According to provincial officials, the Family Justice Strategy is supported by a $5-million investment from Budget 2023 to expand pre-court services in Edmonton and Calgary. The government says these services, including alternative dispute resolution, family court counsellors, and parenting interventions, can help Albertans decide if they want to settle a family matter out of court or better understand the process if they decide to go to court.
In addition, Alberta’s government says it is introducing a Family Resolution Hub online tool to provide information for Albertans dealing with family law matters. The Family Resolution Hub is expected to give Albertans a new way to explore their options and next steps when initiating a divorce, applying for guardianship or renegotiating a parenting arrangement. Officials say the platform should be available to Albertans across the province in December.
“Coordinating efforts to support families makes perfectly good sense,” says Lynn King, executive director, Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Alberta. ‘We applaud approaches in the Family Justice Strategy service delivery model that will help provide linkages to alternative dispute resolution resources and qualified mediation practitioners. We look forward to being collaborators in improving and promoting the well-being of Alberta families.”
“The new Family Justice Strategy being launched in the Alberta courts will give parents struggling to navigate their co-parenting and related matters an opportunity to manage those challenges in a non-adversarial, more family-friendly manner,” adds Sharon J. Crooks, board chair, Alberta Family Mediation Society.”Family dispute resolution, in most cases, significantly reduces the financial and emotional costs for families, as well as the time required to reach a resolution.”
Alberta government quick facts
- Family law matters in Alberta are heard in the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta and the Alberta Court of Justice.
- Each year, the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta sees about 60,000 new civil and family matters, 9,000 divorce judgments and 350 civil and family trials.
- Alberta Court of Justice hears about 17,000 family and child protection cases annually.
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