Quay Law Centre is pleased to announce the opening of our new Mediation and Arbitration Centre, West Coast ADR, located at #300 – 960 Quayside Drive, New Westminster, B.C.
We offer mediation and collaborative law options for couples seeking amicable resolutions without going to court. Mediation and collaborative law, also called collaborative separation and divorce, are designed for couples who are willing to work together to address their differences.
If you are seeking to avoid the financial and emotional expense of traditional divorce litigation, contact our experienced lawyers at Quay Law Centre. We are the largest group of family lawyers in B.C., and we employ mediators and lawyers who are highly trained in collaborative law.
During mediation, the parties attend a meeting with a mediator. A mediator is a neutral third party who guides the parties through the process to reach consensus on issues such as child custody and access, child support, and division of property. The mediation process can also include lawyers.
The mediator is usually a family law lawyer, psychologist or another trained professional, with specialized training in mediation. Parties should seek legal advice during the mediation process. At Quay Law Centre, we have trained family law mediators who can facilitate the process. Alternatively, we can provide legal representation or advice through the mediation process.
In a collaborative divorce, the two parties sign an agreement stating that they will not go to court, but will instead collaborate to resolve all issues amongst themselves with the help of their lawyers and other collaborative law professionals such as financial advisors, child specialists and mental health professionals. If either party decides to abandon this approach and go forward to trial, then both parties must retain new lawyers.
At Quay Law Centre, we have trained collaborative lawyers who help identify the best and most cost-effective legal approach for each client.
Arbitration is another viable option for resolving family law disputes in British Columbia. Currently, family law arbitrations are governed by the B.C. Commercial Arbitration Act and specific rules apply to domestic commercial arbitrations.
The role of an arbitrator is similar to that of a judge. The arbitrator can make use of collaborative processes such as negotiation and mediation. The parties have the freedom to decide the arbitration process, but everyone must agree in writing before the arbitration begins. An arbitrator must make decisions that are in alignment with the Family Law Act.
All family law arbitrators are required to meet Family Law Act training and practice standards. In addition, an arbitrator must either be lawyer, psychologist or social worker with at least 10 years experience in a family-related field.
Arbitration may be attractive to parties for the following reasons:
- It accords more privacy than do court decisions. Most court decisions are published and available to the public. Through arbitration, private financial details and issues of behaviour are kept confidential.
- It is thought that arbitrations can be more cognisant to the temporal needs of the parties.
- Arbitration can usually be accomplished much quicker than proceeding through court.
- Parties can tailor the terms of an agreement to suit their individual needs.
Quay Law Centre is planning to make arbitration an available option for our clients, using its most senior lawyers as arbitrators. Some of our lawyers are currently taking the necessary training to become an Arbitrator. Parties interested in arbitration as a dispute resolution mechanism should speak to one of our lawyers at Quay Law Centre.
To schedule a consultation, contact Quay Law Centre online, or call us locally at 604-527-1161. From our multiple offices, we represent clients in the Metro-Vancouver area, including Surrey, Fraser Valley, Tri-Cities, Burnaby, and any other area throughout B.C., Canada and internationally.