11 Aug 23

Alternative Dispute Resolution in Divorce

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Last Updated on: 2nd October 2023, 06:51 pm

Understanding the Divorce Process

If you are going through a divorce or thinking about divorce, contact the experts at Long Island Divorce Lawyers. Divorce can be an emotional and terrifying experience. The decision to do it and to ensure you are prepared for life after requires thoughtful planning and preparation. When feeling vulnerable and angry, testifying before a New York judge in court can be “one more thing” that is too much. Even if the divorce is a mutual and amicable decision, the legal process can be overwhelming, costly, and time-consuming.

Luckily, there are other options for dispute resolution in a divorce that can be private, therapeutic, and faster. This may meet your needs or the needs of your partner. Spodek Law Group is experienced in alternative dispute resolution proceedings as a method to finalize a divorce.

Alternative dispute resolution proceedings in a divorce permit you to resolve any issues that arise during the divorce proceedings (e.g., separating property, discussing spousal supports, or making decisions about children). The negotiations occur in a comfortable office space/conference room, avoiding court. Alternative dispute resolution allows you and your partner to come to a voluntary settlement about how you want your divorce handled with the support of experienced divorce attorneys.

Two main types of alternative dispute resolution in divorce proceedings, (1) mediation and (2) the use of collaborative law.


In divorce mediation, a neutral third party helps facilitate conversation and discussion between the two partners to resolve issues that need to be resolved in an uncontested divorce. A mediator (who is likely a lawyer) is not acting as a lawyer for either party. However, as an attorney, the mediator can draft a binding settlement agreement and uncontested divorce package after the mediation. Our attorneys at Spodek Law Group have experience acting as a mediator. You can utilize us as a neutral third party in your divorce. However, suppose we already represent you, or you would like our representation. In that case, we can assist you in working with a different third party neutral or review any potential settlement reached in mediation with another third party.

Mediation to resolve a divorce is one of the most population options for alternative dispute resolution. It is a voluntary process, so you and your partner must demonstrate a willingness to participate. It focuses on your interests (what is it that you are worried about post-divorce? Child support? Equitable distribution of property? Visitation?) and is one of the least expensive dispute resolution options. It is also, typically, a much faster process and permits you to resolve issues and make future arrangements in a time-sensitive way.
The goal of mediation is to negotiate agreements for the future collaboratively. It particularly appeals to parents who want to maintain positive co-parenting relationships as their children grow. While it is voluntary, an initial mediation session may be ordered by a court. It is most effective when it is a voluntary decision by both partners.

The mediator’s role is to support a discussion of critical terms and facilitate discussion about all elements and impacts of the decision. The partners involved set the agenda and control the results – this is not the mediator’s divorce settlement, but yours. The mediator is working to assist both partners in coming to a mutually agreeable solution that is fair to (or meets the interests of) both partners.

As mentioned above, using mediation avoids the courtroom experience, can support positive discussions post-divorce, is a flexible, fast process, and can discuss any critical areas of concern or interest. As a voluntary, collaborative process, it is often not the right option in high-conflict or highly-contested divorces.


If you don’t feel comfortable with mediation but do not want to pursue traditional litigation, there is another option: collaborative law. Collaborative law is a middle ground between voluntary conciliation and litigation. It removes the decision-making from the court and asks the partners to retain separate attorneys who assist them in making decisions about the issues. Collaborative law processes typically involve an entire “collaborative team” that includes mental health professionals, financial professionals, and child advocates/specialists.
Like mediation, collaborative law processes are voluntary, and the final decision-making is held by the partners in the divorce – something not available in traditional court litigation. It is also informal and flexible. It can be adapted to the unique circumstances and issues at the forefront of divorce. The costs varyased on attorney hourly fees, the leme it takes, and how much time each partner spends working on issues with his/her attorney. As with mediation, it requires the parties to communicate productively with each other, so it may not be suitable in high-conflict or highly-contested divorces unless the issue is limited to one area where the team of collaborative professionals can assist.

To learn more about collaborative law, mediation, and alternative dispute resolution methods, review our website and make an appointment with one of our attorneys. We would love to talk with you about your unique situation and what type of resolution method might be appropriate for your case. Divorce can be difficult and emotional. Work with the experts at Spodek Law Group to help you navigate this process and design a future you can live with that protects your interests and assuages your fears.

Key Points of Divorce Process