Why Choose Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Why Choose Alternative Dispute Resolution? By Jeffrey Bloom{3:00 minutes to read} In mediation, everything is admissible. Whatever the parties feel is important to them or the issues that they want to resolve can be put on the table and discussed during the session.

In litigation, when you go to court, there are things that are not admissible. What may be important and relevant to a party, a judge can say is not relevant no matter what it is. Whether it’s finances or what one spouse did to the other, the litigation process restricts what can and cannot be admitted.

For example, you are before a judge, and one spouse is upset that the other had an affair during the marriage. In court, they want to voice this to the judge in regards to making a decision on monetary awards. It doesn’t matter, however, because it is not admissible.

In a mediation, while it also doesn’t “matter” in regards to who gets what, it does allow the parties to bring up these issues and let the other spouse know that:

  • It is important to them.
  • It upset them.
  • They were hurt by it.

Often one spouse thinks they know what the other spouse feels, but it can be eye-opening when they talk about things in front of a neutral third party. Realizing what the other spouse is feeling helps break down some of the barriers. Mediation provides a safe and healthy way to get everything out, in the open. With barriers down, the couple can eventually get to a settlement that is right for them and their family.

Another example has to do with the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA). In litigation, child support is determined by a mathematical formula with no regard to the family circumstances. In mediation, a couple may choose to not use the CSSA and calculate child support based on their family’s situation and needs.

The court might not think these issues are important, but they are important to the parties.

So, why choose alternative dispute resolution (ADR)? The simple answer would be because the parties have a say in what goes into the final agreement and settlement. In litigation, the parties lose control, and it is up to the judge to tell them what to do.

Wondering if mediation is right for you? If you have any questions, feel free to call me for a free consultation.

Jeffrey Bloom
Jeffrey Bloom
Creative Resolution Services


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