I have a Protection Order in Place Against my Former Partner, Must I Still Participate in ADR?
There are a few different types of protection order which can be entered for different reasons.
- Domestic Violence Protection Order
- Stalking Protection Order
- Anti-Harassment Protection Order
- Sexual Assault Protection Order
- Vulnerable Adult Protection Order
What is ADR?
ADR stands for Alternative Dispute Resolution, this can include mediation, arbitration, or a volunteer settlement conference. Typically, ADR can drastically shorten the life of your case and be a cost saver for both parties.
ADR and Domestic Violence
Historically courts were concerned with parties who had protection orders in place participating in ADR. This was because there could be potential for face-to-face interaction which could be a violation of the order, as well as triggering for the survivor. If ADR happened in person, there had to be strict distance protocols in place so the parties would not cross paths. Now with so many mediations and arbitrations happening digitally, many judges are less concerned about the potential harmful interactions between the survivor and the abuser and may order participation in mediation despite there being a protective order in place.
This Isn’t All Bad
ADR could be a more effective and suitable way to come to a resolution in your case. Each parties’ lawyers can advise their clients on their rights, options, and entitlements throughout the process. With an effective negotiator on your side, the power imbalance you may be afraid of as a domestic violence survivor will be nonexistent. ADR also allows the parties to work at their own pace, avoid more traumatic court processes, and prevents the survivor from having to face their abuser in court. Additionally, parties can have a say in who their mediator or arbitrator is, which allows you to have more autonomy over the outcome of your case. Lastly, ADR is a private process. This means parties may be more willing to admit to faults or negotiate more openly, leading to better results for both parties.