Being told to avoid court? What's the alternatives?

Being told to avoid court? What's the alternatives?

The family court system is under strain with litigants that seek assistance in resolving matters, however, being in court very often does not lead to the resolution of these matters.   Court applications are extremely time consuming, decisions, if made, are piecemeal leaving many outstanding issues without fulsome resolution, and the experience is often highly adversarial.  

It can often be heard a Judge telling a self-represented litigant in family court that they should seek legal advice, and in part this is delivered often in a time of frustration where the issues that one wants to have resolved remain unanswered, delayed, or worse denied.

When seeking legal advice, the type of legal advice is critically important, and how this legal advice then shapes the next steps in a family matter will likely define its usefulness.     Helpful legal advice will provide individuals with an overview of their rights and obligations in family law.  This is the foundation, or the floor that is the foundation for knowing your legal matter.   But after the floor is built then the walls need to be built.  And like a house, houses come in all different shapes and sizes, and what works for one person is often not suitable for another. Solid legal advice is based on customization to your particular life, and with tailored legal advice, this is how you will see movement forward on the specific goals you wish to achieve and type of resolution that is meaningful for you.  

When customizing legal advice for you, you should be informed of the legal options that exist out of the courtroom in full as these differ greatly. Some non-court room family law solutions involve regular guidance where you can work with your lawyer as your legal partner.  You will attend with your lawyer, mediation, mediation-arbitration, and/or settlement meetings, as the 3 core venues for achieving comprehensive settlement.  These services now are regularly provided in-person, but also virtually, as there is the need for this flexibility.

Other options include specific lawyer assisted venues that the court provides to individuals that are designed to be dispute resolution mechanisms to avoid ending up in court, with the ability to have court orders completed when agreement is reached.  These include Early Intervention Case Conferences (EICCs), Resolution Counsel meetings (formally case management counsel), and the Child Support Resolution Program (formally the Dispute Resolution Program).  

Further options available to individuals include limited scope legal information and advice that is given before parties attend non-lawyer assisted venues, including mediation, or the court-based resolution mechanisms listed above.    This type of situation is best suited for those that feel comfortable with leading discussion about their family legal matters, while being organized with detailed legal information and advice.

Bottom line, staying out of court is likely the best strategy for you to resolve your family legal matters.  How you do this though should depend on your specific needs so know the venue that works best for you with the right legal representation that can assist you in making this choice.      

At Family Central Law, you can rely on experienced family lawyers to provide sound legal advice on your family law matters. Please contact us today for a free consultation with our family lawyers on your matter by calling our office at 587-392-7970 or by emailing, or by clicking on our consultation page.

Calgary Family Central Law Firm

Trusted Counsel for Calgary Family Law Matters

Our firm believes in access to legal services for everyone, and serves the Calgary area, as well as regularly traveling for court appearances in Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Medicine Hat, and Lethbridge.

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