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Litigation v. Alternative Dispute Resolution


In reference to divorce, litigation refers to settling a divorce case in court. Resolving a divorce through litigation is much more contested than trying to settle a divorce through alternative dispute resolution (ADR). During litigation, the parties in a divorce are essentially pitted against each other, battling over issues such as child custody, child support, alimony, equitable distribution of property, etc. Naturally, this type of environment is not conducive to the amicable resolution of the divorce.

Not only is litigation more emotionally draining, but because the parties have difficulty settling the terms of their divorce it prolongs the divorce process, ultimately costing them both time and money in the long run.

Alternative dispute resolution is by far a more favorable option than litigation. ADR encourages the parties to work together to settle their divorce. Although your attorney might be present, his/her purpose is to help you and your spouse reach mutual decisions and foster open communication so making those decisions is possible. Furthermore, ADR has helped many people build a working relationship with their estranged spouse, which is especially beneficial if children are involved.

Another benefit of ADR is that you can devote more attention to detail. Sometimes there simply isn't enough time during litigation for the judge to address every detail of every issue. Consequently, a judge may issue an order or decision that might not be fair or in your best interest. Through ADR, you can spend as much time as you need to settle the issue at hand. Although zero conflict is rare, ADR makes the divorce process much less contentious, stressful, and emotionally draining. It also keeps legal costs at bay.

If you are interested in learning more about alternative dispute resolution, contact Jacksonville divorce lawyer Jason Hutchinson today!