Avoiding Costly Angry Divorces With Edmonton Alternate Dispute Resolution
It is not always necessary to go to court to resolve the issues that arise in family law disputes. Another option is alternate dispute resolution, or alternative dispute resolution. Abbreviated to “ADR”, this system is faster, cheaper, and allows you to participate in determining the resolution. Getting your matter heard in any level of Alberta Court, for even a simple, narrow issue, can take months. If you need the court to decide a more complicated matter it may take up to a year before your matter is heard. Edmonton alternate dispute resolution lawyers often resolve matters in days or weeks, especially with urgent family law issues.
An ADR can often be set up in a matter of weeks, and can be conducted “virtually” (you can appear by phone or video). The Edmonton alternate dispute resolution lawyers at Kahane Law Office, a full service Edmonton law firm, help you navigate the ADR process. Our family lawyers all know how stressful and overwhelming these times often become and work with you to make it easier.
What Is Alternate Dispute Resolution?
ADR is a method of resolving the issues that arise as a result of a relationship breakdown without arguing in court (litigation). Litigation is a very expensive process, both in time and in legal and other fees. To increase access to justice, Alberta has an alternative dispute resolution institute whose mandate is to facilitate ADRs in the province. The goal of any ADR is to have the opposing parties work together to find a resolution that works for everyone. Your Edmonton alternative dispute resolution lawyers helps you determine the best approach for your situation. There are a number of ADR options for family law matters. For example, these include Negotiation, Mediation, the Collaborative Law process, and Arbitration.
Negotiation may or may not involve lawyers. If opposing parties are able to negotiate all issues in their matter, this is clearly the most cost-effective method for resolving disputes. However, this may not always be realistic. Where opposing parties are unable to negotiate successfully alone, they may negotiate with the support of their respective lawyers in one or more “4-way” negotiations. In these types of meetings, each party has the opportunity to negotiate freely, but with the support of their lawyer. In 4-way meetings, the lawyers generally help by advising on the law and their client’s rights and obligations, but also as “dispassionate” 3rd parties who can help keep things on track, and avoid allowing talks to become heated arguments.
Ideally, the end result of negotiation includes a written and enforceable agreement. One of the participating Edmonton alternate dispute resolution the drafts the agreement for signing by the parties.
Family Law Mediation
Normally mediation involves only one lawyer who acts as mediator. This helps save on expenses as only one professional is involved. These Edmonton alternative dispute resolution lawyers do not represent either party. Instead they act as facilitators to help the parties work through their issues. The mediator explains the law as well as each party’s rights and obligations. Ideally, mediation concludes with a written agreement that is a comprehensive settlement. However, parties may also choose to be represented by their respective lawyers throughout the mediation process. Mediation may be “stacked” with arbitration as well, known as “MedArb”. To learn more about mediation for family law click here.
Collaborative Family Law
Collaborative Family Law involves 2 lawyers who have received specific “collaborative law” training, each representing one of the parties. Generally the process works identically to the Negotiation described above, except that if the parties are unable to resolve their issues through the collaborative law process, those lawyers are unable to represent their clients in litigation. This is to encourage the parties to resolve the issues in the collaborative process. Learn more about collaborative law here.
Arbitration Using Edmonton Alternate Dispute Resolution Lawyers
Arbitration normally involves Edmonton alternate dispute resolution. One lawyer for each party, and one who acts as the final decision maker (the arbitrator). When parties are completely unable to negotiate a settlement, in order to resolve everything they need a 3rd party decision maker. One option for this decision maker is a judge, but as noted above, that process is expensive in time and money.
The arbitration process looks very similar to negotiation and mediation, with each party having maximum opportunity to be heard and involved in the decision-making process. It often makes sense to begin with mediation. After, whatever issues remain continue from the mediation process to an arbitration process. Most often, the mediator acts as arbitrator. The arbitrator’s decision is as legally binding as the Alberta court’s.
Arbitration Vs Court Rulings
While less ideal than resolving the matter through negotiation, arbitration is far superior to resolving the matter in litigation. In court normally only the lawyers speak, and normally each lawyer only has a few minutes to argue on their client’s behalf. A judge makes a decision based on what they hear in court and on the written submissions. An arbitrator does the same, but each party and their lawyer has plenty of opportunity to say what they need to say to the arbitrator. As Edmonton alternative dispute resolution lawyers, we always work for the best approach for our clients. It is cheaper, faster, and each party gets to voice their opinions and concerns as much as they want. This results in a binding decision that works better for each party.
What happens If Alternative Dispute Resolution Fails?
If mediation or negotiation fails, arbitration remains an option. Alternatively, court also remains an option. However, if both parties agree to arbitration, they are no longer the ability to head to court. However, exceptions exist with appeals if they remain unhappy with the arbitrator’s decision. Also, as mentioned above, Edmonton alternative dispute resolution lawyers who represent their clients in the collaborative law process are unable to represent their clients in litigation for that matter.
What Happens After Successful ADR?
The end result of a fully successful ADR is a settlement agreement that resolves all of the issues associated with the breakdown of the relationship. Normally one of the parties’ Edmonton alternative dispute resolution lawyers prepares the agreement. The other party then takes the necessary steps to finalize the divorce. This includes, for example, a “desk” divorce application that reflects the terms of the agreement.
Working With Edmonton Alternate Dispute Resolution Lawyers
To determine which of these paths is right for you and your situation, book an initial consultation with one of Edmonton alternate dispute resolution at Kahane Law Office today. You can do that by clicking here, by emailing us directly here, or by Phoning (780) 571-8463.