When Arizona clients come to us seeking advice regarding their divorce, they often think going to court is their only option. While that is how some couples choose to end their marriage, it is not the only option. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) focuses on the needs and interests of both parties to end a divorce and is often faster and less costly than going to court.

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)?

ADR is an alternative to going to court to obtain a divorce. Court proceedings can be lengthy, costing the couple a significant amount of money. Often this money is better used to support their minor children. When couples chooses ADR as their method to settle their divorce, they are choosing to keep each other’s interests in mind as they walk through the process of mediation and/or Collaborative Divorce.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process by which a professional mediator acts as a neutral party to settle a dispute. In the case of divorce, a mediator is often a financial professional who helps the couple settle money matters that they might otherwise fight over in court. Once the terms are settled, the agreement can be written and filed by a family law attorney.

What is Collaborative Divorce?

Often used by couples who have children, collaborative divorce is a written, signed agreement between two spouses promising they will settle their divorce out of court and in the best interests of both parties and their minor children. Collaborative divorce prevents a contentious court battle that can pit spouse against spouse, and, in the worst cases, sibling against sibling.

Working with a variety of professionals of the couple’s choosing, they negotiate through every part of their divorce including custody, and spousal and child support. Professionals may include a financial advisor, attorney, therapist, and mediator. This process is less costly and faster than going to court, leaving both parties feeling they have gotten a fair settlement or at least as fair as it can be given the circumstances.

At Stuart and Blackwell we believe in acting in the best interest of our clients whether that is through mediation, Collaborative Divorce, or court proceeding. Contact us to learn how we can help you in the divorce process.