When you signed your child custody agreement, you thought the bickering was over. Unfortunately, because circumstances change, you may find yourself in the middle of an argument with your former spouse over an existing child support agreement. Rather than taking your dispute to court, you may want to pursue alternative dispute resolution. 

ADR comes in a variety of forms. Instead of fighting your ex-spouse in open court, you may look for a solution through arbitration, mediation, counseling or another type of ADR. Here are four advantages of using ADR to resolve your child custody dispute: 

1. You protect important relationships 

Eventually, whatever disagreement you have with your former spouse will be in the past. How you behave during your argument, though, may have lingering effects. By seeking an amenable resolution through alternative means, you may protect the parenting relationship you have with your ex-spouse. 

2. You save time and money 

Litigation can be both expensive and time-consuming. While ADR is not necessarily cheap or fast, it often is a better use of your time and money than a protracted court battle. 

3. You explore many possibilities 

Adversarial proceedings have a way of limiting participants to only a few solutions. As you know, raising good kids can be challenging. To be successful, you often must think outside the box. With ADR, you have the opportunity to explore many possibilities to help meet the needs of your children. 

4. You comply with your parenting plan 

Before picking a fight with a co-parent, you must understand the language of your parenting plan. If your agreement has an ADR clause, you may have a legal obligation to comply with it. Therefore, read through your custody agreement carefully to know if it requires you to use ADR to reach a compromise. 

ADR is not appropriate for all child custody disagreements. Still, if you desire a more pleasant way to resolve conflict, avoiding litigation may be an effective strategy. By understanding the advantages of ADR in shared parenting matters, you can make the right decision for you and your family.