Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), including mediation and collaborative divorce, is playing a role in a number of divorces across the country. Almost 80% of respondents to a survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), an organization of the nation's top divorce attorneys, say they are engaged in ADR in their practices.
"ADR can provide great benefits in reducing the animosity, cost, and length of time for a divorce," says San Diego lawyer and AAML past-president Sandra Morris. “However, some parties and some issues can only reach resolution through litigation.”
"One constant in all the forms of ADR is that divorcing spouses should have their own attorneys advising them, so they understand not only the process, but their rights and what they are giving up as part of a settlement," says collaborative-law attorney Ron Supancic of Woodland Hills, CA, who chairs the Academy"s ADR Committee. Attorneys frequently reach mutually acceptable settlements before even reaching the ADR stage, according to Supancic. However, should a divorce wind up in trial, a qualified attorney is even more important, he says.
Ninety percent of the attorneys in the survey said ADR either increased or stayed the same in their practices during the past year; half say it will likely increase this year.Back To Top