Alternative Dispute Resolution Mandatory Before Scheduling a Family Law Trial

The Alberta Rules of Court require that an Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) process occur before a family law trial can be scheduled. The court suspended the application of these rules for period of time, but as of September 1, 2019 the rules apply again. The Court of Queen’s Bench announced a one-year pilot project to lift the suspension of these rules.

It is possible to request that the Court allow you to proceed with a trial without attending an ADR process. Information about how to make this type of request is available on the Alberta Courts website.

On December 5, 2019, the Court of Queen’s Bench announced that Collaborative Family Law may qualify if:

  1. Each party was represented by a lawyer who has agreed to conduct a Collaborative Process meeting the standards established by the Collaborative Divorce Alberta Association (“CDAA”) and whose representation terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding;
  2. The parties have signed a participation Agreement in a form approved by the CDAA and/or a Regional Association of Collaborative Divorce Professionals recognized by the CDAA; and
  3. The parties have agreed, in the Participation Agreement, that they will attempt to resolve all outstanding family law issues through the collaborative process.

A meeting or series of meetings with the Court of Queen’s Bench Case Management/Resolution Counsel may also qualify.

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