Mediation is something that many people have heard of but may not really be sure how it works. Mediation is a voluntary, consensual, dispute resolution process. That is, parties who have some kind of dispute decide mutually to come together to see if they can resolve it. The mediator is a neutral third party who helps the parties communicate effectively and negotiate an outcome. It is the parties who retain the sole power to make the final decisions on the outcome. The mediator holds no decision-making power. Click here to learn more about mediation and what it can do for you.
- Separation agreements in marital and common-law separations.
- Prenuptial agreements and cohabitation agreements.
- Divorce petitions.
- Child custody, access and support agreements.
- Spousal support issues.
- Wills/Powers of Attorney/Living Wills.
Filing and representation at motions (interim proceedings) or representation at trial for the following family matters:
- Child support.
- Child custody and access.
- Mobility cases (Removal of child/children by one parent from the jurisdiction without the consent of the other parent).
- Spousal support.
- Exclusive possession of a marital home.
- Resolution of marital or common-law property division including orders for financial disclosure.
- Applications for committee of a mentally incompetent person.
- Applications for litigation guardians.
Many people are now choosing to represent themselves in family matters that go before a judge.
Most people are intimidated by the thought of going it alone without a lawyer yet more and more people are choosing that route, their nervousness notwithstanding, because they simply cannot afford to keep a lawyer on retainer for an extended period.
It's not unreasonable to be intimidated. Navigating the court system, the Rules of Court, drafting court documents, researching caselaw, interpreting statutes, responding to the opposing lawyer and developing a position and an argument to present to the Court, is not for the faint of heart or for anyone who doesn't have hours and hours to spend on all the aforementioned tasks.
However, the good news is that it's entirely possible to represent yourself as long as you have some guidance and instruction from an experienced family lawyer and you're willing to put in some time preparing yourself. The old adage that success is 99% preparation and 1% inspiration is never truer than when you're going to Court.
I have helped many people prepare to represent themselves for Court and my involvement and time varies according to factors such as the complexity of the case, the wishes of the client in terms of how much help they want and also how much time they can devote to doing their own preparation. Generally, clients prefer that I draft and file the court documents and then we spend time going over the how they will argue their case, what law they are relying on, what jurisprudence supports their position, court procedures and how to question a witness.
Clients pay an hourly rate for this service
- Property issues involving title disputes.
- Breach of contract seeking monetary damages or specific performance.
- Wrongful dismissal.
- Civil actions under Rule 79 of the New Brunswick Rules of Court (claims for debts and interests in real or personal property but not family property which exceed $30,000 but do not exceed $75,000).
- Small Claims Actions claims for debts and interests in real or personal property but not family property which do not exceed $12,500.00.
- Defamation suits.
- Contempt of Court proceedings.