Alternative Dispute Resolution
Under most circumstances, the best possible result for any family law matter is to resolve issues by agreement. Court is expensive and unpredictable. In many cases, our attorneys use a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) to assist in reaching a settlement. Our attorneys are proponents of the ADR process, and most of our attorneys are sought after and highly skilled mediators and arbitrators. ADR enables parties to resolve their domestic matter outside of the courtroom, which saves the parties money and time. There are several types of ADR, including the following:
Mediation. The parties and their attorneys attend an informal and confidential mediation session with an independent, neutral third party, typically also a family law attorney or financial neutral, to discuss settlement. While agreements reached at mediation are generally binding, the mediator does not have the authority to make a binding decision on the issues raised in the litigation and, further, cannot testify if the matter reaches trial.
Arbitration. The parties and their attorneys attend a confidential session with an independent, neutral third party whom the parties agree will have binding authority to make decisions regarding their case.
Late Case Evaluation. The parties and their attorneys attend a confidential session with an independent, neutral third party who is an experienced domestic relations attorney, who is not assigned to their case. The late case evaluator hears the arguments and concerns of both parties and makes non-binding recommendations concerning settlement based on his or her experience. The point of late case evaluation is to have a neutral, experienced perspective on your case, and advise you what your outcome at trial will likely be, which may help settle the case.