Alternative dispute resolution processes are recommended for divorcing spouses in Alberta because these processes tend to be the most cost-efficient, least adversarial way of ending a marriage or common law relationship.
In many cases, every aspect of the separation can be addressed through an ADR process, but you have to choose the process that is right for your situation. Today let us discuss collaborative law.
In addition to providing a way for the parties to resolve their disputes, one purpose of collaborative law is to keep the dispute out of court. Court proceedings are by their nature adversarial, and going to court can be costly and time-consuming.
When starting the collaborative law process, the spouses and their lawyers all formally agree not to go to court. Taking the matter to court is still possible, but if that happens, each of the parties must retain new legal counsel. This arrangement can serve as a powerful incentive to reach an out-of-court agreement.
As we discussed in a previous post, divorce litigation can have a negative impact on children. Collaborative law and other forms of ADR can shield children from the effects of adversarial court proceedings. In collaborative law, the needs of the children can remain in focus. Separating spouses may also call on child psychologists and other outside advisers in the collaborative law process.
Lawyers must be specially trained to practise collaborative law. To learn more about Kirk Montoute LLP's collaborative law practice, please see our overview of alternative dispute resolution processes.