Long and protracted legal disputes regarding family law issues can be extremely difficult, stressful and time consuming. Whether you and your loved ones are determining custody arrangements, elder care options, divorce or any other family law-related issues, it may not always be necessary to work out such issues through the Connecticut court system. In fact, the options of arbitration and mediation can both be used to allow families to come to lasting and mutually beneficial arrangements regarding a wide range of family law issues. Both arbitration and mediation processes offer alternatives to protracted litigation. In both contexts a person with or without the assistance of legal counsel will have the opportunity to negotiate decisions regarding financial, custodial, and other issues.
The Mediation Options
Mediation provides an effective option for resolving parenting disputes outside of the courtroom. In fact, while parties cannot choose a specific trial judge to hear their family law disputes, parties can choose a specific mediator in order to ensure that their issues are heard by a patient and sensitive party, trained to handle unique family law issues. The mediator chosen by the parties must act with neutrality in order to facilitate the necessary compromises required from both parties so as to produce a mutually beneficial outcome. Mediators acting as neutral parties in a non-adversarial system can serve to lessen some of the conflict and tension that the family is experiencing with one another. Mediators don’t just mitigate disputes; they are also experienced and trained to provide specific guidance regarding child custody and what types of arrangements will be in the best interests of the child.
Mediation has been proven effective at providing a less expensive and more efficient and satisfying method for resolving parenting, support, and custody disputes. In fact, research has indicated that mediation agreements are more likely to bring about desired outcomes for both parties, and that such parties in turn are more likely to adhere to the agreed upon terms than those who come to agreement via the court system. Mediation provides a less formal situation for agreement dispute resolution so that all parties feel comfortable with voicing their grievances and concerns. Furthermore, mediation is less expensive than traditional court proceedings, and mediation meetings can be scheduled around the work schedules and other needs of the involved parties.
The Arbitration Option
When mediation is not a viable option, arbitration can be used to resolve financial disputes in family law issues. When both parties stand firm in their positions regarding financial issues, arbitration provides a sufficient and less expensive alternative to traditional court proceedings. Traditionally, arbitration has been used so that there is a private trial outside of the public eye. Though arbitration is typically motivated by the desire for privacy, arbitration is often used to resolve family law financial disputes. Arbitration is unique in that the outcome of the proceedings is kept private and disclosure to non-public parties is typically prohibited. Other benefits of using arbitration to resolve family law disputes is that arbitration is less expensive and the parties are free to both control and design a legally binding process and agreement that is responsive to each party’s unique needs.
Both arbitration and mediation provide less expensive alternatives to traditional family law court legal proceedings. If you need assistance of counsel in an arbitration or mediation, contact one of the experienced Fairfield County family law attorneys at our law firm today.