St. Louis Alternative Dispute Resolution Attorneys
Most people have the impression that a divorce proceeds like the movie Kramer v. Kramer, with much conflict, drama and collateral damage. While some divorces do have elements of high conflict, they need not be that way, and because more and more people would like to avoid that harsh path, different methods of moving through the divorce process have evolved.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) refers broadly to settling legal matters outside of the traditional judicial process. Rather than prepare for a contested trial before a judge, parties using ADR work outside the traditional adversarial process and try to work together in a more amicable fashion to reach a mutually agreeable outcome that would ultimately be submitted to the court like an uncontested divorce.
In the family law context, two types of ADR tend to be popular – mediation and collaborative law. In practical terms, both approaches offer many of the same benefits – privacy (your records will not become part of a public record accessible to anyone with an Internet connection), affordability, reduced stress, less risk, more flexibility and, most importantly, the opportunity to shape your own futures.
In divorce mediation, you, your spouse and a third-party mediator work together to resolve all disputed issues relating to custody, property and support. You share information, meet separately and together with the mediator, and make good faith efforts to reach an agreeable outcome. If you are unable to reach a mutual decision, however, either of you has the option of halting the process and proceeding in the traditional manner in court.
In collaborative law, you and your spouse must agree to commit to a solution-oriented process. As part of that commitment, each of you must have an attorney trained in the collaborative law approach. You will share information and have meetings collectively to work through the various issues of custody, property and support. As a further indication of the commitment to the process, if you and your spouse do not reach an agreeable outcome, before proceeding further in the traditional manner in court, each of you must hire new attorneys. Hence, collaborative law has more built-in incentives to reach an agreement than mediation.
At The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C., attorney Jonathan D. Marks has advanced training and certification in both divorce mediation and collaborative law. If you want to follow a more amicable process to dissolve your marriage, The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. can help, either as a mediator or as collaborative law counsel.
Time to Act
Time is of the essence. As soon as you select The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. to represent you, we will immediately put our considerable experience and resources to work on your case. The sooner we can review the necessary information, the sooner we can formulate a strategy for your unique circumstances, helping to ensure the best possible outcome.