Oshawa Family Lawyers Representing Clients in Alternative Dispute Resolution

More and more Ontario couples looking to resolve their family law disputes are choosing alternative dispute resolution methods to avoid the traditional court system. Going to court can be costly and is often adversarial. The court process can become combative, often lengthening the dispute, and making it more emotional and expensive. For these reasons, and others, people seeking a cost-effective and more expedient resolution than the court system can offer are turning to alternative dispute resolution (also known as ADR), which involves collaborative family law, mediation, and arbitration. No matter what your reason for exploring alternative dispute resolution, the lawyers at Borden Family Law can help you understand what options may be available to you, and how best to take advantage of them. Not only are we certified collaborative family lawyers, we also act as dispute resolution officers of the court. We have many years of experience guiding former couples towards reaching a cooperative and amicable resolution to any outstanding disputes that may be preventing them from finalizing their separation or divorce.

The Collaborative Approach

To take part in collaborative family law, each party must commit to negotiating terms that are mutually acceptable and finalizing a settlement without resorting to the courts. This is accomplished by working together, not only with each party’s lawyer, but with a team of experts in areas such as financial matters and parenting. Collaborative law works best (in fact, it only works at all) when both parties agree to be honest and respectful with one another. Generally, the collaborative approach ends up costing far less than it would if the matter had gone to court, and the timeline is usually much shorter. On the other hand, the collaborative approach brings with it some inherent risks: if the parties cannot reach an agreement, or the process reaches a standstill, the dispute resolution process must begin from scratch, and each party must find new lawyers.


Mediation is a process that assists couples in reaching a mutually satisfactory settlement with the assistance of a neutral, third-party called a mediator. Mediation can help resolve outstanding issues such as spousal support, child support, custody, and property division. The third-party mediator can be a lawyer, mental health professional, or other professional trained in ADR techniques. Each party to the mediation must have their own lawyer (even if the mediator is a lawyer) in order to receive legal advice throughout the mediation and ensure their rights are protected. Once there is mutual agreement on any outstanding issues, the mediator will record the agreement in writing, and the written agreement will be reviewed by each party’s lawyer. From there, a legally binding separation agreement will be drafted which reflects the terms finalized in the mediation.


Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution that involves the resolution of a legal matter by an independent third party, such as an arbitrator, rather than a judge. To enter into arbitration, both parties must sign an arbitration agreement. After that, the arbitrator, who acts much like a judge, listens to each party’s position and then reaches a decision that he or she deems equitable for both parties. An arbitrator will use his or her knowledge of the law to arrive at a decision. The decision of the arbitrator is binding. Although this sounds a lot like going to court, one of the main advantages to arbitration is that the process is far more time and cost-efficient. Alternative Dispute Resolution may not be suitable for everyone, and it is important to note that lawyers using a more traditional approach do not always end up in court. At Borden Family Law, we have personally settled more than 4,000 cases, thus avoiding the courtroom even within the traditional adversarial system.

Contact Our Experienced Oshawa Family Lawyers for Representation in Alternative Dispute Resolution

At Borden Family Law, our team of certified collaborative lawyers can help you identify what type of conflict resolution is best for you. In our 17 years of experience, we have taken a wide variety of approaches to help our clients reach a resolution of their family law dispute that is best for them. Call us at 905-576-6090 or contact us online to learn more about your dispute resolution options. Ask about our bundled packages and flat fees.