Alternative dispute resolution, or ADR as it is commonly called, refers to the method of resolving legal disputes without having to go through litigation. Though California judges might review the validity of chosen ADR methods used in divorce, they will rarely overturn the decisions made in the mediation sessions. If you are about to embark on divorce in California, there are several reasons for why you should consider alternative dispute resolution.
According to the Judicial Branch of California, ADR is a less time-consuming, less expensive and less formal approach to divorce. Though not a mandatory process of divorce, the court does encourage divorcing parties to give ADR a real chance for reasons it summarizes on its site. The top two reasons to pursue alternative dispute resolution in your divorce are, of course, time and money. Many lawsuits take up to a year to resolve, whereas parties can typically resolve a matter within weeks, or months on the outside, when they choose to go through ADR. The speediness with which disputes are resolves means fewer court fees, fewer attorney fees and minimal, if any, litigation expenses.
Another major benefit of ADR is the control it offers. If you were to attempt to resolve your divorce via litigation, the judge would have the final say over matters such as property division, child custody and support. However, when you discuss those issues in a mediated setting, you and your spouse can come to an agreement that works best for the both of you, and that is based on your wishes as opposed to the formulas judges commonly use to make determinations.
Because ADR allows divorce on your terms, and because of the other potential advantages, there is a strong likelihood that you will walk away from your divorce satisfied with the outcome.
The information in this article is strictly for informational purposes. It is not intended to act as legal advice.