Is Consensual Dispute Resolution for Me?
Consensual dispute resolution encompasses mediation, Collaborative Practice and processes that are mixes of the two. Consensual dispute resolution does not mean that you have no conflicts and is not just about avoiding adversarial proceedings or staying out of court – it requires a commitment by you and your professionals to high standards of integrity and good faith negotiation to address your issues.
Divorce: “We want to stay out of court”: Is that enough?
Mediation, Collaborative Practice, or a hybrid consensual dispute resolution process might be good options for your divorce if:
- You want – and are willing to work on – a civilized, respectful resolution of the issues.
- You want to keep open the possibility of a respectful relationship (perhaps even the possibility of a friendship) with your former spouse after the dispute is resolved.
- You and your partner have a circle of friends or extended family in common that you both want to remain connected to.
- You have ethical or spiritual beliefs that place high value on taking personal responsibility for handling conflicts with integrity.
- You value your privacy in your personal affairs and you do not want details of your problems to be available in the public Court record.
- You believe that you and your partner will be able to make the best decisions for your family. You do not want to hand over decision-making about your future financial position and/or your children’s lives to a stranger, such as a Judge.
- You and your former spouse will be co-parenting children together.
- You want to protect your children from the harm associated with conflict in divorce between parents.
- You want to find a creative and individual solution to your problem.
- You understand that resolving your dispute with integrity involves not only achieving your own goals but finding a way to respect the reasonable goals of the other person.
- You wish to fix a problem rather than apportion blame, and you want to work creatively toward solving the problem rather than exacting revenge.
- You and your spouse are a same-gender couple looking for a process that is sensitive to your unique needs and the challenges of the changing legal and societal landscape facing LGBT people and families.
Premarital/Postmarital Agreement: “We don’t want the process to drive a wedge between the two of us”
Why have one?
- You have been through a difficult divorce and don’t want to repeat this experience with your fiancé or spouse.
- You already own a home or business that you would like to preserve as your own.
- You already have a business that you would like to protect.
- Your extended family owns a business or manages investments and your family requires that you take steps to protect the business and/or investments from the consequences of a potential divorce.
- You and want to create your own financial rules for your marriage, providing a creative and individualized financial structure that works for the two of you.
- You want to create your own financial rules in the event of a divorce, intending to simplify the divorce process and remove some of the uncertainty of having decisions made by a third party.
Then Mediation, Collaborative Practice or a hybrid consensual dispute resolution process are good options for your Premarital or Postmarital agreement if:
- You want to preserve your feelings of trust and love with your partner.
- You want the process to be more like a planning session than an argument.
- You have ethical or spiritual beliefs that place high value on taking personal responsibility for conducting difficult conversations with integrity. You understand that this involves not only achieving your own goals but finding a way to respect the reasonable goals of your partner.
- You and your partner are a same-gender couple looking for a process that is sensitive to your unique needs and the challenges of the changing legal and societal landscape facing LGBT people and families.
- You believe that you and your partner can make the best decisions for your financial future, ones that might not correspond with current community property law.