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Is alternative dispute resolution a possibility for my divorce?

When it comes to divorce, most people immediately think of high-stakes conflict and nasty, drawn-out courtroom battles. However, not all couples go through traumatic divorces, and many are even able to find harmonious solutions despite a fraught situation.

Alternative dispute resolution, commonly referred to as ADR, may be an option in your divorce. While ADR is not a viable option for every divorcing couple, here are some questions to ask to help you understand if your situation may be ideal for this type of solution:

What is alternative dispute resolution?

Alternative dispute resolution is a long term for an option that indicates several ways you may go through your divorce without having a courtroom battle. In fact, the "alternative" means this type of resolution is an alternative to the courtroom. One of the most common ADR methods for divorce is mediation.

Can I use ADR for my divorce?

Mediation can work if you are facing an uncontested divorce in which you and your spouse largely agree on the major issues that surface during divorce. If you and your spouse are unable to find collaborative solutions or are both unwilling to try to negotiate your agreements and solutions, ADR is likely not going to be successful. However, if you and your spouse agree that you wish to make the effort to keep the control over decision-making in your own hands and work to find shared solutions, mediation or a similar collaborative divorce solution is likely a viable option.

The first step if you wish to explore ADR options for your divorce is to contact a family law attorney and inquire about the services she or he offers in terms of uncontested divorces. Many courtroom litigators in family law are also skilled at collaborative solutions for divorce and can assist you as your legal counsel. ADR solutions can help reduce overall costs and conflict, so they are certainly a good method to attempt if you feel you and your spouse can benefit from them.

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