Conflict can arise in families from a wide array of sources. It will often surface when there is significant change from within or external to the family unit, such as separation or divorce, death of a loved one or financial concerns.
Managing Family Conflict with Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) are increasingly being seen as appropriate and effective first-line responses for families experiencing transition.
Family conflict can often become contentious and in the past families have leaned heavily on the support of the Courts to help resolve issues. Families are increasingly turning to ADR to help resolve these disputes as these processes allow parties to retain control over outcomes, reduce cost, and collaboratively develop solutions.
Using ADR to Manage Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s)
ADR processes may also help prevent separation and divorce from becoming an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE).
ACE’s are a set of negative, stressful, traumatizing events that occur before the age of 18 and can translate to negative health outcomes across an individual’s lifespan. Of particular note here is the ACE of Household Dysfunction which may include separation and divorce.
Typical Sources of Family Conflict
Separation and Divorce
- Parenting arrangements
- Financial issues
- Property division
Parents and Teens
- Closed lines of communication
- Housing and living arrangements
- Relationship concerns
- Estate planning
- End of life concerns
- ADR can be helpful when social workers and other people responsible for a child in care disagree about the safety, well-being or plan of care for the child.
What Types of ADR Might Help?
Med/Arb (Parenting Coordination)
Family Group Conferencing
Where Can I Get More Help?
- Government of Alberta Family Mediation
- For families where one of the parties has a gross income of less than $40,000 per year
- Children’s Services Mediation Program
- Alberta Family Mediation Society
- “Advocates resolution of family conflict through the use of mediation by qualified professionals”
- Alberta Family Wellness
Directory of ADR Professionals
Find an ADR Professional Who Specializes in Family Conflict