Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Did Your Attorney Tell You About Alternative Dispute Resolution?

If you are going through a divorce, chances are you have already hired a Denver family law attorney to help get you through the difficult process. If you have done this you are already headed in the right direction. If you have not, I would seriously consider doing so especially if there is children and assets involved. A Divorce is not necessarily the kind of case you want to represent yourself in. Denver divorce attorneys can help significantly help your chances of winning or get what you deserve from your spouse and the courts.

One thing you need to understand is there are two types of divorce attorneys out there; those who genuinely care about you and your life and those who could care less after your case is over. Obviously the attorneys that do not care are in it for the money and the attorneys who care would like to help benefit your future. If you do not have an idea of what type of family law attorney you hired, ask them to explain the different ways to settle the contested issues in your case.

There are 3 types of Alternative Dispute Resolutions:
(1) Mediation: both parties attend sessions with a neutral third party who will help them resolve the issues in your case. Both parties have the option to have their lawyer present during mediation. During the process, each party presents their side of the case and the mediator will then assist them in making decisions. It is not out of the norm for a mediator to give advice along the way to help move the process along.

(2) Settlement Negotiations: Most attorneys will and should encourage their clients to negotiate a settlement. In most courts, settlement is allowed up until a judge has declared a decision on a case. If a settlement has been agreed on, the case is over and the judge will not rule. Usually the attorneys involved will negotiate the entire case or at least narrow down some decisions for their client.

(3) Binding or non-binding Arbitration: In an arbitration, just like a mediation, the parties present their side of the case to a third party who then makes the decision based on their opinion on the issues. Arbitration is more formal than mediation but less formal than a trial. The difference between binding and non-binding is the parties have to follow the third parties decision in a binding arbitration. In a non-binding arbitration, the parties do not have to agree with the decision made by the third party. The family law attorneys will decide what type of arbitration would be used for the case ahead of time.

Divorce laws are completely different in all of the 50 states. If you are looking at filing for divorce in Colorado, look for the help of Denver divorce attorneys in your area.

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