There are a number of circumstances under which parties engage in alternative dispute resolution:
- Voluntarily. With the guidance and support of legal representation, parties choose to resolve a dispute outside the court system.
- Dispute Resolution Clause. Contracts (e.g. employment, commercial) can stipulate that ADR must be engaged as a first step if disputes arise from the terms of that contact.
- Family Law/Parenting Disputes. There is often a requirement to engage in dispute resolution before a court case can proceed.
- Court order. If a legal case is already being heard in court, a judge or magistrate can order that the disputing parties engage in ADR before proceeding.
In any case, dispute resolution can be an effective means of achieving a desired outcome at any stage of a dispute – even if the court case has commenced or a decision has been made by the court or tribunal and an appeal is being considered.