Resolving matters outside of the courts can be beneficial by reducing the financial and emotional costs to families.

To support Albertans dealing with family law matters, Alberta’s government is investing $8 million in the Family Justice Strategy to increase access to crucial pre-court services such as mediation and counseling for families seeking a divorce, or resolving spousal support, parenting or child support issues.

Following its successful implementation in Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta’s government is expanding the Family Justice Strategy to Red Deer through a $3-million investment in Budget 2024. This funding will ensure families in Red Deer and surrounding communities have the support they need to resolve family law matters quickly.

“Court processes can often be complex and stressful for families. This support will ease some of that burden by helping Albertans navigate court processes more effectively or avoid them altogether.”

Mickey Amery, Minister of Justice and Attorney General

The Family Justice Strategy, which was first introduced in Edmonton and Calgary in December 2023, is already making a difference for Alberta families, with initial data showcasing a notable 36 per cent increase in matters resolved through Alberta Justice dispute resolution programs.

Building on this success, Alberta’s government is investing an additional $5 million through Budget 2024 to support the complete rollout of these enhanced pre-court services in Edmonton and Calgary.

“The Canadian Bar Association Alberta Branch supports the expansion of the Alberta Family Justice Strategy, which moves our province closer to having a fully unified family court system. We look forward to continued innovations in this area, which will serve to improve court processes and advance access to justice for Alberta families.”

Kyle Kawanami, president, Canadian Bar Association, Alberta Branch

“As a family lawyer, I understand the profound impact legal proceedings can have on individuals and families. By providing alternative forms of resolution for family matters and streamlining the family justice system, we can begin to build a more compassionate system that better supports all Albertans.”

Bud Melnyk, K.C., family lawyer

The Family Resolution Hub is another resource available to Albertans dealing with family law matters.  Introduced in December 2023, this online platform enables people to explore dispute resolution options without requiring court visits, thereby saving time and reducing stress during an already difficult time.

The rollout of the Family Justice Strategy in Red Deer will begin now, with full implementation expected by the end of the year.

Budget 2024 is a responsible plan to strengthen health care and education, build safe and supportive communities, manage the province’s resources wisely and promote job creation to continue to build Alberta’s competitive advantage.

Related news

Related information