When a couple cannot resolve one or more issues through negotiations they may appoint a qualified person to make decisions for them. The person appointed to make the decision is a called an arbitrator under the Arbitration Act of Alberta. He or she is effectively your private judge.


What can an arbitrator do?

In a family law case, an Arbitrator can make virtually the same decisions as a Judge. In effect, the arbitrator’s decision or “Award” becomes a Court Order.


One of the main advantages of arbitration is that you are able to have more influence over who will make these important decisions since you cannot choose your judge in court. Although judges are often skilled and wise, many have no specialized experience in the family law world. With the help of your lawyer you can choose an arbitrator with many years of experience in family law.


How arbitration works

While court proceedings are usually open to the public, offering little or no privacy to parties involved, arbitration can be much more private. In fact, arbitration can happen in the privacy of your lawyer’s office.


Additionally, arbitration rules and processes can often be less formal than court proceedings and parties can choose their own rules.


As with a mediator, the parties normally share the cost of the arbitrator whose hourly rate will be comparable to that of most lawyers’ hourly rates. In many cases private arbitration will cost parties less than litigation.


Whether formal or informal, the arbitration process usually takes place at a lawyer’s office and typically includes the presentation of evidence (testimony, documents, etc.) and a summary by the parties’ lawyers of their client’s position and arguments.



Get in touch to see if arbitration is right for you.

Moe Hannah LLP

Client safety is important to Moe Hannah and so is client service. The health of our staff and clients is our top priority.  If clients and counsel prefer to work remotely during this difficult time, options exist for us to provide this service. Moe Hannah is able to do “virtual” non face-to-face meeting through internet conferencing.  We can do virtual consultations, mediation, or mediation/arbitration.
We can make it easy!
We will email a link for the conference to each person. The only requirement is internet access and a device suitable for the conference, ideally a camera and microphone.  Some people just use their cell phones. 
If you have any questions, please call or email us to talk about how we can make this work. 
We can still meet at Moe Hannah LLP for those people that would prefer to personally attend.  Everyone entering our office will be screened in accordance with the latest Alberta Health Guidelines. 
Our lawyers and assistants are set up to work remotely and we will continue mediation, mediation/arbitration and client meetings using Teams Video Conferencing, as well as our regular telephone conferencing.
Consider Alternative Dispute Resolution
The Courts have announced that they are limiting access to urgent family law mattes. In light of this, parties may want to consider the mediation/arbitration process.  Please get in touch with your lawyer and/or assistant if you have any questions regarding your matter.
We look forward to working with you and helping you move forward during this difficult time.