Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) allows parties to settle cases in a manner alternative to litigation. ADR includes mediation, negotiation, collaborative law, and arbitration. Parties often prefer ADR because it allows privacy and flexibility in fashioning agreements and relieves the apprehension of having a stranger (a judge), decide their fate. ADR can also save time and money.
Negotiation and mediation are the most common forms of ADR in family law. Best Interest Law promotes an “interest based” approach to negotiation. This approach encourages disclosure and understanding all parties’ interests, as opposed to a “position based” approach, where parties refuse disclosure and disregard others’ interests. A good family law attorney recognizes that an interest based approach creates a higher total value for all. A position based approach is wasteful of value, almost always causes resentment, and is sometimes unethical.
A family law attorney must understand the mediation process well because most family courts require mediation if the parties fail to reach a resolution. In mediation, a neutral intermediary assists the parties in coming to an agreement on disputed issues. In a domestic mediation, it is typical for each party to sit in separate rooms while the mediator serves as the channel of communication between them. Success at mediation largely depends on your attorney’s preparation, knowledge of the law, and familiarity with the facts of your case. Most importantly, your attorney must empower you with the knowledge to make educated, autonomous choices.
Attorney, Dennis M. Germain, will draft you a masterful mediation summary, and provide you with the opportunity to successfully resolve your matter. Attorney Germain will make sure that your written settlement agreement accurately echoes the parties’ resolution and effectively addresses pertinent long-lasting implications.
If you feel that you cannot afford to litigate, you might prefer the flexibility of ADR. ADR offers a variety of alternative options, and Attorney Germain can explain them to you.
ADR matters primarily include the following areas:
- Collaborative Law (a.k.a. Collaborative Divorce)
- Modification and Termination
- Case by Case Creative Solutions