4. Make an ADR agreement with your partner

You and your partner must agree on the details of the ADR process. It is a good idea to put your agreement in writing before you start the process. This document can be called different things, such as a participation agreement, arbitration agreement, or agreement to mediate.

The agreement can include:

  • the role of the family law professional who is helping you resolve your issue
  • how your lawyers, if any, are involved
  • the issues you cannot agree on
  • what information is private or confidential and will not be shared in court
  • how to give documents to your partner or the family law professional
  • how you, your partner, or the family law professional can end the process
  • who pays

The family law professional who is helping you usually drafts the agreement and includes details about you, your partner, and your issues.

Before signing the agreement:

  • Read it carefully. If you have a lawyer, you should have them read it as well. You need a lawyer if you are agreeing to or mediation-arbitration.
  • Make sure that it includes all the important details about the process.
  • Make sure you understand who can end the process, how it can end, and what happens at the end.
  • Ask any questions you have.
  • Make sure that you understand the agreement.
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