A judge can decide all issues at trial. However, there are other ways to resolve many of the issues in your divorce. Alternate dispute resolution methods offer greater privacy than resolving the issues in a public trial. They also may be faster and less expensive, and may reduce the level of conflict between you and your spouse during your divorce.
You are encouraged to discuss alternative dispute resolution with an attorney to decide whether these alternate methods may help you and your spouse resolve as many of the issues relating to your divorce as possible before the matter is presented to the judge. Contact Riordan & Associates, LLC at (973) 577-4118 to make sure you know about all your options before moving forward.
Just as every marriage is unique, every divorce is unique as well. The specific circumstances of your divorce determine what method or methods of dispute resolution are best suited to resolve issues in your divorce.
Using these alternative dispute resolution methods allows you to participate in the decision on those issues, rather than leaving all of the issues to the judge to decide. Presenting the judge with a case in which the only decision remaining is whether to grant the divorce will expedite the matter as well. While the judge must be the one to decide whether to grant the divorce, your role in deciding some or all of the other issues can be enhanced through these alternative dispute resolution methods.
Mediation is a means of resolving differences with the help of a trained, impartial third party. The parties, with or without lawyers, are brought together by the mediator in a neutral setting. A mediator does not represent either side and does not offer legal advice. Parties are encouraged to retain an attorney to advise them of their rights during the mediation process.
The mediator helps the parties identify the issues, gather the information they need to make informed decisions, and communicate so that they can find a solution agreeable to both. Mediation is designed to facilitate settlements in an informal, non-adversarial manner. The court maintains a roster of approved mediators or you can use private mediation services. The judge would still make the final determination as to whether to grant the divorce. Two of our attorneys are court approved mediators at Riordan & Associates, LLC.
In an arbitration proceeding, an impartial third party decides issues in a case. The parties also agree in advance whether the arbitrator’s decisions will be binding on them or instead treated merely as a recommendation. While an arbitrator may decide issues within a divorce case, the judge would still make the final determination as to whether to grant the divorce. When selecting an arbitrator, it is important to choose an attorney or retired Judge with many years of family law experience.
Further reading: The Four Types of Alimony Provided by New Jersey Law
Learn more our team at Riordan & Associates, LLC can assist you should you choose to pursue alternative dispute resolution: Contact us at (973) 577-4118 now to schedule a consultation.