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Making the Right Choice For Your Family
Going to family court can be costly, time-consuming, and emotionally and mentally exhausting. That’s why many families choose alternative dispute resolutions (or “ADR”s), such as mediation and arbitration. ADRs can be the most cost-effective, supportive and quickest means to help resolve major issues without needing litigation. No one wants to spend years fighting a legal case. McLean Legal Family Lawyers are qualified mediators/arbitrators and are here to support you so you can make the best choices for your family.
Mediation in Calgary is a collaborative process for spouses, partners and their families to resolve disputes and issues with the guidance of a neutral third party, called a mediator. The mediator helps the parties communicate fairly and honestly and reach an agreement while not taking sides or giving legal advice to either party. Mediation is a private, safe and informal place for spouses and partners to work together and agree to mutually beneficial solutions. After a mediation, the parties can sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), a cooperative agreement detailing the resolutions reached by the parties.
Benefits of an Alternate Dispute Resolution(ADR)
Although mediation and arbitration are different in their processes, there are several advantages for families to use them. Mainly, ADRs typically costs less than litigation, are more effective and speedier in resolving contentious issues. They provide families or spouses with more control over the outcomes. They are also private and confidential and give everyone a chance to be heard while assisting them in learning better ways to solve problems in the future.
There are multiple scenarios in which an ADR process is commenced. Parties can mutually agree to an ADR and hire reputable third parties to assist them. However, if a family law matter proceeds through the Court, the parties must, at least once, participate in an ADR. In situations involving child support, parties must go to one mediation session with a Dispute Resolution Officer (DRO). On other occasions, the Court will obligate parties to participate in Early Intervention Case Conferences (EICCs) mediation sessions with a Justice of the Court. We can help you to navigate this process to resolve your disputes effectively.
Successful Mediation & Arbitration
If mediation is successful, the resolved issues will be converted into an agreement, Court Order or both. This ensures that both parties acknowledge and commit to the contract, which is enforceable by a Court. For arbitration, the arbitrator issues an Arbitration Award, which is converted into a Court Order and is also enforceable by a Court. Our lawyers can help drive successful ADRs on your behalf.
Whether it is arbitration for family matters or divorce mediation in Calgary, only the Court can force the other party to participate in certain ADR sessions.
The cost of an ADR – mediation or arbitration – is difficult to determine, as it depends on the third party chosen, case complexity and the length of time it takes to resolve the dispute(s). In most cases, the ADR cost is split between the parties. Our lawyers can provide you with an estimate during a consultation.