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Family Law Trial Statistics: 7.33% Likelihood of Trial

Over the past 5 years, an average of  77,537  Ontarians begin family law proceedings each year and since there is an applicant and respondent, that’s an average 155,074 people getting involved in new proceedings annually.  This is according to new statistics from the Ministry of the Attorney General.

There is an average of  55,341 motions in the family Courts annually.  If an average family proceeding takes 2-3 years, there is a 24% – 36% likelihood of a motion in any proceeding.

In terms of orders made at conferences, there are roughly:

  • 22,100 case conferences resulting an an order,
  • 12,300 settlement conferences resulting in an order, and
  • 2,700 trial management conferences resulting in an order.

While these numbers don’t include conferences where there was no order, they show how cases generally taper off: half of cases that have a case conference have a settlement conference.  1 in 5 cases that have a settlement conference have a trial management conference.

As for family law trials, while the number of proceedings commenced has slowly declined over the past 5 years from 82,000 proceedings to 72,000 proceedings, the number of cases that get to a trial date has remained consistent at 5,685 trials each year, affecting 11,370 Ontarians each year.

There is a 7.33% likelihood of reaching a trial date in a family law case.  This is roughly double the likelihood of non-family Superior Court civil proceedings going to trial, which is 3.6%.  It is slightly below the 9.7% of  Small Claims Court claims going to trial.


This article is courtesy of the Ontario Civil Trial Manual

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