Legal Innovation Zone Report Recommends More Affordable, Less Adversarial Approach to Family Law Disputes

For Many Families There is a Better Approach to Resolving Separation Issues

March 1, 2016, Toronto, ON — The Legal Innovation Zone (LIZ) at Ryerson University delivered a report to the Ontario Attorney General, the Hon. Madeleine Meilleur with recommendations for a faster, more efficient, more affordable, and less adversarial approach to resolving family law disputes out of court.

“Court is not necessary for all families finding their way through the difficult separation process. We were confident that if the community came together, we could help develop a better way for many families to resolve their issues,” said Chris Bentley, Executive Director of the Legal Innovation Zone. “The fact that there was such a consensus around the four key building blocks of screening, education, triage and resolution was reassuring.”

The report is the result of extensive community consultations that combined the expertise of many disciplines including domestic violence advocates, mediators, financial advisors, lawyers, mental health professionals, students, and the community at large. Some key findings in the report are:

  • Consumers want solutions: Families are interested in the result and finality, and less interested in the journey.
  • Include technology to streamline processes where appropriate.
  • Must work for consumers, not just providers: The overriding question is how will the consumer react?

“There were several key findings that we found really resonated with the participants” said Hersh Perlis, Director of the Zone. “Creating a user friendly approach that is open, transparent and affordable was clearly a priority. Technology was seen as an important part of the process.”

The full Report can be found at www.legalinnovationzone.ca/familyreform. It was developed with support from special advisor Barbara Landau and almost 200 participants.

About the Legal Innovation Zone at Ryerson University

The Legal Innovation Zone is Canada’s first legal incubator. Entrepreneurs, lawyers, students, tech experts, government members and industry leaders converge in the Legal Innovation Zone to drive innovation. Based on the model of Ryerson’s DMZ — North America’s #1 university business incubator — we help support, foster and develop solutions and technologies that will better serve the legal needs of consumers.

For further information, contact:

Hersh Perlis, Director, Legal Innovation Zone

hperlis@ryerson.ca or 416-562-991