What are the Benefits of Using Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Disputes often arise in various aspects of our lives. Whether we are transitioning from marriage to divorce or involved in a business-related contract dispute or even dealing with a family business matter, legal disputes can tear us apart. Luckily, there are ways to resolve disputes that avoid the contention and hardship of traditional litigation. Alternative forms of dispute resolution reduce the time, expense and hard feelings associated with battling in a courtroom.

Alternative dispute resolution, or ADR, includes mediation, arbitration and other methods that do not involve litigation. Besides making dispute resolution simpler, what are some of the benefits of mediation and arbitration?

Non-Confrontational

Both mediation and arbitration are informal. Disputes are settled in a less confrontational environment that often improves the overall relationship between the disputing parties. ADR requires the disputing work together to reach an outcome. Each process focuses on communication and teamwork, so in the long run, many find they are able to move beyond the dispute and continue with a healthier relationship.

Less Expensive

Many people turn to ADR because it is cheaper. Since the court is not governing the process, there is no need to worry about court fees and formal procedures. The process of resolving the dispute takes less time because parties are not restricted by the court schedule. Attorney’s fees are also less expensive in ADR because the process requires fewer hours of work.

Control

ADR, and specifically mediation, gives a great deal of control to the disputing parties. A neutral party oversees the process and can provide helpful input, but ultimately, the disputing parties control whether or not their dispute is settled out of court. There are fewer rules and requirements, so everyone can focus on finding an outcome that works for everyone involved.

Private

ADR is confidential. If a dispute is settled in the courtroom, all of the discussions, as well as the final outcome, are a matter of public record. In ADR, the only thing that becomes public record is the resolution. All of the discussions that occur during the process remain private. Parties can choose to create further boundaries regarding privacy as part of their settlement. Not only is this helpful when it comes to keeping family matters private, it can be extremely effective for protecting sensitive business information.

If you are involved in a legal dispute and you are hoping to avoid litigation, ADR offers a solution with a variety of benefits.