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ADR does not always work for divorces

Going through a divorce can be extremely challenging. After all, wrapping up a meaningful relationship requires addressing property and emotions. If you have children, the process can be even more difficult. Often, married couples who would rather not litigate protracted divorces opt to dissolve marriages using alternative dispute resolution. 

A small percentage of divorces require litigation. Nonetheless, mediation, arbitration, collaboration and other types of alternative dispute resolution do not always work in every situation. Watch for the following four signs to know if your ADR has become ineffective. 

1. Your spouse refuses to budge 

With mediation and collaborative divorces, both you and your spouse commit to working together to dissolve your marriage. If your partner refuses to budge on matters important to you, ADR may simply be futile. 

2. You want to move quickly 

Depending on the form of ADR you use, the process may take some time. If you want to wrap up your divorce quickly, you may not want to engage in extensive back-and-forth negotiations. Before you give up on ADR, however, ask potential mediators or arbitrators for a general timeframe. 

3. You worry about your safety 

Most types of ADR require both spouses to work collaboratively. To do so, you must feel safe throughout the process. If you worry about your safety, ADR may not be a healthy choice for you. 

4. You think you should have everything 

You may have contributed significantly more to your marriage than your spouse did. If you think you should have most marital assets, you may never be ready to compromise. 

Alternative dispute resolution is often a reasonable strategy for dissolving a marriage. After all, divorce litigation can be both costly and stressful. Just because mediation or arbitration worked well for your friends does not mean it is right for you, however. Whether you are thinking about divorce or have already started the process, you must continually check to make sure ADR is working for you.

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