At Henderson Heinrichs LLP we believe that there is no one size fits all approach to family law. Below is a spectrum of the possible Dispute Resolution Options in British Columbia that we use to assist you in reaching a resolution of your matter.
- Litigation - traditional court based approach to resolution. This pits two adversaries against one another in a formal procedure driven arena. This works best: when one (or both) parties are being unreasonable and adversarial or there are issues that prevent alternative dispute models from being effective. This doesn't work: when the parties don't have significant funds, want all discussions to be confidential and desire a more expedient resolution.
- Negotiation - traditional letter or in person exchanges of offers between parties who are adversarial in nature. This works best: when the parties do not want to have any contact or when they are close to resolution on the issues. This doesn't work: when the parties are not close to resolution and significant time and energy is wasted on communication between counsel which is not fruitful.
- Arbitration - an adversarial process where both parties engage a third party to review their matter and provide a binding decision. This works best: when the parties can agree on an arbitrator and do not want to wait for the traditional court system scheduling. This doesn't work: when the one or both parties do not want a third party (apart from a Judge) to provide a binding decision in their matter.
- Collaborative Law - a process where each party commits to a non-litigation process and hires a legal representative (and possibly other jointly appointed professionals) to assist in reaching resolution through 4 way meetings with counsel and parties. This works best: when the parties want to each have their own representative to negotiate their resolution in a collaborative and not adversarial manner and may need additional support of a financial planner or a psychologist. This doesn't work: one party or both parties don't want to work collaboratively to reach a resolution.
- Mediation - a process where the parties hire a neutral third party to facilitate a discussion and resolution of their matter (with or without counsel) This works best: when the parties want control over the process and the resolution and do not want to wait for the traditional court system scheduling. This doesn't work: when the one or both parties are unwilling to be flexible or communicate.
Ask your Henderson Heinrichs LLP family and divorce lawyer for more information about any processes that you are interested in when you come for your free consultation.