Alternatives to Litigation 2017-10-13T04:33:54+00:00

Divorce Mediation

Divorce Arbitration

What is it?
Mediation offers a fair process where you and your spouse can discuss and decide for yourselves, with professional help of a mediator, arrangements for your children, financial support and the division of your property.

When does it work? 
Mediation will work only if you and your spouse are willing to make a good-faith effort to reach an agreement. There is no legal obligation to agree; any commitment to the process and its results comes voluntarily from the people involved.

Who are the professionals involved? 
You and your spouse jointly hire a neutral, trained, and certified mediator to act as a facilitator of solutions. It is important to remember that this mediator is not the attorney for either of you, and therefore is unable to give you legal advice.

How long is the process?
During a series of meetings, the mediator will help you and your spouse work out a plan that covers your children’s living arrangements, the financial needs of the family and all other issues that need a solution. Once you and your spouse have reached an agreement, the mediator will draft an agreement that is submitted to the court. After the court reviews the agreement, it may be approved and thereafter becomes a legally binding legal document, and finalizes the divorce.

What are the benefits? 
One of the great aspects to mediation is that it allows you to arrive at the resolution based on what you and your spouse think is fair, instead of allowing a judge to decide what is fair.

What are some potential limitations? 
Mediation may not be a good fit if communication between you and your spouse has downgraded to the point where neither of you trusts the other to negotiate in a fair/reasonable manner.

What is it?
Divorce arbitration is an approach to divorce without stepping into court. It is still an adversarial process, but instead of a public court room and a judge, it is in a private setting with an arbitrator. It differs from mediation because a mediator does not have the power to make decisions, whereas an arbitrator does have such power.

 When does it work?
Any type of divorce case can be settled through arbitration. Child support, child custody, visitation, spousal support, and the like are all acceptable issues at a divorce arbitration.

Who are the professionals involved?
The parties’ attorneys and an arbitrator (who is essentially the “judge” in the arbitration). The parties’ attorneys will usually agree on an arbitrator together.

How long is the process?
Arbitration is much quicker than the trial process. All you need to do is agree on a date with the opposing party and the arbitrator. After the arbitration hearing on that agreed upon date, your divorce agreement should be binding.

What are the benefits?
Save time and money, less formality than traditional court litigation, privacy, usually the agreements reached with arbitration lead to increased party satisfaction and more durable solutions, and early disposition of cases.

What are some potential limitations?
It can get pricey. It is still cheaper than trial but it is not cheap. Also, unlike mediation, you may not agree with the decision that comes from arbitration because the arbitrator may decide on an issue in an unfavorable way to you.