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Tabloid Divorces – How to Avoid Becoming a Headline

We are often inundated with the private and confidential details of celebrity divorces. These divorces play out in magazines, in newpapers, and on television screens. Recent high profile examples have shown us that details of parenting allegations and personal finances can become entertainment and a matter of public record.


In contrast to the high profile world of Hollywood divorces, parties in Alberta have the option of doing a private mediation, mediation/arbitration or collaborative law file. These dispute resolution processes offer many advantages, two of which can help keep separation and divorce out of the court of public opinion:


1. Confidentiality – Although your separation may not make the front page headlines there may still be a business need or personal wish to keep things as private as possible. Everything discussed in a mediation/arbitration or on a collaborative law file is confidential to the process itself. It is a private hearing and no members of the press or public are in attendance nor do they have the ability to access the information presented.


If a matter proceeds to court it may be an open process. Anyone can sit in the courtroom. Typically, evidence or affidavit materials filed are accessible and become part of the public record.


2. Speed – The court process is currently experiencing significant delays and Special Chambers applications are booking several months or a year in advance. Often, urgent parenting requirements or the financial situation will require decisions to be made more quickly. There is also a possibility that the parties are just ready to finalize issues related to separation and divorce and just move on.Within mediation/arbitration or collaborative law the parties have the ability to book expeditiously with a Dispute Resolution professional to resolve their matters on a more efficient time line.


Confidentiality and speed are just two of the many advantages of alternative dispute resolution processes. At our firm, we believe in these benefits and advocate for the use of these processes when we feel it would be a benefit to our clients. Not only are we experienced at representing our clients in mediation, mediation/arbitration and collaborative law but many of our lawyers are experienced mediators and arbitrators themselves.


If you require further information on mediation, mediation/arbitration or collaborative law please contact us.