CPLEA has created new resources on Family Law in Alberta in partnership with the Edmonton Community Legal Centre. The five booklets in the series provide practical legal information on Child Custody and Parenting, Financial Support, Property Division, Representing Yourself in Family Court, and Young Parents. The booklets can be downloaded for free at www.cplea.ca/publications. Select Family Law from the drop down menu.
You may want to consider resolving your conflict or disagreement outside of the court system. There are a variety of ways to do this, including arbitration, collaborative problem-solving, consensus-building, negotiation, facilitation, mediation and conciliation. The following resources can help you learn more about alternative dispute resolution.
Listings for organizations that help with alternative dispute resolution can be found in the section Where to Find Help - Alternative Dispute Resolution.
There are laws to protect people from being treated unfairly, but it still happens sometimes. In dealing with these situations, it is often hard to know who is right, where to start, or what to do if the problem isn’t easily solved. This guide from the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta describes seven steps to sorting out any legal problem. This 8 page PDF is available for free download.
The Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) offers landlords and tenants an alternative means of resolving serious disputes outside of court. The Service is designed to be faster, more informal and less expensive than the courts. A tenant or a landlord who has concerns related to an eviction, unpaid rent/utilities, security deposit, damages, repairs or other common disagreements can use the service.
The Alberta Arbitration and Mediation Society is a not for profit organization which provides education and information to its members and the general public on solving disputes more effectively. They provide an annually updated Directory of Arbitrators and Mediators in Alberta.
This website from Alberta Courts provides access to videos about the various Mediation programs available for the Civil (non-family) Mediation program and the Family and Child Intervention
Family Justice Services are a group of programs and services offered by Alberta Justice in collaboration with the courts of Alberta. Family Justice Services works directly with individuals and also with the judges of the Alberta Provincial Court and Court of Queen's Bench to help people get appropriate solutions for their family law issues. The site provides information on a variety of issues such as the Family Law Act, formsand quick links for lawyers, family law kits and court information, child support assistance, online learning, courses and seminars for parents, mediation and dispute resolution services, etc. Programs are available to qualifying parties either at no cost or for a nominal charge. FJS offices are located throughout the province.
The General Insurance OmbudService (GIO) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation that has been in operation since 2002 providing dispute resolution services for conflicts between complainants and their insurers in the areas of home, auto and business insurance. GIO’s neutral and professional mediators and experienced Information Officers help complainants and insurance companies work toward a solution that is in the best interests of both parties in a fair, independent and impartial environment. (PDF - 2 pages)
The Mediation and Restorative Justice Centre (MRJC) is a not-for-profit organization devoted to building safer and peaceful communities. They provide mediation services to people and groups in conflict, and restorative justice services to victims and offenders. These services are offered free of charge to anyone in the greater Edmonton region (Alberta).
This booklet from Family Law Education for Women explains alternative dispute resolution and when to use it in dealing with family law issues. (PDF - 8 pages)
From the website of the Canadian Judicial Council, this section talks about how litigation (starting a legal action and having your case heard in court) is only one way to resolve a dispute. You can resolve your dispute with or without the involvement of lawyers and without using the court system. These methods are called “alternate dispute resolution” (ADR).