Family Mediation and ADR Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) includes mediation, negotiation and arbitration. In family law, these “alternatives” to court litigation are an effective way of achieving a resolution that is satisfactory to all parties involved.
At Russell Alexander Family Lawyers, our goal is to resolve your family law issues in a way that is most efficient, agreeable to the parties, and cost-effective. This means we regularly engage in negotiations on behalf of our clients. In some cases, our clients will use the services of a mediator to help them come to an agreement on some issues, but parties must be aware that a mediator cannot provide either party with legal advice. The role of a mediator is only to facilitate discussion between the two spouses. Therefore, it is a good idea to get independent legal advice prior to signing any agreement.
While we encourage clients to use ADR in most cases, ADR is not appropriate in cases where there is a power imbalance, where there is a history of domestic violence, or where the parties cannot cooperate. Where ADR is appropriate, it provides the following advantages:
- It provides more control to the parties for resolving their issues
- It is more cost-effective than going to court
- It is usually much quicker than the court process
- It can be less invasive and more comfortable than going to court
The Collaborative Family Process is another form of ADR. Collaborative Family Law is an alternative to the adversarial nature of the court process, and requires both parties to enter into the process voluntarily. By entering into the process, both parties agree to commit to resolving their issues in a respectful and cooperative manner and to avoid adversarial proceedings, with the help of their lawyers to guide them in the process. If you are interested in using the collaborative process to resolve your family law issues, please contact our office. The lawyers at Russell Alexander Family Lawyers have Collaborative Family Law training and will happily assist you in achieving a resolution to your family law problems.