neutral third party (the mediator) who helps them reach a settlement. If a settlement is reached, the terms of the settlement can be put into a legally binding agreement.

Going to Court

If negotiation and mediation are not successful, the case may proceed to court. The court process can be lengthy and expensive, so it is important to be prepared as you will also need to attend court hearings and trials. The judge will hear evidence from both parties and make a decision based on the evidence and the law.

Gathering Evidence

Hiring a Lawyer

When dealing with a legal matter, it is essential to compile all relevant evidence to support your case in court. This evidence may comprise of various documents, messages, emails, or images that validate your stance. 

We understand that the legal process can be overwhelming and stressful, particularly when it comes to matters of family and relationships. That’s why we are dedicated to providing compassionate and effective legal representation to help our clients achieve the best possible outcome in their case. 

Preparing for Trial

In preparation for your trial, you need to review the evidence and determine the best course of action. This may include preparing questions for witnesses, drafting legal arguments, and creating a timeline of events to present to the judge.

On the day of your trial, it is important to dress appropriately and arrive on time. Your lawyer will guide you through the process and ensure that you understand what is happening every step of the way. It is important to remain calm and composed, even if the opposing party becomes hostile or aggressive.

During the Trial

When it comes to trials, it is crucial to present your case effectively and respectfully.  The court allows each party to present their case and support their position with evidence and witnesses. It is crucial to be respectful to the judge and the other parties involved. Any disruptive behavior can negatively impact your case and undermine your position. 


Once the trial is over, the judge will make a decision and issue a ruling. This ruling is legally binding and must be followed by all parties involved. If you are unhappy with the outcome of the court decision, you may have the option to appeal. An appeal is a review of the decision by a higher court. However, appeals can be complex and expensive, and there are strict timelines for filing an appeal.