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Alternative Dispute Resolution In Texas

Dispute Resolution Center Houston

People that seek an amicable divorce with little to no conflict can turn to alternative dispute resolution or ADR. Alternative dispute resolution is a path to amicable and durable solutions during divorce without going to court. That means that you get to reduce cost and preserve workable relationship with your ex-spouse, which makes it easier to raise your children after divorce. An experienced family law lawyer can represent you during mediations and  help you resolve your divorce without litigation.

What Is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

ADR refers to a process where a neutral or impartial third party helps people communicate and collaborate to resolve conflict. The three common means of ADR for divorce cases are:

  • Collaborative law cases: Both parties involved in divorce retain a lawyer and both have to sign a “no-court” agreement.  The parties involved and their lawyer work together to come up with terms of their marital dissolution without a court intervening.
  • Mediation: It is a confidential process run by a trained third party to help two parties reach a settlement in a controlled environment. Any agreement reached during mediation must be approved by a court.
  • Arbitration:  A retired judge or attorney is appointed as arbitrator with the approval of both parties. The arbitrator listens to evidence and testimony from both sides and then makes a ruling. Both parties must agree beforehand whether the arbitrator’s final ruling should be  binding or non-binding. Each party involved in the divorce gets to retain a lawyer.

What Are The Benefits Of ADR?

Alternative Dispute Resolution In TexasIn a litigated divorce, the judge issues orders for child support, alimony, visitation, property division and more. But ADR allows you to come up with creative ideas that are fair to you and the other spouse. Some of the benefits of alternative dispute resolution methods include:

  • Lower costs compared to litigated divorce
  • Flexibility in resolving issues
  • Confidentiality 
  • Both parties retain control throughout the process
  • Parties are more likely to remain friendly after the divorce is finalized
  • ADR leads to quicker and more efficient settlements and resolutions
  • Ability to come up with creative solutions that are specifically tailored to meet the needs of the parties involved in the divorce

Many people chose ADR for divorce because of the confidentiality aspect of it. That means that private events, perceptions or issues and other discussions cannot be used against the couple in the event that the divorce ends up in court. 

What To Expect After Successful Negotiations

In most situations, after a couple reaches an agreement, the  attorneys draft a final agreement that details all the decisions that were made during the negotiations. This happens irrespective of the method used to reach that agreement.  The lawyers then present the written agreement to a judge to review. The judge will then issue an order to finalize the divorce if the judge approves the settlement. A judge is likely to deny approval if the written agreement obviously favors one of the parties that are divorcing.

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