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ADR - Out-Of-Court Solutions For Separation And Divorce

If we go by the numbers uncovered last year in the U.S., then Canadian couples have just passed the summertime high season for divorce filings. With the wheels in motion on ending the relationship, families must next decide on a process to settle the associated legal matters.

Over our next few posts, we provide a refresher on the more amicable, non-litigated approaches under the umbrella of alternative dispute resolution. We start the series this week by reviewing why ADR makes sense in many cases.

Cost Savings

Getting a divorce requires obtaining a court divorce order. When post-relationship legal issues are uncontested, a ballpark cost might be about $2,000. But if the two sides fight it out before a judge, costs can easily escalate into a small fortune. ADR bypasses many of the costs associated with using the court system to settle conflict and allows ex-spouses to keep more money in their pockets.

Time Savings

The ADR spectrum spans from simple negotiation to binding arbitration, with other methods falling somewhere in between. Whichever process the two parties use, it's likely to beat litigating in terms of time expenditure involved.

Stress Reduction

ADR is best suited to parties who have the ability to discuss issues, make reasonable compromises and collaborate on solutions. The atmosphere is generally more cooperative and many parties have the common goal of minimizing tension. This makes for a calmer backdrop through this difficult life event - a benefit not only for ex-spouses, but also for any kids involved.

Flexibility And Control

Litigating a divorce means that decision making falls into the hands of a court judge. In ADR, the two parties retains as much of that power as possible between themselves. ADR also provides the two parties with freedom to craft customized solutions that a judge may not be able to generate.

Privacy

Discussions taking place during ADR do not have to be filed with the courts. This makes ADR a desirable option for parties who wish to keep their private lives out of the public eye.

Now that the benefits of ADR are clear, our following few posts will provide a crash course on the various options available.

Separating or divorcing?

Call us.

Our family law lawyers can help.

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