Couples in California looking to part ways have a few options at their disposal to settle a divorce without the need for divisive litigation. The decisions made during divorce can impact a family for years to come. It makes sense then to come to these terms in a cooperative rather than confrontational environment. In a traditional divorce, the court will have great influence in the determinations made in the final divorce decree. Those who wish to resolve their divorce quickly and keep more control over what they agree to might want to consider alternative dispute resolution or ADR.
More couples seeking divorce in Riverside are turning to ADR than ever before. There are many benefits to choosing an alternative method to finalize a divorce, including the ability to avoid combative litigation and continual disputes. Mediation and other litigation alternatives empower both parties named in a divorce agreement to reach resolutions that benefit them equally.
Different Types of Alternative Dispute Resolution in California
Alternative dispute resolution is known for providing a more amicable and expedient route to divorce. California couples seeking divorce may select one of three types of ADR: mediation, collaborative law, and arbitration.
Mediation is just one way to avoid litigation during divorce proceedings. During mediation, both parties meet outside of a courtroom to work out the different issues face-to-face. Each party is represented by a divorce lawyer, and a neutral third party who is trained to resolve such disputes guides the meetings. This person uses problem solving methods to help couples express their concerns, listen to each other’s needs, identify issues, explore options, and reach favorable resolutions.
Collaborative law is a form of ADR that involves mediation and negotiation. Both parties retain attorneys to protect their interests, and all parties must agree to avoid litigation. The attorney who represents you in a collaborative resolution may not represent you in court should your case go to litigation. As such, lawyers have more incentive to resolve matters outside of the courtroom, which will save you considerable costs. Professionals like psychologists and financial advisors may be called in to help the parties forge agreements.
Couples may hire a private arbitrator to help them resolve their issues outside of court. The arbitrator can be a retired family court judge. He or she will settle disputes that may arise during a contested divorce. Rather than attend court for one day or half a day over the course of several months, the parties can meet with their private judge several days in a row, significantly speeding up the process.
While this method saves considerable time and money, the decisions agreed to during arbitration are binding. Arbitration is an informal environment that is closed to the public. The parties will still require representation to uphold their rights.
Top Benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution
Many couples are pleased with the final outcome of alternative dispute resolution. A few advantages ADR has over traditional divorce litigation include:
- A collaborative, rather than hostile, environment
- Potentially lower costs for quicker results
- Reduced impact on any children involved
- More control over the solutions that will impact you and your children
Do you think ADR may be right for you? Generally, alternative dispute resolution works well for those who:
- Mutually decided with their spouses to seek divorce
- Have no desire to reconcile with their spouses
- Would like to stay on good terms with their spouses
- Do not blame their spouses for the divorce
- Do not have a history of domestic violence
- Want to resolve the divorce quickly
- Do not believe their spouses have lied to them about marital property
- Have a limited budget for legal expenses and court fees
You Still Need Representation for ADR
Speaking with an experienced Riverside divorce lawyer may be the right way to determine whether ADR will be beneficial in your divorce case. At Bratton Razo & Lord, we do what we can to empower our clients to make decisions that will benefit them and their children years after finalizing a divorce. We strive to achieve the best results in a cost-effective way. Call (951) 684-9000 for a free phone consultation or complete our contact form.