We asked the public to write to us about the personal experiences that they had when trying to use the Ontario Family Court on their own. Here is Lily’s story.
“I am a single mother of two, had to file for Divorce and seek full custody of my two children four years ago. My children were the ages of 1 and 4 at the time and this was my experience.
I didn’t have the means to hire a divorce lawyer so I took it upon myself to contact the Newmarket Family Court (the Ontario Family Court in my jurisdiction) to gather all the information I needed to proceed. I was told to visit the court and I will be given all the forms that I needed.
Along with not having the money to hire a lawyer, I also didn’t have a car, so I borrowed my parent’s car and drove over to the Newmarket Court with both my children in tow. I was directed to the Family Court division where I would speak to the clerk who would give me all the paperwork I needed.
It was extremely busy and I was handed a “How To” booklet along with forms so I went on my way and returned home. I went through the booklet and did my best to complete my forms and returned to the court, again borrowing a car, to file my divorce forms. I waited in the line-up for what seemed to be days only to find that I did not fill in my Ontario Divorce Application and other forms correctly.