Matters of family law are generally full of emotion and often difficult to navigate without the support of a knowledgeable family lawyer. When faced with difficult decisions, creating family disagreements, people often find themselves in a lawsuit. Filing a family lawsuit may bring a resolution handed down by the court, but trials are costly, unpredictable, and time-consuming.
Growing in popularity within the practice of family law are methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). ADRs allow family members to settle disputes out of court with the assistance of experienced mediators and facilitators. Generally, ADRs offer a streamlined timeline for resolving family issues at a fraction of the cost of litigation.
For further details on family conflict resolution services in Rockville, Maryland, contact Resolution Matters. Led by veteran conflict resolution lawyer, Steve Shapiro, the dedicated team provides family conflict resolution services to eliminate family squabbles. Conflict resolution services also save you from the cost and headache of going to family court.
What Is Alternative Dispute Resolution?
ADR is a method of conflict resolution taking place outside a courtroom. In the state of Maryland, even if you file a lawsuit, the court may refer you to participate in a form of ADR.
Conflict resolution is used to guide conversations and settle disputes in various areas of family law:
- Divorce and separation
- Parenting plans and co-parenting agreements
- Child custody and support
- Alimony and spousal support
- Asset division and distribution
- Prenuptial agreements
Mediation is a form of ADR that encourages family members to work collaboratively. With the assistance of a skilled, impartial mediator, the voluntary process encourages participants to work together to reach an agreement. Mediation allows each party to share their points of view in an effort to come to a mutually acceptable arrangement.
Once an agreement is reached, it is thoroughly documented and signed off on by each party. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, no one is coerced into signing off. At this point, the matter ends up in the hands of the court.
The major benefit of mediation is you retain your decision-making power. When a dispute goes to trial, that power is given to the court. The court does its best to rule with everyone’s best interests in mind, but only you know the true impact those decisions will have on your day-to-day life. With the help of a skilled mediator, you may strike a compromise that is easier to live with than an unpredictable court decision.
A settlement conference is another form of alternative dispute resolution, aimed at finding an agreeable common ground. Unlike mediation, a settlement conference is less of a collaborative approach. Instead, the disputing parties (or their attorneys) present their cases to a knowledgeable neutral-party facilitator.
The facilitator is often a judge or attorney with experience in the related area of law. The job of the facilitator is to impartially review the case. Using their knowledge of the law, they will suggest how the case may be settled. The facilitator may reference related case outcomes or discuss how the court may rule on the matter.
Like with mediation, the major benefit of a settlement conference is you maintain decision-making power. A facilitator’s suggestion is not legally binding unless both parties agree. Should you not agree with the proposed agreement, you can still take your issue to court.
Dispute Resolution Lawyer, Rockville
Attorney Steve Shapiro opened Resolution Matters with a mission to offer conflict resolution services that effectively and cost-efficiently address family law matters. Attorney Shapiro and his team are dedicated to helping families strategize ways of moving through a dispute and onto the next chapter of their lives.
Contact Resolution Matters today to schedule a consultation or obtain further details on how a conflict resolution services lawyer can help you. Using the principles of collaborative conflict resolution law, your family may just put your disputes behind you.