Divorcing couples may want to consider an option to resolve disputes outside of court, using a process called alternative dispute resolution. There are a few types of alternative dispute resolution they can consider to decide issues like property division, child custody, spousal support and other matters.
Mediation is a process where an impartial third party, called a mediator, helps the parties come to an agreement. The mediator does not make a decision for the parties, but instead can help facilitate communication between them.
One of the benefits of mediation is that it may be less expensive than going to court and make take less time, which can be helpful both for preserving their assets and helping the parties to move on more quickly. It also can help them maintain a positive relationship going forward.
Once the parties come to an agreement, the mediator can put the agreement in writing. If
the parties can’t agree, they still have an option go to court.
The parties can also use arbitration, which allows them to present evidence and witness statements to an arbitrator, who makes a decision. Then, a judge must sign off on their arbitration agreement. Once he or she signs off, the agreement becomes legally binding.
If the parties cannot agree on all of the issues during the arbitration, they also have the option of taking those concerns to court.
An experienced attorney can provide guidance about alternative dispute resolution and advice about whether it is the right option to pursue.