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What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Family disputes can involve a lot of conflict and resolving them can be highly stressful and emotionally draining, as well as potentially taking a long time and costing a lot of money.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) offers a non-confrontational way to deal with family disputes, which can make it faster, less expensive and much less painful to find a solution. It also gives you more control over the process, increasing the chances of finding a mutually acceptable resolution, rather than one imposed by a judge.

There are two main methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution – mediation and collaborative law. Both have their advantages and can be appropriate in different situations.

How mediation works

Mediation involves both parties involved in a dispute sitting down with a trained, neutral mediator. The mediator’s role is to guide you through discussing the various issues involved in the dispute in a non-confrontational way, helping you to explore potential solutions and find a resolution you can both accept.

Mediation is often used by divorcing or separating couples who need to sort out their finances and arrangements for children. Divorce courts usually require couples who wish to separate to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) to see whether mediation is appropriate for them before their case can be heard in court.

How collaborative law works

Collaborative law is also intended to keep the dispute resolution process non-confrontational, but it allows each party to have their own legal representative. Both parties will sit down, each supported by a lawyer trained in collaborative law, for a four-way meeting. They will then attempt to negotiate a solution to the dispute that meets everyone’s needs.

This approach has the advantage that both parties have their owned trained legal representative to ensure their interests are protected. This can be helpful in more complicated cases where on hand legal advice may be useful.

Who can benefit from Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Most family disputes can be effectively resolved with Alternative Dispute Resolution and it can be particularly beneficial where the dispute involves children. Because ADR is non-confrontational, it usually make it easier to maintain or repair the relationship between the parties in dispute, which can be especially important where there is the need to continue parenting children together.

ADR is also particularly suitable if you want to achieve a fast resolution or where you would prefer to keep the details of your dispute private. This is because you can avoid the need for court action, allowing the dispute to be resolved at your pace and without the need to have your issues aired in public.

There are some cases, however, where Alternative Dispute Resolution may not be appropriate, for example, in cases where there has been domestic violence. This is something your solicitor can advise you on, so it is worth discussing this to find out what the most appropriate option is for your circumstances.

Crisp & Co’s experts in mediation and collaborative law can help you resolve your family disputes quickly and cost-effectively, protecting your interests while minimising the stress and emotional fallout involved. Our team includes trained mediators and collaborative lawyers who can help you explore non-confrontational methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution for divorce, relationship breakdown and any other issues related to family law.

To find out more, call us today on 020 3797 4952 or get in touch using the enquiry form below.