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Collaborative law and other options when seeking a divorce

Those who are seeking to end their marriages may know that legal support is needed for the process, but what might that support look like? In Alberta divorces, there are few avenues individuals can go through to resolve family law issues. The most commonly pursued are collaborative law, mediation or "traditional" litigation. 

Litigation is the most commonly understood way to go about getting a divorce, although it is increasingly less popular than mediation or other alternative dispute resolution options. The reason fewer people pursue this avenue is because it is often more costly, as it can involve several rounds of court proceedings and a great deal of lawyers' time. Sometimes, litigation is necessary because a couple cannot agree on hot-button issues like child custody or division of assets. Other times, couples can agree on certain issues and take a more collaborative approach.

Alternate dispute resolution is an increasingly popular option when going about a divorce. With the collaborative law approach, couples agree to not go to court and make decisions at the table with the support of their respective lawyers. Couples do not have to agree on much before coming to the table, except for their commitment to work things out outside of a courtroom. 

There are other options now being pursued by budget-strapped divorcees, including "do it yourself" divorces or online guides. These options can be legally testy and may not hold up in Alberta courts. Even couples who agree on most matters should find individual representation to finalize their divorce and clarify issues in a legally binding manner. For those looking to save money and keep courts out of their family, collaborative law is often the best option.

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