Alternative Dispute Resolution

Divorce and separation are never easy — emotions run high, trust may be low, and hostility may get in the way. It can become easy to lose sight of the fact that you are both in a difficult position and that you need to get through this.

Sometimes, the court system can make a bad situation worse. Instead of seeking a resolution, you start focusing on winning — or at least not losing — at any cost.

At Calgary Family Law Associates, our team includes both registered mediators and registered collaborative family law lawyers and offer alternative dispute resolution services throughout Alberta.

Working Together

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) attempts to get away from that win/lose mindset; it may also be able to save you time, money and emotional stress. The main kinds of ADR offered by our lawyers are:

  1. Mediation services: The couple meets with a mediator (with or without their lawyers) who explains to the couple their rights and options, and works on solutions to common problems of property division, care for children and support. The mediator acts as counsellor and referee.
  2. Collaborative family law: The couple, each with his or her own lawyer, meets to work out solutions together. The couple can be assisted by other professionals such as financial advisors or parenting experts if necessary. All sides agree that if a settlement cannot be reached, new lawyers will be hired before going to court.
  3. Support for arbitration discussions: A neutral third party called an arbitrator listens to the couple, and makes a decision about their dispute, similar to a judge but more informal and usually faster than litigation through the court system. Many mediations are done with the option to leave any unresolved matters up to an arbitrator

The hope of ADR is that by working together, you may be able to reach solutions that work better for your unique family situation rather than a solution imposed upon you by a stranger, the judge.

An Alternative To Litigation

For all processes, each party not only focuses on their rights and obligations, but rather on what is important to both partners. They then try to find common ground and work from there.

The certain matters head to trial, a judge will only deal with topics that you were unable to solve on your own, as opposed to every aspect of your separation.

Once a settlement has been reached, the terms become part of a separation agreement, and become legally binding. Talk to us to find out if ADR is appropriate for you.

Contact Calgary Family Law Associates

Talk to our alternative dispute resolution lawyers if you are experiencing family difficulties in Calgary and surrounding areas of Alberta. Contact us at 587-316-1125, or contact each lawyer individually. You can also fill out our online form.