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Kirker | Davis will field and answer some common legal questions and updates about the law here.

Are Alternative Dispute Resolutions Valid Options for Divorces?

Divorces are known to be emotionally gut-wrenching times that can affect each spouse’s life psychologically, physically, and financially for years to come. In many divorces, the goal is to reach an agreement that makes all parties happy and ends the marriage in an amicable fashion. Unsurprisingly, this is much easier said than done, as marriage and divorces are always filled with emotions. Still, divorce is often no single spouse’s fault and oftentimes couples may both agree that a divorce is necessary for their individual happiness. In these no-fault divorces, alternative dispute resolution may be the most cost and time effective way to settle the divorce.

At Kirker Davis LLP, our Austin divorce attorneys are dedicated to helping couples find the easiest method for their divorce that satisfies all parties. Contact us at (512) 598-0010 to learn more about how we can help you with you divorce proceedings today.

What are Alternative Dispute Resolutions?

Alternative dispute resolutions are legally valid resolution methods that are settled outside of formal litigation. These methods often save divorcing couples from paying expensive court and legal fees and avoid long waits for court hearings. The two most major forms of alternative dispute resolution are arbitration and mediation. In arbitration, the parties agree upon an unbiased third party to act as the arbitrator, who will have the ability to make legally binding decisions after hearing arguments from both spouses. The mediation process is much the same as arbitration, except that the agreed upon third party will not have the power to make binding decisions, instead they will facilitate constructive conversation between both parties so that they can reach an agreement themselves.

When to Consider Alternative Dispute Resolutions for a Divorce?

Since mediation allows for spouses to both agree on the terms of the divorce, it proves to be especially valuable for spouses who need to maintain good relations with their ex partner, such as spouses with children. Concurrently, arbitration is particularly useful for couples who disagree on some aspects of their divorce but do not wish to wade through a long, drawn out legal battle.

Both alternative dispute resolution methods are cheaper and faster than traditional divorce proceedings. Divorcing couples should always talk about whether mediation or arbitration would work for their case before pursuing further litigation.

The Importance of Legal Representation in Alternative Dispute Resolutions

While legal representation may not be necessary when a divorcing couple chooses to utilize alternative dispute resolutions, attorneys will be able to provide a spouse with legal advice and tips so that they can defend their rights during mediation. Lawyers rarely attend mediation sessions so it is imperative that before a spouse enters a mediation session that they be adequately prepared and understand the law.

Arbitration, on the other hand, is fought much like a court battle with lawyers at the side of clients openly defending their best interests. As a result, like litigation, a qualified and experienced attorney is necessary for arbitration so that each spouse can have proper legal representation.

Contact a Austin Divorce Lawyer

If you or someone you know is seeking an inexpensive and more simple divorce process, an alternative dispute resolution may be right for you. At Kirker Davis LLP, our Austin divorce attorneys strive to assist our clients as much as possible by advising them of their legal options throughout every step of the divorce process. Contact our office at (512) 598-0010 to speak with a member of our legal team today.

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