Courts employ conflict resolution as a strategy to help resolve diverse family law disputes. This is sometimes viewed as an alternative strategy that seeks to prevent conflict by presenting ways for the parties to resolve their disputes amicably. Reconciliation is a method or process that leads to a peaceful conclusion of a disagreement, often known as conflict resolution.
Family disputes frequently need legal resolution, but the parties involved prefer to settle them out of court. When kids are involved, this can be crucial.
Here are some instances of conflict resolution in a family law context:
- Alternative dispute resolution (ADR): This typically enlists the assistance of a mediator who is an impartial third party and can guide discussions between the disputing parties.
- Family Intervention: This is when the court steps in to solve urgent legal problems. In certain circumstances, the court may take action to offer protection to people who are coping with physical abuse, drug misuse, neglect, and other problems.
With a collaborative divorce, most of the divorce-related concerns are resolved outside of court (such as property distribution, custody, etc.).
Whatever settlement the parties reach, the court only makes it official.
Instead of letting the court decide how things should turn out, conflict resolution essentially centers around the premise that the parties should come up with workable solutions for themselves. Even though some procedures, like collaborative divorce, may still lead to a court order, the judge is often less involved.
When Is Conflict Resolution Employed?
In circumstances where the parties can interact with each other cooperatively and non-confrontationally, conflict resolution may first be offered. Courts may not recommend conflict settlement and may issue their own decision if the parties cannot cooperate amicably or if there is a risk of bodily damage.
If it is possible to resolve conflicts, it can be applied to problems like:
- Visitation and custody of children
- Child support and spousal support
- Divvying up property (e.g., after a divorce)
- When parties want to settle the dispute outside of court, wishing for a quicker outcome
- Trying to use conflict resolution for a less expensive outcome
- Numerous other matters that can be agreed upon
When the parties involved in a disagreement need to meet regularly as part of a family intervention process, conflict resolution can sometimes take place over a long period.
Is Resolution of Conflict Required?
The process of conflict resolution is typically suggested as an alternative rather than being required. Conflict resolution may only sometimes be a viable option for resolving disagreements, particularly if the parties are averse to cooperating. Conflict resolution is a less formal process than a court case, which many individuals would choose.
Contrarily, many courts and judges support conflict resolution as a means for the parties to settle disputes in a less expensive and time-consuming method than a protracted legal dispute.
Why Should I Pick an Alternative to Court Proceedings?
Alternative Dispute Resolution can resolve disputes considerably more quickly and cheaply than traditional litigation. It is available for a wide variety of situations and civil litigation. Employment contracts frequently contain provisions for alternative dispute resolution because they frequently spare employers the money and negative publicity that comes with lawsuits.
ADR has the potential to be less formal, less time-consuming, and more affordable than trial. If both parties wish to reach an informal agreement or result without going through a formal judicial process, ADR may be useful.
For What Kinds of Legal Issues Does Alternative Dispute Resolution Get Used?
As already established, ADR is used to resolve a number of legal disputes, concerns, and claims. ADR is frequently employed in the following:
- Disagreements in family law, such as those relating to divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and other issues;
- A variety of contractual issues and demands;
- Regulation of stocks and securities;
- Commercial disputes;
- Building initiatives; and
- Numerous additional subjects.
ADR processes have a wide range of different uses. All of these are based on what the parties need and want from the resolution of their legal dispute.
Do Different Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods Exist?
The two most popular forms of ADR are arbitration and mediation. Also popular are collaborative law and negotiation. Although there are variances among the many forms of ADR, they all essentially have the same objective of avoiding a court trial.
Following are some examples of various forms of ADR:
- Mediation: In mediation, a neutral third party serves as the mediator and assists the parties in settling their differences. The mediator does not actually have the power to decide anything. Instead, the mediator facilitates communication between the parties so that a resolution can be reached without a trial. Mediation can be helpful when parties desire to maintain their relationship or employment arrangement.
- Arbitration: In arbitrations, the resolution of the disagreement or conflict is decided by an “arbitrator,” a neutral third party who hears the arguments and weighs the evidence presented by each side. The official court rules and procedures for evidence are not followed in arbitration, which is a less formal proceeding than a trial.
- Neutral Evaluation: In a neutral evaluation, each party makes its case to the evaluator, who is once more an impartial third party. The evaluator then expresses a judgment on the many advantages and disadvantages of each side’s arguments, evidence, and case after hearing each side’s case. The evaluator who is given the case typically has a wealth of knowledge in the relevant field. For instance, the evaluator will often have education, training, and experience in the business world if the legal issue involves a business matter.
Regarding each distinct form of alternative dispute resolution, state laws may vary. The court may prescribe or order ADR in particular circumstances. For instance, the parties may be required to participate in “court-ordered mediation” in order to settle their differences in many divorce cases or other family law proceedings.
Can an Alternative Dispute Resolution’s Decision Be Reversed?
The matter will go to trial if an agreement between the two parties is not reached or is not possible. Since the Uniform Arbitration Act was passed in 1956 and updated in 2000, arbitration agreements and judgments are typically upheld by state and federal courts if an agreement is reached.
In “binding arbitration,” the parties give up their right to a jury trial, and the arbitrator’s ruling is binding. Non-binding arbitration means that the parties may ask to go to court if necessary and that the arbitrator’s ruling is not binding.
All of these, once more, rely on the precise needs and demands of the parties. Alternative dispute resolution, in general, is just another choice for parties to settle their differences in the most advantageous and effective method for them while minimizing confrontation.
Do I Need an Attorney for Advice on Conflict Resolution Procedures?
Most methods of resolving disputes take place outside of court. However, since the parties may be deliberating and bargaining with regard to significant life issues, the assistance of a lawyer is nearly always required for dispute resolution meetings.
You might choose to employ a family lawyer for assistance during hearings and meetings for conflict resolution. Your lawyer can represent you and offer legal counsel and direction throughout the dispute resolution process.