As I said in my introduction to my blog site, ADR (alternative dispute resolution) is less known and thus lesser explored resolution option.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Servicesare basically sitting down-and-talk sessions with all the concerned parties in adivorce, especially couples in marriage or partners in ade facto relationship.
Separation and divorce are life altering events. If handled insensibly, it can scar the further life in terms of finances, emotions and thestill more disturbing situation are if children are impacted by this event in the family.This is where it is becomingeven more important to resolve the issues between the adults in the family sensibly, and peacefully so that the family’s normal living is not much affected.
It saves your children from distress that their parents are separating with bitterness and that is going to affect them severely.
Alternative dispute resolution helps the divorcing couple move on with their lives with better planning and peace of mind. Some of the means of alternative dispute resolution are given below:
In mediation, the facilitator is called mediator. The mediator stays neutral throughout the session and helps in deciding the priority issues of the couple. Once the issues are decided, the partners work out the settlement themselves. Since the arrangements are done voluntarily by the couple themselves, it is more likely that they will stick to it. Such smooth arrangements ensure thecordial relationship between the partners.
The mediator interferes only when he/she feels the discussion is going nowhere and the couple is not negotiating sensibly.
Collaborative law is a focussed approach to resolve family disputes with professional insights and help. Unlike mediation, the collaborative resolution is more structured and solution centred.
The professionals like couple counsellors, child psychologists, property valuation experts, legal advisors form a team to advise and work out a practical solution for divorce settlements and child care arrangements.
The alternative dispute resolution is not an order from the court though. You need to get Consent Orders from the court to carry out the arrangements you have made with your partner either through mediation or collaborative way. Consent Orders from the court ensures the arrangement is fair and legally binding on both the parties.
Once a plan is in place, the transition can be easy to both the individuals.
Arbitration is little more judgemental compared to the other two above mentioned modes of alternative dispute resolution. In arbitration, the partners’ side of the case is presented to the experts and these experts decide the arrangements be made between the partners.
Legal redressal can be initiated if none of the alternative dispute resolution options brings satisfactory results.
The National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council of Australia, advises the Attorney General of Australia on developing policies on alternative dispute resolution services.
The alternative dispute resolution services can be utilised for any family dispute such as child care arrangements, parenting planning, financial settlements, spousal maintenance, family residence sharing, thesplitting of superannuation and any other concern of the partners.
The alternative dispute resolution options are recommended for exceedingly disagreeing partners. Though commonly it is believed that ADR does not help such couple and they always end up straining their relationship more, many seasoned mediators and collaborative lawyers of Australia have completely opposite story to tell. They believe that ADR helps such highly incompatible couple to think about their relationship calmly and objectively. So that real solutions can be figured out for real problems.