Although many assume that most separating couples need a judge to settle things for them in family court, research published in the April 2015 edition of The Lawyers Weekly confirmed what many who practice in the field have long suspected: less than 10 per cent of family law cases actually result in trials. Sharon B. Silbert, J.D. Acc.FM (OAFM) is a lawyer and accredited family mediator practicing in St. Catharines, Ontario.
Over at Legal Aid Ontario (LAO), we first committed to prioritizing services for those who have experienced domestic violence in 2002. Since then, we developed guidelines for all front line and intake staff to appropriately screen LAO applicants, and we also have begun domestic violence awareness training. But more needs to be done.