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.
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.”
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.
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.