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How does Alberta collaborative law work?

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is an increasingly popular way for separating spouses and partners to resolve their family law disputes in a non-adversarial setting. We recently discussed three effective ADR processes -- collaborative law, mediation and arbitration. Today let's focus specifically on collaborative law.

Lawyers who practise collaborative law in Alberta must receive specific training. If you choose this method of conflict resolution, then you and your spouse will each have a collaborative lawyer. Essentially, collaborative law requires that all of the involved parties, including the legal representatives, formally agree not to go to court.

In the event that the parties cannot resolve their differences and instead begin court proceedings, new lawyers must be retained. This requirement serves as motivation to reach an agreement out of court.

Collaborative law can be particularly beneficial if the divorcing spouses have children. When going through divorce, you want to protect your child from any negative exposure to conflict. Because the collaborative law process allows for consensus between the parents, they can protect their children from any negative impact the stress of litigation would otherwise have on the kids.

Like other forms of ADR, collaborative law involves negotiation. Whether your concern is property division, a parenting plan, child support or spousal support, collaborative law can lead to solutions that work for all parties involved. To reach an agreement, your collaborative lawyer can call on outside experts such as child psychologists and financial planners.

Lawyers at Kirk Montoute LLP are trained in collaborative law and have experience as arbitrators and mediators. To learn more about our firm, please visit our Alternative Dispute Resolution overview.

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