Going through a divorce can cause lasting emotional and financial damage, especially if you and your former spouse need to go to court to resolve your differences. However, not every divorce is contentious. In cases where spouses arrive at the decision to divorce amicably, key issues such as child custody, alimony, and the division of shared assets can be resolved without a drawn-out court battle.
If you and your spouse are considering ending your marriage in New Jersey, and want to avoid the courtroom, an experienced divorce attorney can guide and support you through the Alternative Despite Resolutions that are at your disposal.
Your Resolution Options: Mediation or Arbitration
For divorcing couples, the two most common types of Dispute Resolution are mediation and arbitration.
Mediation is a process by which a neutral third party assists two parties in reaching a voluntary settlement of their disputes. In cases of divorce, a judge does not impose a ruling on a couple who has decided to mediate; instead, the parties control their own fate through compromise.
Arbitration is similar to mediation in that it allows a divorcing couple to avoid going to trial. However, the key difference between these two types of dispute resolution is that in arbitration a neutral third party hears the parties’ evidence after limited discovery and makes a final, binding decision enforceable in court. In arbitration, the parties have limited opportunity to make a case for their priorities, and they have very limited grounds for appealing an arbiter’s decision. As a result, both parties must live with nearly all arbitration decisions, regardless of whether they find the terms acceptable.
How Does Divorce Dispute Resolution Work?
Resolving a divorce through dispute resolution requires both parties to agree to forgo the courtroom in favor of mediation or arbitration. Dispute resolution will not work if one spouse or both spouses are unwilling to participate in the process. Before mediation can begin, the parameters for the process must be set forth and agreed to by both parties.
In order to ensure a successful mediation, your mediator will gather information about your marriage, so they have a clear picture of the issues that need to be negotiated to finalize your divorce. Working with the mediator, both parties will identify issue areas where interests overlap and where they diverge and attempt to come to a compromise to make sure each spouse’s most important interests are met.
When all issues are resolved, a mediator will draft a mediation agreement that sets forth the terms of the divorce. As with any contract, both parties sign the agreement before it is submitted to the judge presiding over the divorce case. The NJ court will then review the agreement to make sure it is fair to both parties, before approving it to become part of the final order of the court or divorce decree.
The Benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution in a Divorce
ADR can speed up the divorce process, while simultaneously reducing the costs and expenses associated with a litigated divorce. Additionally, avoiding the courtroom, where couples will be required to air their grievances in public, can help to lower the tension and emotional frustration between a divorcing couple.
Finally, many couples who opt for dispute resolution to resolve divorce disputes report greater satisfaction with their divorce terms than those who go to trial. They also tend to feel better about complying with the agreement they themselves have created, rather than complying with an agreement set forth by a judge. This is particularly beneficial for couples who have children and will need to co-parent for the foreseeable future.
Contact A Monmouth County Divorce Resolution Attorney
Splitting up with your partner is a painful process, even if it is the best decision for yourself. At the Law Office of Jennifer J. McCaskill, LLC, we understand that divorce is a delicate process that must be approached with care and precision so that you can move forward confidently. We’ve helped countless couples in New Jersey navigate their divorce. Contact us online or call us at (732) 747-1882 to book a consultation with a divorce lawyer at our Red Bank, NJ office.