Alternative Dispute Resolution
Many people rightly worry that their divorce could turn acrimonious. Often, however, acrimony may be cut to a minimum by using lawyers who understand and are willing to engage in alternative dispute resolution. At the McClure Law Group, our Dallas divorce lawyers are open to using all of the available tools and strategies to pursue a favorable resolution to your family law dispute. We understand that the relationships at stake in these matters are relationships that may carry on through the rest of your life, and we will take care to advise you of areas in which an approach other than litigation may be warranted.Understanding Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods
Alternative dispute resolution may include mediation, arbitration, or collaborative law. Each of these approaches has its strengths and weaknesses. However, in most situations, each approach is less expensive and less hostile than litigation.
Mediation allows a couple to go to a constructive forum moderated by a mediator. A mediator is an unbiased individual with experience in family law matters who can help broker an agreement between the parties. This approach is meant to defuse tension and may result in a more efficient resolution of disagreements. The parties agree and the law provides that what is discussed is not to be submitted as evidence in court. However, agreements signed in connection with a mediated settlement are enforceable and binding. If the parties are unable to reach a resolution, the matter may then proceed to litigation.
Collaborative divorce is a similarly private and confidential process. Each spouse has a specially trained collaborative divorce attorney, and they sit down together to try to reach agreements that focus on their individual goals with the assistance of a neutral financial professional and a neutral mental health professional if children are involved. If either party decides to opt out of the process for litigation, then this contract provides that each party will have to find new counsel for representation. However, in a collaborative divorce, the parties agree to negotiate and resolve their conflicts without going to court. To that end, the couple signs a written contract in which they promise to settle all of their disagreements outside of court and agree that they will not threaten to go to court.
Often, this process works well for couples who have children together. Animosity and ill will during a divorce may have a detrimental effect on children. When couples decide to use collaborative law, it allows them to move forward in a more positive way and protect their children from the harm done by hostile divorces. Our partners, Kelly McClure, Robert Epstein, and Francesca Blackard along with the rest of our attorneys recommend collaborative law as an alternative to litigation whenever it is appropriate.
Arbitration is another alternative to traditional litigation. In arbitration, a trained arbitrator acts as a judge. It is usually more cost-effective and efficient than litigation. It also allows for more privacy. However, it comes with a big potential downside, since decisions reached through arbitration usually cannot be appealed. If you end up with an outcome that you do not like, you unfortunately may be stuck with it without any recourse.Consult a Resourceful Divorce Lawyer in Dallas or Surrounding Cities
Many couples would prefer to avoid the hostility, loss of privacy, and expenses associated with going to trial during a divorce. If you are considering alternative dispute resolution, the Dallas divorce attorneys at the McClure Law Group can help guide you in the appropriate direction. We also have a Collin County office in Plano (by appointment) and represent people in Fort Worth, Garland, Irving, Richardson, McKinney, Frisco, and Rockwall, as well as other cities in Dallas, Collin, Grayson, Denton, Tarrant, and Rockwall Counties. Call us at 214.692.8200 or contact us via our online form if you need a collaborative law attorney or assistance with another family law matter.