Province urges more dispute resolution

The B.C. government is urging the use of alternative dispute resolution professionals to turn down the heat on family law matters.

Under the new Family Law Act, the Law Society of B.C. has been given authority to oversee the accreditation of lawyers who wish to act as family law mediators, family law arbitrators and parenting co-ordinators.

As of Jan. 1, lawyers must complete the applicable hours of training in a course of study and register their training with the law society. Specifically, all dispute resolution professionals are required to meet specific training requirements.

Mediation and arbitration have been proven to diffuse the adversarial nature of family law matters, preventing the need to resolve matters in court. This can reduce costs and delays in reaching a resolution.

David Paul, a family lawyer in Kamloops who practices mediation, recently told The Daily News that he can recall only two instances in the last 21 years when dispute resolution didn't resolve matters.

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