Every relationship is unique and so is each divorce. While some divorces require court proceedings and a judge’s ruling, others would benefit from an alternative dispute resolution. These approaches provide you and your family options to decide what is the best way to work through a divorce together.
Settling outside of court
While setting your divorce outside of court is not portrayed as often in the media, alternatives to litigation could be the best choice for your family. Mediation and arbitration are two of the primary alternative dispute resolution approaches. They are great ways to give you and your spouse more control over your divorce, keep your proceedings private and lessen expenses.
Mediation is a divorce process in which a couple engages in a series of meetings with their lawyers and a neutral mediator. In it, the authority over divorce decisions is primarily in the hands of the couple, with the mediator to act as a non-biased guide and facilitator throughout the discussions. Mediation requires couples to be able to talk and even have productive arguments that lead to a shared agreement about things like asset division and child custody.
Arbitration is very similar to mediation but gives more power to the third party, the arbitrator. The arbitrator acts similarly to a mediator, standing as a non-biased party that facilitates conversations. However, they also have the power to suggest solutions and make decisions. Arbitration allows you and your spouse to have a say in your divorce, but also gives you the input of a neutral professional, which is sometimes necessary when coming to agreements is difficult.
To determine which divorce approach will work best for your family, consider your relationship, ability to work together and the complexity of your estate. Talking to your attorney about your situation can also provide valuable insight into whether you should opt for mediation, arbitration or litigation.