Approaches are listed in order of the most personal involvement and control to the least. Your attorney can help you decide which is appropriate for you. As you move down the list, the more power neutral third parties such as arbitrators and judges have to make binding decisions.
Mediation: You and your spouse work with a mediator to resolve differences. Before, between and sometimes during sessions, your attorney can guide you on your rights and obligations. Some parties choose to mediate without attorneys.
Collaboration: After committing to not threaten or resort to court intervention, you, your spouse and your attorneys contract to resolve issues in a win-win manner without a mediator. The attorneys also commit to withdraw from the case if a settlement is not reached.
Principled Negotiation: The couple and their attorneys set a time frame and ground rules to resolve issues on their merits without a mediator, looking for mutual gains whenever possible. You may ask the attorney to negotiate without you.
Facilitated Negotiation: The couple and their attorneys agree to a structured negotiation with the aid of a neutral third party who oversees the process, may settle certain issues and assists in bringing closure to the negotiation.
Arbitration: The couples and their attorneys present evidence in a streamlined manner to a neutral person or panel for either a binding or a non-binding decision.
Parenting Coordination: Parenting Coordinators work with high conflict families to help them resolve their conflicts so their children are not caught in the middle of the conflict. The role of the parenting coordinator is to assist in the implementation of the current judgment entry, not create new agreements. A parenting coordinator first mediates the issues of the parents. In the event the parents are unable to resolve their issues on their own, the parenting coordinator will make a binding decision.
Litigation: The Center recognizes that in certain circumstances, litigation remains the most appropriate process for dispute resolution.