Definition of Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative dispute resolutions (ADR) are relatively new negotiation strategies used to eliminate contentious divorce battles in court, and instead, let claimants come together to resolve their disputes in a fair and equitable manner. ADR can be used to settle a variety of legal conflicts, but if a couple is considering divorce the most common alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques include mediation, arbitration, and collaboration.

Mediation, which is the most common divorce ADR, allows for a third party to hear the case, offer suggestions, and help the couple choose a mutually agreeable settlement. The courts may require mediation for certain issues to resolve conflicts and to avoid a trial. Common issues which may require mediation include decisions regarding property distribution, child support payments or child custody arrangements.

Experts recommend mediation for resolving a variety of issues. It can be less expensive and less contentious then going to court, but not all couples can use mediation. For instance, couples with a high degree of conflict and a highly adversarial relationship may find that mediation does not work for them. Couples, however, who would like to make choices about key decisions for their divorce and do not want to rely on the courts may find mediation or another alternative dispute resolution strategy helpful. Before considering alternative dispute resolutions, research your state’s divorce laws and find out if ADR is right for you.

« Back to Glossary

Browse Divorce Terms Alphabetically

A |
C |
D |
E |
F |
G |
I |
J |
L |
M |
N |
O |
P |
Q |
S |
U |
V |