The trial, where the court decides on the dispute, is usually the first option for resolving a family law dispute. However, there are faster, cheaper, and more profitable avenues, such as family mediation and negotiation. The process of divorce or separation is not always synonymous with a break in our privacy by the court. To do this, it is vital to employ the services of a family lawyer.
Different Alternative Methods of Resolution
As soon as a conflict arises, calling on an expert in family law is the best. It will allow you to evaluate the alternative methods of conflict resolution that may be suitable for you and to define your rights.
The negotiation can be very informal. Negotiating involves you and your ex-partner discussing until you agree on a consensus settlement. You can directly discuss or retain the services of lawyers who will speak on your behalf. One person may have a lawyer, and the other does not. Most lawyers will try to negotiate before deciding to take the case to court.
If, during the negotiation, you reach a verbal agreement, make sure you also have a written version of this agreement. Sign it, have it signed by your ex-partner and keep both copies. This will protect you because it is challenging to enforce a verbal agreement.
The mediator helps both parties to talk to each other and reach an agreement. Mediators are usually social workers or social workers, psychologists or lawyers and are used to dealing with conflicts. Some Muslim couples ask their imam to help them settle their disputes following a separation. The imam then acts as a mediator. Since a specific procedure or rules do not govern mediation in family law, a mediator may consider religious principles to help the couple reach an agreement.
The mediator must be impartial and not take sides with you or your partner in resolving the conflict. She or he can suggest ways to resolve the dispute, but you do not have to follow his advice. It is important to note that a mediator cannot give legal advice.
You should consult a lawyer before the start of the mediation. The lawyer can tell you what your rights and responsibilities are, but he or she does not usually accompany you to the mediation sessions.
If the mediation does not satisfy you, you can decide to stop it. The mediator, even if it is your imam, cannot force you to accept what you do not want. If you cannot reach an agreement, the mediation will end. At this point, you may be able to use another alternative method of dispute resolution or rely on the court. If you can reach an agreement with your ex-partner during the mediation, do not sign any agreement until you have read it by a lawyer.
Mediation is free. You can find a mediator by going to the family court in your area. However, you may need to take additional steps to obtain this service in some regions. If you can afford it, you can also hire a private sector mediator. You may also have to pay fees to the lawyer who will give you legal advice.
If you and your former spouse decide to go to arbitration, you must prove that you obtained independent legal advice before agreeing to submit the dispute to arbitration.
You will also be required to sign an arbitration agreement setting out the issues to be settled, the name of the arbitrator, the place, the date, the fees and information on the procedure.
An arbitrator who is not a lawyer or lawyer must undergo training in family law. Besides, all referees must undergo training on domestic violence.
The arbitrator cannot grant the divorce or annul the marriage but can make decisions about child custody, access, payment of support, and division of property. Arbitrators can only make decisions on the issues you have asked them to resolve, and these decisions must be based on family law governing your area.
Arbitration is like a lawsuit, but the procedure is less rigid. Most people who use it have a lawyer. At the hearing, your ex-spouse and you can present evidence and indicate what you believe to be an equitable solution. After hearing each of the spouses, the arbitrator will issue a decision known as an “arbitration award.” All arbitration awards must be in writing.
Sometimes a woman is pressured to ask someone she respects, such as a doctor or an imam, to settle a family law dispute. If that person is not an arbitrator, his decision is invalid and cannot be enforced. If you are concerned that a person may not be an arbitrator within the meaning of the law, ask for proof of his / her status as an arbitrator.
All arbitrations in family law must be based on stipulated law. An arbitrator cannot, for example, decide that your ex-spouse is entitled to more than half of the value of the family property. This is because constitutional law states that in the event of a divorce, each spouse is entitled to half the value of the family property.
If you do not know what rights you have under the law, consult a lawyer. Once the arbitration has begun, you cannot decide to terminate it, and you will have to comply with the arbitrator’s decision.
Arbitration can be expensive because you will need help from a lawyer. You may also have to pay fees to the arbitrator.
Remember that arbitration is different from mediation. In mediation, you can exercise choices. You can stop discussions at any time or decide not to accept your ex-spouse’s offer or the mediator’s suggestions. In arbitration, to the extent that the decision is under the law, you must accept the arbitrator’s decision. However, it is possible to apply to the court for leave to appeal in certain circumstances.
Collaborative family law
Collaborative family law is a new alternative method of conflict resolution. You, your ex-partner and your lawyers solve problems together. This is very unusual for lawyers who, in court, must defend the interests of their clients without considering the needs of the other party.
Collaborative family law is generally faster and less expensive and stressful than court litigation. But this method is not suitable for all couples. It can only be effective if the former partners respect each other and collaborate to try to solve their problems. Only those who can afford the services of a lawyer can use collaborative family law.
Sometimes couples who use this method cannot reach an agreement. If this is the case, you will need to hire another lawyer to represent you in court.
Collaborative family law can be expensive because you have to hire a lawyer and pay your fees.
If you have any additional questions or would like to discuss your matter with us further, feel free to call us at 905-366-0202 to arrange a free consultation. Alternatively, you can contact us via our website here.