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Can I Use Alternative Dispute Resolution for a Divorce With Children?

Posted on in Family Law

Naperville family law attorneyIf you are considering a divorce and have children, you know you will face a series of difficult choices. Decisions must be made on living arrangements, custody rights, child support payments, and other difficult decisions. If you and your spouse are willing to cooperate, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is one tool available to you which can avoid the traditional divorce litigation process and risk leaving the final decision on these matters to a court. Besides addressing the division of marital assets, ADR can be used to determine parental responsibilities, parenting time, child support, and spousal support payments. An experienced family law attorney will be able to guide you through this process to a successful outcome.

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

ADR relies on civil communication between divorcing spouses. In the right circumstances, it can be a quicker, more economical, and less confrontational solution for a divorce. This can be especially important to divorcing parents when children are involved.

The four most common types of family law ADR in Illinois are:

  • Negotiation – The two parties negotiate with each other through their legal counsel.
  • Mediation – This process involves a third-party mediator. The mediator does not make the decisions; they only help the parties understand the issues and assist them in arriving at their own solution.
  • Collaborative law – Both parties will work together, but the matter will enter the litigation process if no settlement is reached.
  • Arbitration – In binding arbitration, there is a third-party arbitrator who is agreed upon by the parties. The parties agree to abide by the arbitrator’s decision ahead of time, which will then be sent to a court to approve the binding decision.

By consulting with your family law attorney, you can determine which type of ADR is best for your case, what issues will be addressed in the process, and what your priorities will be. ADR for divorce cases involving children is not always the correct choice. A litigated case may be the best option if there are monetary decisions that may be better handled through the legal process or if the other parent is potentially a risk to you or the children. If you start an ADR but it does not proceed as expected, you can switch to a litigated case.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

The lawyers of Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices will help you find the divorce solution that works best for you and your family. If you are looking for a cooperative outcome that can provide a positive future for your children, we can help you determine if the alternative dispute resolution process is the best solution. For a free consultation, contact our Naperville family law attorneys or call 630-932-9100 today.


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