High Conflict Divorce & Family Law

High Conflict Divorce & Family Law

Alberta’s legal system and judicial system have made significant progress in encouraging parties and their families to choose Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), forums such as mediation, arbitration, collaborative law, and variations thereof. Ideally, any couple going through divorce will agree to choose one of these options. They will seek to minimize conflict and build trust in order to reach a mutually acceptable resolution. The boardroom has replaced the courtroom for Divorce & Family Law issues, and this is for good reason.

Sometimes however, high conflict litigation can be made possible by the nature or character of the parties. No matter the reason, all high conflict litigation matters have one common feature: There is almost no common ground between parties.

High Conflict Ex-Spouses

The temperament of one spouse or both can influence the pace, tone, and progression of a dispute. For some spouses, winning is all that matters. Even a subtle gesture of compromise can be seen as an admission of defeat. These spouses can be aptly described with military metaphors. They are not afraid of “mutually guaranteed destruction” and are susceptible to “wars-of-attrition”. They do not care about their emotional or financial exposure. They invest heavily to acquire or maintain a favourable balance in power.

High Conflict Divorce & Family law Issues

This is not a matter of opinion. Some Divorce & Family laws are more prone than others to high conflict. This is truly “art and science”, meaning that matters that are open for personal interpretation will be more difficult to interpret than those that are more straightforward.

The possibility of disagreement is reduced when there are more objective and less disputable issues, such as where strong presumptions or formulas are used or guidelines that are established. The potential for conflict is also reduced when financial impasses can be largely solved by outsourcing to an impartial expert for advice.

Contrarily, high conflict can be caused by matters in which the parties have their own recollections, opinions, or value judgements at the heart of the discussion. Parties can also take divergent positions when the governing law allows for broad discretion in the analysis of an issue.

High Conflict Divorce & Family Lawyer Experts

High Conflict Divorce & Family Law Matters can be difficult financially and emotionally. A strong support network is an asset to you.

Make sure you choose the right lawyer. Your lawyer’s style and expertise are just as important. Your success will depend on the reputation, character, and profile of the lawyer you choose for Divorce & Family matters.

This type of litigation is best managed by lawyers with unique qualities. These lawyers will be required to hold the opposition responsible ethically and vigourously whenever necessary. Family Lawyers should not be second-nature to this approach. A lot of lawyers, and this is a credit to them, are better trained in ADR. They are able only to settle cases amicably. Most of them will admit that acrimonious Divorce & Family issues are beyond their comfort zones.

High-conflict Divorce & Family Lawyers can easily separate. They are not cartoons or parodies. These lawyers are well-versed in the law’s substantive aspects and have extensive experience with all the tools that can be used to get the most out of the legal system. They don’t create or exacerbate conflict but are more than happy to work within it. These lawyers are also able to seamlessly transition into an ADR model when presented with the opportunity. They can give sound legal advice, and are able to accept fully-informed orders. Once they have been instructed, they will be fully committed to optimizing their client’s outcome in whatever venue is used for resolution.

Additional Resource:

https://nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/the-evolution-of-divorce
https://www.nccourts.gov/help-topics/divorce-and-marriage/separation-and-divorce
https://www.familymeans.org/effects-of-divorce-on-children.html