This post is the second of a 4 part series on alternative dispute resolution. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, I recommend you do so before continuing.
Types of Alternative Dispute Resolution
You might ask how arbitration is different from what a judge does. It is similar in many ways; however, arbitration is not bound by the same rules as litigation. The rules of arbitration, like standards for evidence, are set by the participating parties prior to the beginning of the arbitration. Also, the parties retain the right to greater confidentiality through arbitration than litigation.
Divorce arbitration isn’t all that common, but there are some cases where it can be a useful tool. If other methods of dispute resolution have failed, it might be a good idea to take matters out of the hands of the disputing parties and put them in the hands of an arbitrator. Rulings made by an arbitrator are often not subject to appeal, which means that arbitration can effectively put an end to disputes that would have otherwise turned into drawn out court battles.
Mediation also involves a third party, known as a mediator. However, a mediator doesn’t make any rulings on the dispute. Rather, they facilitate the parties coming to agreement on their own. In some jurisdictions they are actually referred to as facilitators.
Divorce mediation is very common. In fact, mediation is one of the most reliable and popular ways to achieve an uncontested divorce. An experienced divorce mediator will help a divorcing couple set aside their bitterness and anger and focus on achieving a solution that is not only to their benefit, but also in the best interest of their children, if they have them.
A divorce mediator can be a lawyer, but doesn’t have to be. Generally speaking, spouses who are going through divorce mediation also retain their own lawyers, although they may or may not attend the mediation sessions, depending on what the parties agree.