Alternative Dispute Resolution and Your Calgary Divorce

October 26, 2015

Alternative Dispute Resolution and Your Calgary Divorce

There's no such thing as an entirely easy or amicable divorce—if things were working out, you wouldn't be seeking a divorce in the first place. That doesn't mean all Calgary-area divorces have to consist of months of bitter arguing in the courts, though; when possible, it's typically in everyone's best interests to come to an agreement on issues such as child custody, property disbursement, and any alimony/support payments to be made by simply sitting down and talking—using a trained and licensed facilitator, and with a professional legal advocate by your side to make sure your rights and interests are protected.

This method of handling the details of a divorce is called Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), and it's a process we encourage most of our divorce clients to at least attempt before moving to more adversarial divorce proceedings in the Calgary courts. The choice to use ADR is always up to you, and you will never be forced into an agreement through ADR that you don't find acceptable, but it can save tremendous amounts of time, stress, and money when it's successful.

How ADR Works in Your Calgary Divorce

First, though there are some slight similarities, it's important to recognize that Alternative Dispute Resolution is NOT marriage counseling, couples therapy, or anything similar. It is not about trying to fix a marriage, but about settling the concrete details of a divorce in a straightforward and agreeable fashion. It's not about finding fault or assigning blame, but rather helps to determine what's fair according to the law is it applies to Calgary marriages and divorces.

While the ADR facilitator is a neutral third party, who is there to help both parties to a divorce walk away with an agreeable settlement, both you and your spouse are entitled (and encouraged) to have a lawyer working explicitly as your advocate. Though ADR strives to be as non-adversarial as possible, it is helpful to have someone in your corner who knows the law, knows what you're entitled to, and can help you understand an ADR settlement relative to what you might receive if a Calgary judge oversaw your divorce proceedings.

In short, you and your lawyer will sit down with your spouse and their lawyer along with the ADR facilitator, and all issues regarding your children (if you have any), your assets, and other elements of your divorce will be negotiated in good faith, with the hope of finding a fair solution that gives everyone the best opportunity to move forward into the next phase of their life. When successful, ADR is much faster, less costly, and less emotionally traumatic than a court-bound Calgary divorce.

Learn More About ADR and Your Calgary Divorce

For more information about Alternative Dispute Resolution, or if you have other questions regarding divorce in the Calgary area or another matter related to family law, please feel free to [contact us any time.] ( Our compassionate, knowledgeable, and experienced lawyers are here to help you through this difficult time, and a single phone call can help give you the confidence you need to move forward.

You're not alone, and you don't have to face this by yourself. [Call today.]

This entry was tagged Family Law, Divorce Law and posted on October 26, 2015

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