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alternative dispute resolution

Forward-Thinking Family Law Lawyers with Experience in Alternative Dispute Resolution (Mediation, Arbitration & Collaborative Law)

In some instances, spouses may prefer to resolve family law matters, such as separation, divorce, or custody and access arrangements, through an alternative dispute resolution mechanism.  Such alternatives to the traditional court system can help resolve family law disputes in a cost-effective and low-conflict manner.

At Gelman & Associates, our exceptional team of lawyers has decades of collective experience representing clients at mediation and arbitration.

In addition, three members of our team are also distinguished and accredited family law mediators who can help couples find a fair and expedient resolution to a number of family law issues. Paul D. Slan, Jennifer Shuber and Carolyn Chambers are each accredited and experienced family mediators who can help guide couples through the mediation process in various family disputes.

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Paul D. Slan, one of our most senior lawyers, has been mediating family law disputes for more than 40 years. His experience and knowledge of the Ontario family law system allows him to guide spouses towards a fair and balanced settlement of their family-related issues through mediation, without resorting to the traditional court system.

Jennifer Shuber is recognized as an Accredited Family Mediator by the Ontario Association for Family Mediation and a Certified Specialist in Family Mediation by the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario. Jennifer has also been appointed a Dispute Resolution Officer for the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto.

  • Advantages of Alternative Dispute Resolution

    • It is normally faster and less costly.
    • It is more flexible and responsive to the individual needs of the people involved.
    • It likely preserves goodwill, or prevent conflict escalation, which is important in situation with continuing relationship.

  • Disadvantages of Alternative Dispute Resolution

    • -There are no guaranteed solutions.
    • -The decision of the neutral arbitrator cannot be appealed.
    • -The arbitrators can only resolve disputes that involve money.

Carolyn Chambers is also recognized as an Accredited Meditator with the Ontario Association for Family Mediation. She prides herself on her ability to help families reach settlements that work for all parties, on their own terms.

We also have several lawyers trained in the art of Collaborative Family Law, which is another alternative to litigation. In collaborative family law, your representatives work together to help you and your former partner negotiate the terms of your separation in a manner that puts the emphasis on solutions that consider the needs of both parties. At Gelman & Associates, the following lawyers are trained in collaborative family law:

What are Mediation, Arbitration and Collaborative Law?

There are many different forms of alternative dispute resolution in family law. All of these alternatives are intended to facilitate the settlement of family law matters outside the traditional court system, which is often associated with high costs, long periods of delay and an atmosphere of conflict. Three of the most common alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in Ontario family law are mediation, arbitration and collaborative law.

Mediation

Mediation is a voluntary way of resolving disputes where a trained mediator helps parties to reach an agreement about family law matters such as spousal support, the division of property, custody of and access to the children, child support or any other family-related issues. Mediators are usually social workers, lawyers, psychologists, or other professionals. Mediators do not take sides or make decisions for the parties. They also cannot give legal advice.

Learn more about artificial intelligence’s impact on dispute resolution by reading this post.

Find Out How AI Impacts Dispute Resolution

Arbitration

Arbitration is a process where each spouse tells his or her side of a family law dispute to an arbitrator and asks for a specific decision. Each side may present witnesses and documents as evidence to support their facts, and make arguments to support the decision they want. Exactly what an arbitrator is being asked to decide should be set out in advance in an arbitration agreement. An arbitrator can be asked to resolve several issues, or specific topics such as division of property, support, and custody of or access to children. All arbitration decisions involving children must be decided in the child’s best interests.

Collaborative Law

At its essence, Collaborative Law consists of two clients and their respective lawyers working together towards reaching an efficient, fair, and comprehensive settlement of all family law matters. At the commencement of this process, parties must sign a participation contract, agreeing to use good faith efforts in their negotiations to reach a mutually acceptable settlement. Each party must be represented by a lawyer whose representation terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding.

Pro Tip

Set aside your emotions and be more logical when negotiating your terms in an alternative dispute resolution setup.

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Contact Our Alternative Dispute Resolution Family Law Lawyers for assistance in facilitating an amicable Separation or Divorce

Contact Gelman & Associates to learn how our experienced alternative dispute resolution family law lawyers can help facilitate a cost-effective, low-conflict, resolution of your family law matter. To protect your mental health during a difficult period, we also offer our clients a free consultation with a psychological professional if required. Serving six offices throughout Aurora, Barrie, Downtown Toronto, Mississauga, North York and Scarborough, our offices are easily accessible by transit and off-highway. Our phone lines are open Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 8 PM. Call us at (416) 736-0200 or 1-844-736-0200 or contact us online for an initial consultation.

FAQ:

It depends on the situation. Sometimes, expected outcomes are not met when negotiating in court, so people are willing to venture into other means like alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Also, the flexibility of the ADR processes entices people more than ever.

Some of the benefits of alternative dispute resolution include confidentiality of the terms discussed, reduction of stress involved, the possibility of preserving existing relationships among parties, and significantly lower cost in terms of time and money.

Some of the processes involved in alternative dispute resolution include neutral evaluation, negotiation, conciliation, mediation, and arbitration. Some parties prefer to undergo mediation instead of litigation as its informal alternative.

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