Avoiding Court

Alternative Dispute Resolution

There are 4 commonly-used methods of resolving disputes without going to court:

1) Negotiation

If you have a disagreement with another person, you often get together to discuss the problem and reach a mutual agreement. This way you can work out a solution that best meets your own needs and interests.

In some cases, you may also prefer to hire a lawyer who has the expertise to help you to negotiate or who can negotiate on your behalf.

2) Collaborative Law

Collaborative law is another approach to resolving divorce-related issues. In a collaborative law approach, the primary requirement is that both parties must agree to participate and not to end up in court. The voluntary process is initiated when the couple signs a contract (called the “participation agreement”), binding each other to the process and disqualifying their respective lawyer’s right to represent either one in any future family related litigation. Another requirement is that the lawyers for both sides must be fully trained Collaborative Practice lawyers.
Anna Boulman has been trained in collaborative law methods and approaches. As with every matter, our firm is committed to achieving solutions that are in the best interests of our clients. And in collaborative law, Ms. Boulman combines her skills and experience with those of therapists, coaches, financial advisors, and other attorneys and professionals in order to achieve those results.

3) Mediation

Mediation, as used in law, is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), a way of resolving disputes between two or more parties with concrete effects. Typically, a third party, the mediator, assists the parties to negotiate a settlement. Disputants may mediate disputes involving family matters.

4) ARBITRATION

Instead of going to court, you and your spouse can choose an arbitrator to hear your case and make the decisions. Usually, you both must pay for the arbitrator. The arbitrator is often a retired judge, a mental health professional, or a lawyer experienced in family law.
You can each have your own lawyer to represent you throughout the process.
Arbitration is not the same as mediation. In Ontario, arbitrators can make legally binding decisions. This means that you and your spouse must obey the decision of the arbitrator, just as if it was a court order.
Once you both agree to go to arbitration, you cannot go to court, except to appeal the arbitrator’s decision.