This post is the third of a 4 part series on alternative dispute resolution. If you haven’t read parts 1 and 2 yet, I recommend you do so before continuing.
Types of Alternative Dispute Resolution (continued)
Collaborative law is a form of alternative dispute resolution that applies to family law. It is itself a collection of techniques. Of particular interest here is collaborative divorce.
To begin a collaborative divorce, both parties sign a participation agreement. This agreement specifies that they are entering into the proceedings with good faith, but it also includes a clause designed to keep the dispute from ending in court. Should a collaborative divorce proceeding fail and the case go to court, both spouses will have to hire new lawyers. The ones they had during the collaborative process are prevented from litigating on their behalf by the participation agreement.
A collaborative divorce typically involves mediation or arbitration, or even both. It also involves outside professionals when appropriate, from financial planners and tax accountants to therapists and child psychologists. An experienced collaborative divorce professional will do whatever possible to facilitate a just, speedy, low-stress resolution to divorce disputes.
Collaborative law is also often used with great success in other family law cases, such as child custody or visitation disputes.
Benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution
The reason ADR has grown so much in popularity is that is has a number of advantages over litigation, both for the disputing parties and for the court system. These benefits include:
Alternative dispute resolution is a less formal, faster process than a litigation, which means it involves less hours of attorney’s fees. It avoids many court costs. Since ADR happens on your schedule, you shouldn’t have to miss work to attend mediation sessions, for example, whereas the court system has no such concern for your time. Depending on your job, this could obviously be a big advantage.