5 Approaches to Family Dispute Resolution

Family Dispute

Family dispute resolution is a process whereby family members can resolve their differences with the help of a neutral third party. This third party can be a mediator, arbitrator, or other professionals who can help the parties reach an agreement.

Family dispute resolution is a voluntary process, which means the parties must be willing to participate in reaching an agreement. If the parties are unwilling to participate or cannot reach an agreement, the matter may need to be determined by a judge.

There are many ways to solve a family law dispute without going to court. Some of the ways mentioned in the new Divorce Act are negotiation, mediation, and collaborative law. But other than those, there are other forms of family dispute resolution that are available. In some provinces, arbitration is allowed as a way to solve family law disputes.

1. Mediation

A mediator is a person who can help you talk to your former partner about issues relating to your separation or divorce. Mediators can help you identify issues and work on solutions. During mediation, you and your former partner communicate what you want and need. You can also tell your partner what you believe is in your children’s best interests if you have children.

2. Negotiation

Negotiation is a discussion and compromise between two people, typically to reach an agreement. When going through a divorce, negotiation may be necessary to agree on various issues such as child custody, division of property, and more. A legal adviser can be helpful in this process, but it is not required.

3. Collaborative Law

In collaborative law, both parties agree to work together to agree. This means they will share relevant information and work together to find a fair solution for both of them. They also agree not to take any legal action against each other, meaning they will not go to court. This can be a very effective way of resolving disputes, as it means that the parties are more likely to come to an agreement that they are both happy with.

4. Arbitration

In arbitration, you and the other person in the dispute agree to let a neutral third party make decisions about the legal issues. This is usually done since it is cheaper and faster than court.

5. Parenting Coordination

Essentially, parenting coordination is a process that helps parents resolve disagreements about parenting time, parental responsibilities, and contact between the child and other important people in the child’s life. This process can include mediation and arbitration and is often handled by family law lawyers, social workers, mental health professionals, family therapists, mediators, and arbitrators.


Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is a process that can assist separating families in resolving disputes about arrangements for their children and property. It is a voluntary process, and parties must be willing to participate in good faith. 

FDR practitioners are trained in mediation and facilitation techniques and are independent of the parties. They do not advise, make decisions or tell parties what to do. If you are considering separating from your partner, it is important to obtain legal advice early to learn about your rights and obligations and understand the FDR process.

Dreyer and Associates Lawyers LLP is committed to preserving the best interests of families across the Fraser Valley and the Lower Mainland. We have a diverse array of experience across family law, wills and estates, and residential conveyancing. 

We ensure that our clients feel confident and secure that their wishes will be followed. If you need family mediation services in British Columbia, call us at 604-539-2103 today. 





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