San Diego Alternative Dispute Resolution Lawyers
Helping Couples Achieve Smooth Dissolutions Outside of Court
What many people do not realize is that family law is not always about the courtroom. In fact, more than any other area of practice, family law gives "petitioners" and "respondents" multiple options for handling their disputes outside of court with less costly (but no less official) results.
The attorneys at our firm are fierce and effective litigators-but unlike other litigators, that does not mean we want to exhibit our skills in every case we handle. We are known as a law and mediation firm, after all. Leading by example, Attorney Garrison Klueck has invested hundreds of hours into mediation and alternative dispute resolution training. Other members of our firm have done the same.
Mediation employs an objective party (the mediator) to facilitate a solution to a legal issue between two parties. The mediator takes no sides, but simply points out and addresses where there is disagreement between two parties. With a mediator, any two people (spouses, family members, children) can identify their contentions and work them out with the help of an objective observer.
- 3-person mediation: includes spouses and mediator
- 3-person plus variation: includes spouses and mediator, with attorneys on standby
- 4-person mediation: team meeting between attorney, a mental health or financial professional, and spouses
- 5-person mediation: spouses, their attorneys, and a mediator
Collaborative divorce is a legal divorce process that takes place entirely outside of the courtroom. Here's how it is structured: each spouse and their attorneys will meet with each other, employing the help of a financial planning specialist, children's needs specialist, and a mental health professional. As a team, they will work out an agreement between both parties.
Prior to beginning, each spouse will sign a document stating that if they cannot reach an agreement, they must hire new attorneys and take their case to court. This arrangement keeps them accountable to each other while motivating both spouses to come up with a suitable solution.
This is perhaps the most relaxed and flexible of all out-of-court resolutions. In a cooperative divorce, both spouses will gather with their "team," including attorneys, a child psychologist (if necessary), and other experts. However, unlike collaborative divorce, they are free to retain the same lawyers if they pursue litigation. There is no formal requirement for them to meet together as a team, either.
This approach is perhaps the fastest and least expensive form of alternative dispute resolution. For couples who wish to part amicably and possess few contested assets, this may be the best legal option. Couples who go through cooperative or collaborative divorce often notice that it is far less costly to them and their children on an emotional level, leaving the family in better shape as they begin new lives.
Benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution
There are many reasons to give alternative dispute resolution a shot before taking your divorce to court. For starters, you will pay a fraction of the cost and avoid the astronomical fees associated with a divorce suit. You will also be able to resolve your divorce much more quickly and do so as your own schedule allows by circumventing the back-logged, often inefficient court system.
Using a method of alternative dispute resolution also allows more room to preserve your relationship with your spouse after your divorce. This could be especially important among divorcing couples who will still be rearing children together after splitting up. Avoiding a contentious court case also minimizes the emotional toll on both parties by encouraging cooperation.
One of the most desirable benefits of resolving your divorce via alternative methods is that all decisions and important conversations are guided by a neutral third party who is trained in finding fair solutions and encouraging joint decision-making. This could produce a more desirable result than taking your divorce to court and having the outcome decided by a judge or a jury, whose partiality or personal prejudices may unfairly factor into decisions made about your future, division of property, rights as a parent, and so on.
However, using an alternative method may not be appropriate if one half of the divorcing couple is at a significant disadvantage or has been historically victimized or abused by the other. Alternative dispute resolution is also not appropriate if you wish to maintain total control over how assets, parenting rights, property, etc. are divided and are unwilling to negotiate.
Why We Believe in Alternative Dispute Resolution
These measures appeal to us as lawyers and as people because they offer effective solutions for our clients without the pain or emotional trauma of hostile, contested litigation. They also align to our firm's approach - much like these resolutions are collaborative, our attorneys employ a collaborative approach to our cases.
We work together as a firm, pooling together our specific experiences in order to provide the best outcomes for our clients. In the end, that is the most powerful advantage to alternative dispute resolutions.
Call (619) 577-4900 today to speak with our Family Law San Diego attorneys about your case in a free one-hour consultation. We offer decades of experience, board-certified expertise, and a genuine desire to help you resolve your family's situation.
As skilled litigators, mediators, and negotiators, our firm is prepared to handle any type of family law case.
Working together, we pull from our unique backgrounds and resources to achieve the best results possible.
We create tailor-made solutions to fit the unique needs of every client and help them move forward favorably.
We are committed to serving a diverse clientele, all the while protecting the interests and fulfilling the needs of clients.
I would absolutely recommend this firm!- Gerilyn H.
It was a joy to work with him and the entire firm!- Nina F.
We were successful, despite the opposing party's contention. Thank you again to Garrison Kleuck and his entire team.- Jennifer B.
I appreciate all the hard work everyone demonstrated during my legal issue, first and foremost Garrison!- Jean M.
It feels good to have you on our side.- Kevin