For divorcing couples who are able to settle most of their affairs on their own but have one or two disputes to get through, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) can be a great way to move forward. Alternative dispute resolution includes activities such as mediation or arbitration, both of which allow you to work through a dispute without having to go to trial.
Some people think that going to trial is no big deal, but it has some negative points. For instance, anything you do in a public trial is made public. That means your personal information can be seen by anyone who wants to look it up. On top of that, a trial takes more time and money.
ADR is beneficial for couples who can agree to work together to avoid trial
If you and your spouse want to avoid trial and can agree to work together, then it's a smart choice to talk to your attorney about ADR. Your attorney may suggest mediation or arbitration, depending on your circumstances. For example, if you and your spouse are willing to talk through your issues but keep getting stuck on one or two aspects of the decision, mediation might be a good choice. A mediator can talk to you about your options and explain how the law will affect your case and decisions.
Arbitration can be better if you don't agree with one another and struggle to communicate. It's run like a casual form of trial, but it's still private. Arbitration, unlike mediation, is usually binding. Your attorney will talk to you about this if you think arbitration is the right choice.