“Alternative Dispute Resolution” refers to the options available to resolve disputes that avoid the need for in court litigation. Such alternatives are available to resolve an entire divorce, or post dissolution matters that may arise, such as modification of spousal support, child support and/or child custody throughout the divorce mediation process. The Family Law Attorneys at the Buncher Law Corporation are adept in a large number of Alternative Dispute Resolution Options. These options include the following:
Attorney Assisted Settlement:
This is often the most cost effective and expedient means of divorce mediation
. Here both parties are encouraged to retain their own respective attorneys to answer questions and apprise them of their rights. However, in some cases, only one party will retain an attorney. The parties can then attempt to come to an agreement in principle amongst themselves, or ask the attorneys to help negotiate fair terms. Once an agreement in principle is reached, one party's attorney is elected to do most of the leg work and draw up the agreement. The other party is than asked to review the agreement, preferably with his/her own attorney to make sure he/she fully understands it and to sign off on it.
This method is probably best if both parties are amicable, or at least able to make rational decisions, rather than being vindictive. Settlements can be finalize very inexpensively and save tens of thousands of dollars, preserving the parties' assets and earnings for themselves and their children (if any).
At The Buncher Law Corporation, our attorneys pride themselves in often being able to work with an opposing party who is seeking the proverbial "pound of flesh", and instead get them in a rational state of mind to allow a mutually beneficial settlement achieved. This is as much an art as it is technique, by having the correct disposition during a meeting, and employing limited formal discovery and law and motion practice to make it evident to the opposing party that they will save thousands of hours and dollars, if they get past their emotions and proceed rationally.
Mediation is where a neutral third party, usually an attorney or retired judge, is utilized by the parties to help reach a resolution in a case. At the Buncher Law Corporation, we discourage you from entering into mediation without having the independent advice of legal counsel. We also discourage you from signing any settlement agreement arrived at during mediation, without first reviewing it in detail with your own independent counsel.
One reason for this is that the opposing party may be more legally sophisticated than you, or have secretly consulted with independent counsel to obtain a significant advantage. Even if that is not the case, the opposing party may have unknowingly obtained a significant long term benefit that is detrimental to you. This is because a simple variation in the selection of a key term, or how a single sentence is phrased, can have significant and long term impacts that you will not be aware of if you are not well versed in family law.
When a party is interested in pursuing mediation, we first ask them to consider Attorney Assisted Settlement in attempt to save additional expense. However, Mediation is often and effective way to proceed where the impediment to settlement appears to be an opposing counsel's bad advice to their client, or opposing counsel's inability to convince their own client that they are being offered a fair settlement due to lack of trust issues. In such instances a good mediator is often effective in breaking through such an impasse.
When time is money, a private judge is usually more efficient than proceeding through court. This is because court dockets are often impacted, and it can take months to litigate a pre trial order to show cause or motion, or to complete an extended trial. A private judge, however, can be immediately available to provide a prompt resolution. Furthermore, in some cases, a private judge can actually save the parties money. This is particularly the case where the presiding judge is only available to hear a case or pre-trial issue over several days for only an hour or two at a time. In such cases, litigating the matter at once in front of a private judge can result in significant savings. The parties can also stipulate to utilize streamlined processes before the private judge, to further decrease the time and money.
At the Buncher Law Corporation, our divorce mediation
and family law lawyers are experienced in employing the above alternative dispute resolution methodologies. Unlike some other attorneys, we have no hesitation Whether we have no fears about litigating your case. Whether we recommend that you utilize one of the above alternative dispute resolution alternatives, or litigate your case using traditional means, will depend upon the answer to one single question: "What will ultimately be in your best interest?"
We are here to help you decide what is in your best interest. Call us today at (949) 398-8720 today to schedule your consultation.
We serve clients throughout Orange County
, North San Diego County, Riverside County and Los Angeles County