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Disputes after relationships end are uncomfortable but are a regular part of the separation process. If you have previously done some research on Alternative Dispute Resolution, you may have noticed that there are a lot of different types of Alternative Dispute Resolution.

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Alternative Dispute Resolution is a process where an independent person, such as a mediator, helps people in dispute to resolve issues between them.

If you are struggling to agree with your former partner, whether it be a family law issue, property split issue or child custody, Alternative Dispute Resolution might be a useful tool for you.

Methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution

Methods of alternative dispute resolution include:

NegotiationYou may have already used this process in your day to day life. This process can be useful if you and your partner listen to and hear each other out, work out what issues are in dispute and what is essential to each person, and aim to reach a workable agreement.  Your lawyer can help negotiate on your behalf and attempt to reach a deal with the other party.
MediationIn mediation, the parties try to resolve the issue with the assistance of an independent person such as a mediator. Each party listens to the other party’s points of view and contribute to the discussion. If you do not feel secure when communicating with your partner, then mediation may be unsuitable for you.  Sometimes, parties can sit in separate rooms which alleviate these issues.
ConciliationThis process can be similar to mediation. What makes conciliation different is the conciliator’s role which may be more directive and advisory. It may be suitable when parties have tried negotiation but did not reach an agreement. A conciliator might actively guide the parties to a resolution and reality test the parties positions to help them reach an agreement.
ArbitrationArbitration is a type of Alternative Dispute Resolution where the parties present arguments and evidence to an independent third party. If the mediation and conciliation process has not helped you reach an agreement, then arbitration can be particularly useful. As opposed to mediation and conciliation, in arbitration, there is a much higher need to produce evidence or facts. Before the process, you will also need to agree that the arbitrator’s decision will be binding and enforceable.

Advantages of alternative dispute resolution

The advantages of Alternative Dispute Resolution include:

  • Cost effective:
    • Going to court can be very expensive. Choosing an Alternative Dispute Resolution process to help sort out issues between the parties, will save you on lawyer costs and fees.
  • Speed:
    • Not only will you save on legal costs but you will also have less strain on your time by avoiding court proceedings. Going to court hearings and trials can be a lengthy process and time-consuming. The use of Alternative Dispute Resolution is much quicker.
  • Flexibility and Control:
    • You may have seen that at a court hearing, parties do not have much control over the dispute and the way it is handled. Good news! With Alternative Dispute Resolution, you have more control over the dispute and choose what issues to raise.
  • Win-win situation:
    • Alternative Dispute Resolution helps you achieve results that work for all the parties involved in the dispute.

Is Alternative Dispute Resolution best for you?

Whether or not Alternative Dispute Resolution is best for you is dependent upon the nature and complexity of your case, as well as other factors such as a party’s willingness to cooperate. Although Alternative Dispute Resolution is effective at resolving many disputes, it may not always be appropriate in the particular circumstances.

Say for example your former partner is trying to sell the matrimonial property without your knowledge. In a matter of such immediacy, Alternative Dispute Resolution may not be suitable as you would want to prevent the other party from selling a property that you may have a legal or equitable interest.

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