By  Gary Vulg | 

A separation agreement can be drafted and signed by the client at the same meeting. It then has to be reviewed and signed by the other party on their timeline. In that way the separation agreement is the fastest conclusion.

Mediation has to coordinate the calendars of the parties, their lawyers, and the mediator. For that reason, it usually takes months to schedule. But that is not necessarily a bad thing because those months of waiting are usually used to bring the lawyer up to speed on issues such as who paid for what, who worked on what, and where your strengths and weaknesses are.

Trials take years to do. Court systems are ill-funded and that results in a shortage of court rooms, support staff, and judges. The 1st offered trial dates are years away. The longer the trial takes, the longer the court delay. That is to say a 5-day trial might be offered 12 months away, whereas the 1st offered dates for a 15-day trial will usually be 18 to 24 months down the road.

There are segments in a file. One cannot just arrive on the scene and ask for the first available trial date. The court Rules require the parties to first attend a JCC (Judicial Case Conference[Supreme Court]) or FCM (Family Case Management [Provincial Court]) formerly FCC Family Case Conference) which are essentially mini mediations. There are court delays in obtaining a date for the mandatory mediation. At the mandatory mediations the trial dates are then scheduled.

Most cases do not go to trial, that is the old days. Most cases now are settled at these mandatory mini-mediations or a series of them. The parties tackle and settle issues one at a time at a series of meetings. That is the new reality. Just because you are going to court doesn’t mean that you will end up in trial.