Montgomery County Alternative Dispute Resolution Attorneys
Experienced and Highly Strategic Advocates to Get You the Results You Are Looking For
At Shemtob Draganosky Taylor, our attorneys believe in the process of resolving family law issues that arise in a divorce proceeding without the necessity of litigation, if possible. This is called alternative dispute resolution (ADR). ADR includes processes such as negotiation, collaborative law, arbitration, and mediation. All of our attorneys are skilled negotiators and practitioners in arbitration, and one of our partners is trained in interdisciplinary collaborative divorce.
If ADR is not possible, our family law attorneys are aggressive and seasoned negotiators and litigators who will advocate to achieve the best possible result in your case. However, with many options for ADR, we can often resolve even the most adversarial situations out of court.
Alternative dispute resolution may be used in all kinds of family law cases and is often well-suited for complex cases, such as high-asset matters, because it provides opportunity for more flexibility. It can also be useful in smaller cases, because it may allow for greater cost control. The best method for your case depends on your situation and you should discuss your individual options with counsel.
Contact our team at Shemtob Draganosky Taylor onlineor at (215) 544-3974 to learn which ADR method works best for you.
The Negotiated Agreement
Negotiation involves a series of discussions through which both spouses work together to reach an agreement, a process facilitated by skilled and experienced attorneys. Before entering into direct negotiation with your spouse, it is essential to have an initial consultation with an attorney to learn about your spousal and parental rights, which assets may be divided, and how child and spousal support might be calculated.
Negotiation can occur face-to-face, by phone, in writing, or by a combination of those methods of communication. The negotiation method requires some compromise from both sides, but it can be a cost-effective way to resolve issues without having to battle it out in a heated trial. After reaching an agreement, one party will have counsel draft a written property settlement agreement for the court’s approval.
Collaborative law is a method of dispute resolution in which spouses and their attorneys work as a team to use interest-based bargaining to negotiate the most favorable outcome for the parties. Other professionals (e.g., a financial advisor, accountant, mental health professional) may be brought onto the collaborative team to help resolve specific issues related to their expertise. When an agreement is reached, the attorneys share the work of drafting the agreement and completing the divorce. The lawyers who practice collaborative family law and other professionals who work as part of the collaborative team have special training in this type of work.
Arbitration is another alternative dispute resolution method for divorcing couples. In arbitration, both sides agree upon a neutral decision-maker (arbitrator) they hire to decide the legal issues in their case. Arbitration can be binding or non-binding depending on the agreement of the parties. In arbitration proceedings, each side will prepare arguments and evidence and present them to the arbitrator, who will make decisions for the parties. In cases where the parties agree the arbitrator's decision is binding, they cannot appeal the decision to a higher court. However, arbitration is a speedier, more efficient, and more cost-effective and informal process than litigation, so couples who seek to avoid trial may opt for arbitration.
The Mediation Process
Mediation is a series of meetings in which parties work with a neutral third party (mediator) to help them reach an agreement. The mediator cannot give legal advice (even if the mediator is also a lawyer) and the mediator does not make decisions for the parties, like a judge would. The mediator facilitates communication, helps the parties identify issues requiring resolution, and works with the them on creating their own solutions. Spouses should consult an experienced lawyer to prepare for their mediation sessions and strategize their goals.
Bringing in Industry Experts for High-Asset Cases
When a divorce involves people with significant assets, accountants for both parties may be hired. An appraiser may be brought in to value a family-owned business or real estate. It is essential to obtain this information prior to settlement negotiations so that we can negotiate from the strongest position.
Our attorneys at Shemtob Draganosky Taylor have the skill and experience to anticipate how a court might rule in any particular family law situation. Our extensive experience and network of experts allows us to obtain the best possible settlements for our clients.