How To Avoid A Court Trial
How to Divorce
Tip: The more you and your spouse can agree upon before going to trial the faster and less expensive the process will be for both of you.
Many states now require you and your spouse to participate in mediation, arbitration or some other form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) before a judge will hear the divorce case. Usually you will have to pay for the services, but in some states, the court provides mediators at no cost. In any case, resolving your conflicts without going to court will cost you less money and be easier on your emotions. Mediation and arbitration are the two most common forms of alternative dispute resolution, but they are not interchangeable. Collaborative Law is a third form of ADR that has increased in use over the past couple of years. Here are some things to keep in mind when considering ADR in your divorce strategy:
Keep in Mind:
- A mediator helps you and your spouse to reach an agreement but has no power to enforce it.
- An arbitrator acts like a hired judge but may or may not be a lawyer. An arbitrator may also enforce an agreement.
- Collaborative Law uses two attorney’s one for you and one for your spouse- you agree, in writing, that your case will not be taken to court and the four of you will work it out.
- If the court requires mediation, opposing it may anger the judge and prejudice your case.
- Mediated agreements may be harder to alter than court decisions.
- Go prepared into mediation, arbitration, or collaborative law with a list of all property, assets and debts.
Remember: Abusive or controlling spouses often fail to bargain in good faith or to live up to any fair agreement reached in mediation. Choose your divorce process wisely- educate your self first.