Why go to court if you don’t have to?

No one wants to be involved in a legal dispute. Unfortunately, some of us may find ourselves in court one day to face a dispute of some kind.

Regardless of the legal matter, whether it’s a lawsuit, an issue that arises from a separation or divorce, or a disagreement over child support, resolving such disputes—either with the help of a lawyer or as a self-represented litigant—is often time-consuming, stressful, expensive and intimidating.

While going to trial and asking a judge to resolve a dispute is sometimes the best and only option, many issues can be dealt with through the help of a dispute resolution program or service. These alternatives, such as the Provincial Court Mediation Program, are designed to help parties in a dispute find mutually-agreeable solutions without having to set foot in a courtroom.

Mediators act as neutral third-parties and aim to ensure a comfortable environment is created to promote communication, allow each party to explain their grievances, and keep the discussions constructive and on track.

On February 1, 2016, the Edmonton Resolution Support Centre opened on the eighth floor of the John E. Brownlee Building (10365 97 St.) in downtown Edmonton.

For Edmontonians and those living in surrounding communities, the Resolution Support Centre offers a single point of contact for accessing a range of legal resolution and information services previously located in different areas within the Edmonton Law Courts building.

It is the first phase of a new project that will combine in-person, online and telephone resources to more effectively provide legal services and information to Albertans.

Here’s a list of the free services and programs being offered:

  • Family court counsellors
  • Child support resolution
  • Civil mediation
  • Family mediation
  • Child protection and intervention mediation
  • Conflict intervention from a specialized clinician such as a psychologist or social worker
  • Court forms and orders assistance (formally the Family Law Information Centre and Edmonton Law Information Centre)

For more information on the Edmonton Resolution Support Centre or to access services, call 780-415-0404.

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