Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provides parties with a means of resolving disagreements outside of the courtroom. As rising costs of litigation and time delays continue to plague litigants, more states have begun experimenting with ADR programs. Some of the programs are voluntary while others are mandatory.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a confidential process wherein the parties to a dispute meet with a mutually selected and neutral person who assists them in the negotiation process. The decision power remains with the parties. The mediator moderates and guides the process defines the issues works to eliminate obstacles to communication and assists the parties in reaching a mutually agreeable resolution.
What are the benefits of mediation?
- Mediation costs less than a trial.
- Most mediations end in settlement.
- Mediation is confidential.
- Mediation allows you to reach a solution based on your own ideas and desires, rather than having a solution imposed upon.
- Mediation helps to improve communication between the parties and avoid future conflicts.
CASE MANAGEMENT / DOMESTIC CONCILIATION
What is Case Management / Domestic Conciliation?
It is a non-confidential process in which the court appoints a neutral case manager to assist the parties and facilitate the negotiation of a plan for child custody, residency, or parenting time. The case manager has no decision-making authority.
How does case management/domestic conciliation work?
- A court-appointed case manager will obtain information about each party through interviews, consultations, and various other means.
- The proceedings are not confidential.
- The case manager may meet with the parties jointly or separately.
- The domestic conciliator has the responsibility to report to the court and other authorities as the court order directs.
- The case manager may communicate with a nonparty.
What happens if the parties cannot reach an agreeable plan?
If the parties cannot agree to a plan, the case manager will use the information gathered to develop and submit recommendations to the court. Once the court approves the recommendations, they are considered enforceable.