dispute resolution officers in ontario family law

Dispute Resolution Officers

Dispute Resolution Officers (“DRO’s”) are experienced family law lawyers in all areas of family law who has been carefully selected by the court to meet the parties and assist them in settling their matter. The DRO will not only speak with parties and their counsel, but also suggesting different mechanisms for resolution which will satisfy the parties interests.

DRO’s assist motions to change. A motion to change is the court process used when a party would like to request a change to a family court order or agreement.

In some Superior Court of Justice locations, your motion to change may be sent to a Dispute Resolution Officer instead of a judge. This date is generally referred to as a DRO appearance and will replace the case conference.

Preparing for a DRO appearance is very much like preparing for a case conference in that it is helpful (in most cases it is mandatory) to prepare a case conference brief in which both parties outline a short history of the case, provide their positions regarding the issues in the motion to change and attached any relevant documents.

This brief will be served on the other parties and provided to the DRO in advance to review and prepare prior to meeting the parties.

During the DRO appearance, the DRO will discuss the matter as whole and identify the outstanding issues. They will then try and assist the parties (and their counsel) in coming to a settlement.

If they cannot reach an agreement, they will be able to determine the next steps in the matter. For example, they will require the parties to exchange financial disclosure or other relevant documents.

After the DRO date, the parties will proceed to the next step in the court process which will be a settlement conference (or a case conference- if requested and/or necessary).

If you would like to speak with one of our lawyers regarding further issues related to this topic please contact us at (416) 840-1475 or schedule your free initial consultation here