During the divorce process or even the custody process, there are many types of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) options. The purpose of ADR is to help you and your ex-partner find resolution outside the courtroom. Unless there are special circumstances to your case, it is generally accepted that you will end up in some type of ADR before you go to court. Below are some of the more common ADR options in divorce and/or custody disputes.
Mediation is a confidential process where the parties can either attend by themselves or more traditionally, attend with their attorneys. Discussion with the help of an independent neutral mediator will help the parties brainstorm how to resolve their case. In mediation, you can address all issues relating to the divorce or custody case. The mediator, a trained professional, will guide you through respectful negotiations to try to find resolution. The mediator does not have decision making power and no resolutions are made without agreement of the parties.
CHILD FOCUSED MEDIATION
Child-focused mediation is the same process as mediation, but the mediator or another trained professional first speaks with the minor child or children involved to determine what they are thinking, feeling and wanting as possible outcomes. With this knowledge in hand, the mediator will thoughtfully guide conversation in an attempt to resolve the custody/parenting time issues.
SOCIAL EARLY NEUTRAL EVALUATION (SENE)
With this confidential process, there can either be a team of one man and one woman or just one person and this person/team will guide a more structured process then mediation that will focus only on custody and parenting time issues. Each party will be given an opportunity to give their story and why they are making their specific requests for custody and parenting time. After the provider/team hears from both sides, they deliberate and come up with a recommendation based on their experience. After the recommendation is given, the process shifts into more a mediation process and the parties negotiate based on the recommendation.
FINANCIAL EARLY NEUTRAL EVALUATION (FENE)
This is the same process as the Social ENE above, but is focused only on the financial aspects of the divorce case.
The attorneys at Howard Family Law, LLC are here to help you, the client, make a decision about the best available form of ADR for your specific case. We will guide you and advise you on all aspects of planning for, preparing for and attending ADR.
If you have questions related to a possible dissolution of marriage, child custody questions, or parenting time concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office (952) 224-9410