If you are considering an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process to settle your dispute, you may be wondering which option is best for you.
Any of the processes listed below are a good option for parties wishing to resolve their dispute outside of court in a private setting.
Mediation is most successful when parties can come to the table and negotiate in good faith. Further, rather than coming to mediation with a fixed position on what they must receive, each party is able to propose and consider a range of options. Mediation can occur at any stage of the legal process. It can be fully supported, meaning each party has their attorney present during mediation or pro se, meaning the parties are not represented by attorneys. In pro se mediations, I do recommend they work with a consulting attorney between mediation sessions to ensure full understanding of the legal ramifications of their decisions.
If a party needs additional support from a team of professionals, Collaborative law may be a better option than mediation. In the Collaborative process, each party hires a Collaboratively trained attorney and, collectively, the parties hire a Mental Health Coach and Financial Neutral. As a team, we work together to help parties meet their high-level goals.
Arbitration is a great option when parties are unable to reach resolution and need a third party to make the decision for them. Parties choose arbitration because it is a less formal process than court and it provides a faster resolution. In my practice, these typically involve child support or parenting plan issues. Typically, I make decisions based on written materials from each party involved. On occasion, I will ask to meet with the parties to seek answers to specific questions about the materials each has provided.
For some circumstances, an ADR process may not be appropriate. In these cases, we lean on attorneys focused on litigation to help parties resolve their dispute. It is important to keep in mind that a small number of family matters end up in trial. More often than not, your divorce will be resolved through an attorney-led settlement process. While I no longer engage in litigation, if I find that ADR is not appropriate, I am happy to recommend attorneys who do practice in that area.
Each situation is unique, and I would be happy to meet with you to discuss all your options.