The Family Law System in Canada is "Broken" says veteran Family Lawyer

Tracy Miller says "children are suffering , parents are being ruined financially and emotionally and some are taking their own lives.  it's time for "clarity over chaos"

TORONTO, Feb. 12, 2016 /CNW/ - More than 50% of marriages end up in divorce. Families are being deeply damaged mentally, emotionally and financially by a Family Law system that comes up short and adds to everyone's social costs in Canada. 

"As lawyers we need to do much better at educating our clients about the real costs of waging long battles with their ex spouses and partners," says Tracy Miller, a veteran Family Law practitioner with over 25 years experience.  It's believed the real costs of protracted legal proceedings on each spouse could top well over 100 thousand dollars per person when divorce-related stress, health issues and lost work time are all factored in. "It's about communicating clearly and managing expectations of the Family Law system clearly so that people can retain or regain control of their lives," adds Miller. "From almost every vantage point in Family Law, people are handing over control of the most important decisions in their lives to people who don't know them or their children," says Miller.

She believes it's not good enough for lawyers to simply accept that the system is the way it is. "It's our moral responsibility to do what we can within that system to find better ways to help families settle matters in a way that preserves their health, dignity and finances."

Miller has developed a new method that takes a holistic approach to family law away from the traditional adversarial approach. It cuts down on duplication of legal services, saves time, emotional damage and money. It's not the same as other alternative methods such as Collaborative Law and she hopes to educate fellow lawyers and begin a movement of change within the Family Law system. 

This new and unique approach was developed with the help of one of Miller's clients who himself found out the hard way how ineffective the adversarial approach to Family Law is.

"My client was like a lot of people, confused, upset and exhausted emotionally," says Miller.   "Here was a man who had been a part of finding solutions to some of the most difficult business challenges for his clients but struggled personally because of a Family Law system that simply doesn't want to deal with the complexities of relationship breakdown."   

People don't understand they can and should have control over the decisions that are made about their children and finances, not the court. "Many lawyers fail their clients early in the process and emotions continue to get heated, letters between lawyers increase, costs rise, stress increases and health declines. "This isn't good for anybody especially the children of the separating couple or society as a whole. Unfortunately, in the worst cases some people are attempting to take their own lives. The system claims its mandate is to do what is best for children; but a strung out, bankrupt, incarcerated, or dead parent isn't a good thing for any child as far as I can see."

Tracy Miller is available for interviews


For further information: Media Contact: Tracy Miller,, Direct: (519) 590-1912; Jamie West,, Direct: (905) 541-0127

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