Alternative Dispute Resolution
What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?
When thinking of lawyers or legal disagreements, many people think of law suits and showy arguments in court. However, real life isn't like what you see on TV. Court is stressful, slow, expensive and uncertain. In family and business matters, the circumstances surrounding the legal issues are unique, personal and emotional, and the best solution doesn't always fit into the court model. There is a trend now in the legal community to look for better, more efficient processes to resolve legal disputes.
Alternative Dispute Resolution is just what it sounds like, an alternative to resolving those traditional legal disputes in a way that supports financial and emotional health. There are different options to try, but all have the same mission: to create a safe environment to explore interests and options. Therefore, the people actually involved in the disagreement can analyze and decide on solutions that work for both sides.
At Kinetic Law, our lawyers are highly trained negotiators, with skills and designations that give you multiple options in dealing with your legal matter.
Keep reading below to find out about the particular ADR options we offer.
You and the other party meet in person with a trained, neutral mediator to work through everything in your dispute. Normally, lawyers do not attend. A mediator is highly trained in facilitating open, honest settlement discussions in a safe space, to help people reach agreements that work for both sides.
You will first agree to behaviour guidelines and sign a Mediation Agreement, confirming your understanding and consent to the process. You will engage with the other person, have your say on what’s important to you personally, and solve the tough questions surrounding your dispute. Everything said during mediation is confidential and cannot be used against you in court, allowing for candid discussion. The final decision on how to resolve things is made by you and the other party involved.
Once you reach an agreement in mediation, the final agreement will be written into a formal settlement contract that is legally binding. At the end, both parties will sign the settlement agreement with their own lawyer to get full legal advice. The mediator does not provide legal advice.
Mediation is commonly available for family law disputes, however it can be useful for many other disputes between family members, business partners, neighbours and more. Mediation can involve more than just two people. When it comes to resolving matters through mediation, there are many possibilities.
At our firm, Kimberley is a lawyer and a mediator. Her neutral, understanding approach and her knowledge of the law will help you reach a comprehensive solution that works long-term. In this process, Kimberley acts only as a neutral, and does not represent you as a lawyer.
Why people are choosing "Good Divorces"
Each year, thousands of separations and divorces are processed through the Alberta courts. There are many stories of "ugly", "bad" or "one-sided" separations. There has been significant research which consistently demonstrates two major findings:
- A separation or divorce will be one of the most difficult events in your life, and
- Conflict between parents negatively impacts brain development in children, affecting their health into adulthood.
Yet, for each negative story, there is a positive one. There is a clear trend in people seeking calmer, healthier separations. From selfies at the court house to "conscious uncoupling", those going through a separation are looking to move on with their lives with dignity, agency and lower costs.
At our office, we provide Mediation and Collaborative Law services to give you a choice in how to resolve your separation.
For more information on mediation in the divorce context, check out the Alberta Family Mediation Society: http://afms.ca/faq
Both Mediation and Collaborative Law are family-centred conflict resolution processes that end with a mutually agreeable solution.
95% of mediation and collaborative files are successful in reaching a full, final legal agreement that leaves both sides feeling positive, in less time than a traditional divorce through the courts.
Families go through many emotional and legal difficulties other than just divorce. Just because a legal problem arises, it does not mean the family or friend relationship needs to end negatively. We can also provide mediation or collaborative services for those dealing with inheritance and estate disputes, small business disputes and disagreements over property.