Divorce mediation/arbitration gains in popularity

On behalf of Gary Kirk of Kirk Montoute Dawson LLP posted in Divorce Mediation on Wednesday, May 3, 2017.

Men and women in Alberta and across Canada are choosing non-confrontational solutions to their divorce and family law issues now more than ever. Divorce mediation and/or arbitration is now one of the most popular options for people to resolve disputes arising from the break-down of married and common-law relationships. However, many people probably know little about the field of mediation/arbitration, and may be unsure how to choose a mediator/arbitrator.

With the recent advent of alternative dispute resolution techniques, including mediation, many men and women have chosen to forgo traditional litigation and try to work out their issues more harmoniously. In fact, at least one source suggests the number of people who choose court may be as low as 7 percent. Given the potential for saving time and money, and the bottlenecks in the courts, this should come as no surprise. Mediation/arbitration is an excellent way to achieve a fair settlement, and can lay the groundwork for successful co-parenting.

It is crucial to choose a family law mediator/arbitrator who is experienced in litigation and knowledgeable, both with respect to the statutory and case law authorities as well as the process for mediation, and if necessary, arbitration.

What many people may not know is that mediation and arbitration are predominantly unregulated fields in Canada. Although there are national and provincial organizations that set out guidelines for standards and ethics, there are no official channels for discipline. However, most industry insiders agree that market forces will weed out the low end of the mediation business; bad mediators won’t get new business.

Choosing divorce mediation over litigation is an excellent option for many people. An Alberta law firm with a record of success in mediation and arbitration and other types of alternative dispute resolution will have the experience and skills needed to achieve a successful resolution.

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