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Schwartz Law Firm, LLC. – Philadelphia Divorce Lawyers
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) contains a broad spectrum of options for resolving conflicts outside the judicial system. Two of the more common methods of ADR include mediation and arbitration. However, other options exist, including collaborative law and cooperative law.
We are mediators and trained arbitrators with the American Arbitration Association. Contact our office to discuss your alternative dispute resolution options for conflict resolution.
In our family law practice, we facilitate four main areas of alternative dispute resolution. These include:
Binding arbitration allows couples to reach decisions about individual topics in a divorce, such as support and custody and division of property , without going to Court. By doing so, couples avoid months of waiting for court hearings and appeals, saving time, money and emotional expense. In binding arbitration, the arbitrator acts as judge, rather than as a mediator, as in mediation. Having waived their right for judicial review of the arbitrated matter, except in the event of fraud or other bad behavior by the Arbitrator, the parties work with the arbitrator who hears the case like a judge and renders a decision. The arbitrator has the power to make decisions and enter the final order.
We are trained arbitrators. In that role, when requested by the attorneys in a case, we will meet with the parties to discuss any family law matter, hear each party’s side and decide issues in cases.
Mediation is a route many couples choose to settle family law disputes in a divorce, including child support, custody arrangements and division of property. Serving as mediator, we facilitate the discussion and resolution of all issues in the divorce, custody or support matter. Couples find divorce mediation to be empowering, as they can determine the future of their children and finances rather than having a decision handed down from a judge. Further, it is often less contentious than a litigated divorce.
In a collaborative divorce, two parties are ready to move forward with obtaining a divorce without the intention of punishing the other party. Collaborative law provides a less confrontational environment for couples to develop creative solutions to matters such as child support, custody and property division without the threat and expense of court. The attorneys for both parties are contractually bound to withdraw from representation if the case deadlocks and moves to litigation. This alternative dispute method is often fairer and quicker than litigation. In a collaborative case each party has their own lawyer, and the parties and lawyers often work with other team members, such as divorce coaches, therapists, financial neutrals and others to help the parties work through their issues.
Similar to collaborative law, cooperative law allows the parties to attempt to work out the issues surrounding divorce amicably and without court involvement. Unlike collaborative law, the parties are not contractually bound to work out an agreement. Rather, they agree to enter an informal discovery process and exchange information without waiving their rights to go to court.