Mediation & Arbitration
Mediation provides couples the opportunity to work together to resolve their disputes outside of the traditional court process with support from a neutral third party trained in facilitating a safe space for open communication. If an agreement is not reached on any or all of the issues, the parties are at liberty to proceed to court, or may wish to consider arbitration. In some cases our mediators will travel to remote locations within BC or work via videoconference.
Arbitration provides an opportunity for opposing spouses to obtain a written and binding decision from an arbitration-trained family lawyer who is required to apply family law principles just as the court would. Arbitrations can focus on one or more issues arising from a dispute and with certain exceptions, the awards are final and binding on both parties. Participants may bring legal counsel to advise them through the process if they wish, although this is not required.
A third option to consider is a combination of both mediation and arbitration, which ensures that in the event mediation fails on one or more issues, the parties will continue working with the mediator who will then arbitrate any remaining issues. Mediation and arbitration can be efficient and cost sensitive approaches to resolving outstanding family issues.
Please reach out to the Watson Goepel LLP Family Law group for assistance or more information about Mediation and Arbitration.