• What happens to my pension? Cottage? Business?
  • How am I going to get through this?
  • When will I stop feeling sad? Ashamed?
  • How will we split everything?
  • How will we tell the children?
  • What will everyone think?
  • What about the kids?
  • Does it have to be a big court battle?
  • Do we have to sell the house?
  • How am I going to pay the bills?

Cost Comparison Details – Family Court

Financial Cost of Court Proceedings

The cost of court proceeding varies based on the complexity of the case, the issues involved and the level of animosity between the parties. Some steps in the process are optional. For example, if you don't need to own a business, you don't need a business valuation. Some cases involve several case conferences and even multiple settlement conferences. Most cases do not go as far as a trial.

First Meeting with Counsel

» Cost range: Free to $400


» Cost: $1,000 to $2,000
• Create legal documents (Application or Answer) outlining your position on the issues
• Complete financial statement attaching proof of the value of every asset and debt, proof of income and income tax returns
• Serve documents on other side
• File documents at Court

First Appearance

» Cost range: $250 to $500
Clerk attends court to set a date for a case conference

Case Conference

» Cost range: $2,000 +/-
• Prepare for Notice of Case Conference
• Prepare Case Conference brief
• Update Financial Statement if necessary
• Serve ad file documents
• Attend court to address issues
• Take out any Court orders

Prepare for Motion and Cross-Motion

» Cost range: $2,500 to $4,000
• Prepare Affidavit (a sworn of the facts) in support of motion
• Prepare Affidavit in response to opposing party's claims
• Prepare Affidavit for supporting witnesses
• Update Financial statement of necessary
• Prepare Factum of case law and statutory law
• Serve and file materials
• Take out any resulting order

Questioning on Motion Affidavit Materials

» Cost range: $1,500 to $4,000
• Prepare questions
• Each counsel asks questions of the other client based on their affidavit
• All answers are recorded and a transcript is produced

Argue Motion

» Cost range: $1,500 to $4,000
• Prepare for motion
• Attend to motion (sometimes your motion is not reached the first day)

Examinations on Financial Statements

» Cost range: $2,000 to $4,000
• Prepare questions
• Each counsel asks questions of the other client about their Financial Statement
• All answers are recorded and a transcript is produced

Retain Experts

• Custody and Access assessment cost range – $8,000 to $12,000
• Pension valuation – $600
• Business valuation – $10,000 to $20,000
• House and cottage appraisals – $300 to $1,000

Settlement Conference

» Cost range: $2,000 to $3,000
• Create Net Family Property Statement
• Update financial statement if necessary
• Ensure all disclosure is ready and received from other side
• Ensure reports of experts are ready
• Take out any resulting Court orders
• Attend court

Trial Management Conference

» Cost range: $2,000 to $4,000
• Prepare list of witnesses for trial
• Prepare opening statement
• Prepare trial management conference brief outlining issues
• Attend court

Trial Preparations

» Cost range: $2,000 to $10,000
• Subpoena each witness
• Meet with each witness to prepare them for trial
• Review all documents, court order and correspondence
• Create questions for own witnesses
• Create questions for corss-examination of witnesses
• Prepare and serve "Will Say" statements of own witnesses
• Prepare and serve Factum of Case Law and Statute Law
• Prepare and serve Documents Brief
• Prepare and serve Notice to Admit
• Prepare and serve Agreed Statement of Facts
• Prepare and serve Trial Record
• Attend Court


» Cost range: $2,000 to $20,000

Post Trial

» Cost range: $500 to $2,000
• Take out final order
• Implement anything ordered

Total cost range between $15,000 to $100,000 per person

Costs vary from case to case depending on the complexity of the issues and the parties involved. This cost estimate represents typical cases and may not represent your actual costs.

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