Alternative dispute resolution means other ways of reaching an agreement in a case besides going to trial. There are formal and informal means of alternative dispute resolution.
Informal Negotiations – Informal negotiation can happen directly between you and the opposing party in your case. It can happen many ways. You can have a discussion directly with your spouse or ex-spouse about the issues in your case. If talking about all of the issues is overwhelming, but you think you both see eye-to-eye on some issues you can talk about just those issues.
Your attorney can have a discussion with the other attorney in the case. The lawyers can talk about the issues on the phone. They can discuss the issues in an email. They might even be able to meet at the courthouse and be able to talk over a specific issue.
Meetings – You can meet with the person on the other side of your case. You can meet with or without your lawyers. I would say that it is always best to run your ideas by your lawyer and follow her direction about any meeting you have with the other side. You can have a meeting with both lawyers and both parties involved in your case. You can work together in one room or have each lawyer and their client in separate rooms with a room for the lawyers to discuss and work on the agreement.
You can schedule a short meeting to see if there is any common ground to start building on for further more detailed negotiation. Then, if you have success, you can keep building on that. Some cases will settle using a combination of the above types of negotiation. Some may need to move to an assisted type of alternative dispute resolution or negotiation.
Mediation – At some point, informal negotiation may become difficult. It may seem like you aren’t ever going to be able to reach an agreement in your case. That’s ok. It might just be that your lawyers are doing their jobs well and representing their client’s interests. Mediation may be the best option for you at that point because the negotiation in your case will be assisted by the mediator. The mediator is trained to assist the negotiation using various methods and types of negotiation.
Alternative dispute resolution is more than just a vague phrase. It gives you tools to resolve your case outside of the courtroom. Jill O’Connell uses alternative dispute resolution in her cases. Set an appointment today, 940-497-5454.