Canadian Co-Parenting Centres offer arbitration services as an alternative to going to court.
To resolve impasses on issues that are family or parenting related rather than legal issues, using arbitration can be a more suitable process. Issues such as vacation schedules, extra curricular activities, choice of schools, and even who the children will be with on Halloween, can be very important issues for families, but a judge who has a backlog of other matters will have very little patience for such things. Our arbitrators and co-parenting coordinators understand that while these issues may seem small from a worldly perspective, from the personal perspective of the family members, these can be very important issues.
In addition to being a more suitable and compassionate process, arbitration can be less expensive. The biggest saving is that your lawyer probably won't need to be involved, and if they do assist, the amount of time they expend will be much less, because considerably less preparation and formalities are required, and because the arbitration hearing is scheduled and there is no waiting around for your turn to appear before the judge.
Traditionally, arbitration awards, like court judgments, tend to be a win-lose nature at best, and often a lose-lose nature. Our arbitrators employ mediation and other skills to reach decisions that are as close as possible to a win-win nature.
Arbitration, as a stand alone service, is sometimes provided as an adjunct to co-parenting coordination. While the co-parenting coordinator has the authority to make a decision when the parents reach an impasse, it is sometimes useful to have a separate person address a particular issue. This can either be requested by the parents or recommended by the co-parenting coordinator.