Divorce: Options to avoid a trial
Not every divorce ends up like what has been sensationalized on television, with spouses going at each other like a pack of wild wolves. Sure, I’ve seen my share of contested divorce cases, but oftentimes, such proceedings can be resolved amicably – without reaching the courtroom.
This blog will focus on alternative dispute resolutions (ADR), which are designed to give divorcing spouse’s options within the process. Below is a basic overview of some common methods:
Mediation – Divorce: Options to avoid a trial
This is the predominant method of dispute resolution used in family law. Under this process, an impartial third person (a mediator) helps open up the lines of communication between divorcing spouses to promote a healthy settlement of their dispute.
Oftentimes, divorcing couples are willing to do whatever is necessary to end the relationship without conflict, yet perhaps they do not quite know how to communicate their desires, or where they should begin. A mediator encourages and assists, but has no authority to force either party to settle.
Collaborative Law – Divorce: Options to avoid a trial
The purpose of collaborative law is to again encourage the peaceable resolution of disputes, but the primary distinctive feature is that the parties to this process agree in advance that their lawyers will be disqualified from representing them in court if the matter they have submitted to the process is not completely resolved by agreement.
Essentially, this means collaborative lawyers are only there to act as advocates. The lawyers help negotiate and do not represent their clients in court.
Informal settlement conference – Divorce: Options to avoid a trial
Divorcing spouses can resolve their dispute through settlement conferences, which are a nonjudicial method for settling disputes without involving attorneys. Both parties must agree in advance, and if they resolve their dispute through this method, they must sign a written settlement agreement.
Arbitration – Divorce: Options to avoid a trial
Arbitration is when each party presents its position to an impartial third party who renders a verdict. If both parties agree to arbitration, their agreement must state if its binding or nonbinding.
Cooperative law – Divorce: Options to avoid a trial
Under this law, both spouses and attorneys agree in writing to use their best efforts to make a good-faith attempt to resolve their dispute on an agreed basis, provide full, voluntary disclosure of all financial information, avoid formal discovery procedures, use joint rather than individual appraisals, and use interest-based negotiation.
This law does not require the parties’ attorneys to withdraw from the case is no resolution can be reached.
If you are considering ending your marriage, I urge you to seek counsel from a knowledgeable attorney who will keep your family’s best interests in mind – whether you have children or not. Our staff at Nelson Law Group, PC. is always available. Give us a call today.