Alternatives to Court-Based Divorce

Alternatives to Court-Based Divorce

Divorce Alternative Attorneys in Bergen County, NJ

Alternatives to Court-Based Divorce

More and more, couples are choosing to resolve their divorce through what is known as “Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)”. Each ADR method, such as mediation, collaboration, and arbitration involves different processes and approaches, but they all offer the same advantages, such as privacy, cost-effectiveness, time-saving, and they are generally less contentious than traditional litigation-based divorces.

While almost no divorcing couple will ever entirely agree on how to resolve the key divorce issues of child custody, child support, marital asset and debt division, and spousal support, as long as that couple can agree that they are willing to communicate honestly and openly with one another, and work towards finding effective and fair compromises, alternative dispute resolution can be extremely beneficial, and may offer more constructive and healthy approaches to resolving their divorce than traditional court-room based litigation.

At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our trained dispute resolution attorneys have extensive experience helping clients across Bergen County to resolve their divorce through mediation, collaboration, and arbitration.

Contact our firm today to discuss your divorce alternative options in a free and confidential consultation.

The Benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution

While each alternative dispute resolution method differs in how they work, who is involved, and how they are ultimately resolved, they all share many of the same advantages and benefits over the traditional divorce process. These benefits include:

  1. Increased Privacy – As any matter or issue discussed during a court-based divorce will become part of the public record, it can be more difficult to discuss private or intimate family matters. However, ADR methods are all conducted in an informal setting, of which there is no public record. The only parties privy to whatever is discussed during the ADR process are the couple themselves, and their ADR attorneys, bound by law to maintain their privacy.
  2. Less Expensive – ADR methods tend to be much less expensive than traditional divorces, as the goal of any ADR process is to resolve divorce disputes in a more constructive and compromise-oriented manner. Not only will you save money in terms of court fees and expenses, but you may also benefit financially from the swift manner in which these divorces often resolved.
  3. Less Stressful – Not only will you not have to wait with bated breath for a judge to make a final ruling regarding your divorce settlement agreement and the various issued decided within it, but the informal setting of any ADR process usually goes a long way towards reducing stress and anxiety over the ultimate agreements reached. Additionally, since the goal of any ADR process is for you and your spouse to work together to resolve your divorce and its related issues, rather than argue with each other in a courtroom, this can make the alternative divorce process less stressful as well.

As you can see, there are several important benefits associated with alternative divorce methods. If you are interested in learning more about a specific ADR method, or how our attorneys can help you resolve your divorce through ADR, contact our firm today to discuss your needs and options in a free and confidential consultation.


Mediation Attorneys

One common alternative divorce method is known as mediation. As your divorce mediator, our firm will act as a neutral third party between you and your spouse, without involving lawyers representing any one party. The goal of our divorce mediators is to help you express your needs and concerns regarding any divorce issue in an informal manner, and also to help both parties to listen to, and to understand, the other party’s position.

Mediation sessions are conducted at whatever pace and schedule the couple believes makes the most sense for them. After each session, the divorce mediator will update a document outlining what was discussed, where each party is in terms of the agreements they have reached, what still needs to be decided, and where each party stands on these issues.

You must ensure two critical elements for the mediation process to be successful. First, and this is true for all ADR methods, is that the couple must be committed to resolving their divorce through open and honest communication and ultimately, make a middle-ground compromise. The second key element of the mediation process is the neutrality of the divorce mediator. If one party feels as if the mediator is taking sides, or directing the discussions in a biased manner, the mediation process can easily fall apart.

For this reason, our divorce alternative attorneys have received extensive training in the mediation process, and they know how to maintain their professional neutrality throughout. We recognize how important the success of your divorce mediation is to you. Rest assured, our divorce mediators will remain neutral and impartial, yet highly effective throughout your divorce mediation.


Collaborative Divorce Lawyers

The second type of alternative divorce method our firm offers is that of a collaborative divorce. The collaborative divorce process is similar to traditional divorce in that each party retains separate legal representation. However, all negotiations and discussions held regarding your divorce and its various issues are conducted in a more private and informal setting than an actual courtroom.

Additionally, while each party retains separate legal representation, the parties are encouraged to voice their needs and concerns directly to each other, rather than having them voiced by their attorney to a judge. Your collaborative divorce attorney is primarily there to advise and assist you, rather than to present your case entirely.

Collaborative divorce offers the same advantages as other ADR methods, with the added advantage that you have an attorney who can directly represent you and your interests. A divorce mediator by nature must remain impartial at all times, and cannot advise the individual parties when a particular agreement may be fair or beneficial to them. As your collaborative divorce attorney, however, we can ensure that your rights and interests are properly protected, that any agreement you enter into is fair, and also when a particular agreement may not be advantageous or in your best interest.


Arbitration Attorneys

The final type of ADR that our firm may guide you through is that of arbitration. Arbitration is similar to court-room based divorces in that the couple appoints a neutral “arbitrator” to act as a judge in their case. This involves listening to each side’s desired terms for divorce and making a final ruling impartially and fairly.

Arbitration is generally pursued by couples who seek to take advantage of the privacy and informality of the alternative dispute resolution process but do not wish to, or for whatever reason believe they cannot find solutions to their divorce disputes without the intervention and final decision-making of a third party.

Couples interested in arbitration may either pursue a binding arbitration or a non-binding arbitration, meaning they can decide before the arbitration process begins whether the arbitrator’s final ruling will be legally binding and enforceable, or if they may still pursue a formal court-based divorce and a judge’s ruling, should they find the arbitrator’s ruling unacceptable for any reason.

Our divorce arbitrators have the training and experience necessary to act as neutral third-party arbitrator judges, or provide legal representation for your individual needs to a judge arbitrator should you decide that you require legal representation during the arbitration process.


Contact Our Hackensack Alternative Dispute Resolution Lawyers Today

Whether you are interested in mediation, collaboration, or arbitration, Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark is ready to provide you with the legal service that you need and deserve when it comes to deciding issues so important to you and your future. We understand that any decision you reach regarding a divorce or family law matter has the potential to affect your financial, legal, and parental stability far into the future, and we are prepared to help you achieve the settlements that accurately reflect your unique needs and concerns, and protect your interests moving forward.

To speak with our firm today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce, or an alternative dispute resolution that may work for you and your options and rights in a divorce alternative process, please contact our firm today.A

Read Our Latest Blog Posts

  •  How Do I Protect My 401(k) In a Divorce?
  •  Does Child Support Cover School Lunches?
  •  What Should My Prenuptial Agreement Cover?