Divorce Apps: "There's an app for that!"

Yes, there are apps to help make divorce go more smoothly. Edward Weinstein's most recent blog introduces some new ones that can help make divorce less stressful and more functional. In addition, I encourage you to use Skype or Google Hangout. These are great ways of doing video conferencing with your children when you can't see them easily. 

Communication with your ex is often a challenge. I like emails because you have a written record of your communications and if you get a nasty one, you can take a day to ponder your response. Here is an article by Bill Eddy that he allowed me to put on my website regarding how to respond to hostile emails. It is a good place to start. The advantage to email is that you avoid knee-jerk reactions and can use strategies like Bill is suggesting in his article when you eventually respond. 

Other apps to organize the schedule are Our Family Wizard and Google Calendar. Here is an article about maintaining your schedule for the children after divorce that describes these apps. 

At Galbraith Family Law, our team of lawyers can help you minimize the the stress of divorce.  


Family Law Information in Ontario: New Government Website

One of the most stressful aspects of separation and divorce is the uncertainty.You don't know how much money you will have, how much time you will have with your children and when the pain will go away. When I went through my own divorce, I hated the uncertainty and I am a divorce lawyer! 

The government of Ontario has launched a new website for the public that helps to address some aspects of the uncertainty. It is called www.YourOntarioLaw.com. It provides general legal information. One page that I especially like shows the inside of a courtroom

The problem with the website is that it is so focussed on the Court process. It has only one line about Collaborative Practice which is a way of resolving disputes without going to court. I guess this makes sense since the government is in the business of providing the Court system. It also has very little information about family law. 

Other excellent websites that provide information about the Collaborative Process are as follows: 

www.CollaborativePracticeSimcoeCounty.com This website provides information including professionals in Simcoe County who practice Collaboratively. It is a great resource. 

www.DivorceHappens.ca  This website provides more information about Collaborative  Practice, comparing the cost to the court process. It includes some great videos, and lists professionals I have helped train in the Collaborative Process throughout Ontario. 

www. OCLF.ca This website is our provincial umbrella organization. It has general information about Collaborative Practice. 

More Information...

Our firm website offers both information about the various process choices and lots of information about the law. We regularly receive positive feedback about what a great resource it is for the general public.  www.GalbraithFamilyLaw.com 

Of course, the best way to learn about your rights and obligations is to have a consultation. Our firm of experienced lawyers only practice family law. We offer one hour no-obligation consultations at a substantially reduced rate. You can ask all your questions and get answers particular to your case. Clients feel relieved of the uncertainty after a consultation.

Call 705 727-4242 or email JMcTighe@GalbraithFamilyLaw.com to book a consultation today.  

What is the divorce rate anyway?

How often has someone said to you "Isn't it amazing how many people are getting divorced these days? The divorce rate sure is rising!"

As a divorce lawyer, I get the comment all the time but frankly until recently I did not have a clear picture of the trends and actual divorce statistics. Now I do, thanks to Dr. Anne-Marie Ambert of York University. She wrote an excellent article for the Vanier Institute of the Family called "Divorce: Facts, Causes and Consequences". I recommend you read her full article for her insights and the details. 

Here are just some of the facts from her article. These statistics are generally about the Canadian experience unless stated otherwise. 


Percentage of all relationships (married & common law) that end in separation 50%
Percentage of marriages ending in divorce before 30th anniversary in Canada 38.3%
Percentage of marriages ending in divorce before 30th anniversary in USA 44.0%
Rate of divorce for first marriages 30%
Province with highest divorce rate Quebec
Province with lowest divorce rate NL
Average length of marriage 14.2 years
Average age of men who divorce 43 years
Average age of women who divorce 40.5 years
Divorces per 100,000 population in 1921 6.4
Divorces per 100,000 population in 1987 (peak year) 362.3
Divorces per 100,000 population in 2003 224.0
Rate per 1,000 population in 2003 in Russia 5.30
Rate per 1,000 population in 2003 in USA 4.30
Rate per 1,000 population in 2003 in Canada 2.23
Rate per 1,000 population in 2003 in Mexico 0.56
Percentage of men with custody of children 11%
Percentage of women with custody of children 47%
Percentage of parents with joint custody 42%
Percentage of divorced men who remarry 70%
Percentage of divorced women who remarry 58%
Percentage of common law relationships that end in separation within 3 years 50+%




Why Dads Suffer in Court

Susan Piggs recently had an excellent article in the Toronto Star entitled "Divorced Dads Can't Catch a Break" . She outlines the many grievances of fathers who feel mistreated by the Ontario Court systemgirl clutching man. It's sad to read the stories of so many aggrieved fathers.

Many of these fathers believe that judges are intentionally against men and will do everything in their power to keep men paying support and keep men away from their children. I don't blame the judges: I blame the adversarial system. And I certainly feel sorry for the fathers who have suffered.

When it comes to children, judges are mandated to ensure that the best interests of the children are paramount. Judges struggle with their decisions. They truly want to do what is best for the children and generally start with the principle that it is in the best interests of the children to maintain a meaningful relationship with both parents. If they are faced with overwhelming evidence that limited access or supervised access is the best approach for the children, what would you want them to do? I would prefer they err on the side of protecting children rather than risking harm to them. No doubt, the judges get it wrong sometimes leaving fathers without access unjustifiably.

The adversarial process assumes that both parents will put forward their best case and the judge will somehow miraculously determine "the truth" and will dispense "justice" accordingly. Often parents don't intentionally lie but rather see the world from a different perspective than the other parent. The judges have to discern the truth. It isn't an easy job. Sometimes they get it wrong.

The whole adversarial process pits one parent against another. It creates an atmosphere of "winner take all" which exacerbates the conflict. Increasing the animosity between the parents often leads children to suffer. Ironically, judges are supposed to be looking after the best interests of the children yet the adversarial system itself can make things worse.

I believe that most cases can be resolved without going to court. In my experience having mediated hundreds of family law cases and helped many families resolve their situations using the Collaborative Process, I believe parents are usually able to resolve their parenting issues on their own with just a little help and advice from well meaning collaboratively-trained professionals and mediators.

In the Collaborative Team Process, parents  work with a neutral Parenting Coach who will help them craft a parenting plan that is best for their children having regard to the children's needs, the research on the developmental needs of children and the ability of each parent to meet those needs. The parents are empowered to problem-solve in the Collaborative Process instead of being encouraged to fight as is the case in the court system.

I have met many men who blame judges for their plight. Maybe some of them have legitimate grievances but having appeared before many judges over the years, I believe most are well-meaning men and women who are just doing the best job possible given the restrictions of the adversarial process.  Frankly, I don't believe it's the judges' fault... it's just that the adversarial system is not the best way of resolving parenting issues.