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Understanding divorce mediation and arbitration

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2024 | Divorce

If you are going through a divorce, you may have been asked to participate in alternative dispute resolution (ADR), a term for certain an out-of-court techniques used to resolve conflicts. There are two main types that are useful to understand: mediation and arbitration.

Mediation and arbitration

Mediation is a voluntary process where you and your spouse will meet with a neutral third party, called a mediator, who will facilitate communication between you. You will have an initial meeting with the mediator to discuss the rules and process, then each spouse will present their concerns and goals for the outcome. The mediator can help you make a mutual agreement and then it can be presented to the court for approval. If the court approves it, it will become a binding agreement.

With arbitration, you and your spouse will first have an initial hearing to discuss the issues and exchange information with each other. Then, each spouse can present their side to the arbitrator, with can include witness testimony and evidence. The arbitrator will make a final, binding decision which is enforceable by the court.

ADR benefits during divorce

There are several benefits to using ADR during the divorce process. Mediation and arbitration can reduce conflict because each spouse is actively working to compromise with the other. This may be especially helpful if you share children because it can help to preserve your co-parenting relationship.

ADR may be less time consuming and less expensive than a traditional court process. It also may provide more flexibility.