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What changes should be made to family law?

These proposals let family law lawyers discuss and vote on what changes they think should be made to the law or court procedures. The results can be viewed and shared with legislators and the Courts. The proposals put forth are written by member lawyers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of this website or its administrators. You can view more proposals or make a proposal yourself.

Proposal: Where resources permit, courts should be able to order arbitration
ADR - Aug 15, 2021

47% in favour out of 19 votes

Ken Proudman Executive
 view Arbitrator profile
   Edmonton, Alberta

This would lessen the burden on the courts, and divert families to a process that's generally much faster (which can reduce long-term conflict), can result in better decisions as the decision-maker would be experienced in family law, in a process that can be customized for the circumstances, and is generally much less expensive than trial.

If there's a dispute about who the arbitrator is, I would expect that courts would be prone to select an arbitrator with family law experience and arbitration credentials. Biases could be brought to light by pointing to consistently-problematic online reviews.

In the very long-term, this might be where family law is heading anyways: regular meetings with an arbitrator or case worker rather than litigating in the courts.

1 2 years ago - edited 2 years ago

Anonymous 2018
   Calgary Region, Alberta

I have been finding a significant discrepancy between what people believe they can save on costs to reach a resolution in arbitration versus the actual costs.

Arbitration is really expensive, and either party can stop paying the arbitrator at any point. Then the paying party is stuck paying their own lawyer, their arbitration costs, and the other party's arbitration costs. Sometimes for something as simple as a morning chambers application.

Before courts can order Arbitration as a regular practice, the landscape of services and how they are delivered would need to change significantly.

2 2 years ago

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