Do I have to go to court to resolve a family legal matter?

On behalf of Furr & Cohen, P.A. posted in Family Law on Wednesday, March 16, 2016.

When you think of resolving a legal issue, particularly one involving divorce or parental rights, you might imagine a dramatic courtroom scene with a judge and a lot of anger, aggression and drama.

However, in reality, this is not how many family law cases are resolved. In fact, you may never have to see the inside of a courtroom, which can come as a great relief to people who are interested in avoiding contention and working toward a faster resolution. There are a few ways you can resolve divorce and other related matters outside of court.

Generally speaking, there are three types of alternative dispute resolutions in family court: arbitration, mediation and collaboration.

Though there are numerous differences between these three methods, they all allow two parties to pursue a resolution outside of court. Mediation and collaboration will be more cooperative options that give both sides an opportunity to negotiate, compromise and identify solutions together. Arbitration is slightly more formal and involves an arbitrator who will be the decision-maker.

Any one of these three options may sound appealing, but there is likely one that will be the best fit. You will want to take into considerations factors like how you and the other party get along and solve problems as well as the complexity of the issue.

Unfortunately (or fortunately for some people), these options are not appropriate or feasible in all situations. In matters that are particularly contentious or complicated, litigation may be unavoidable.

However, whether your case is ultimately resolved through mediation, litigation, arbitration or litigation, having legal guidance will be crucial. The legal system can be overwhelming and frustrating, and there is typically a lot at stake when it comes to family legal matters. With an attorney by your side, you can find it easier to navigate the system and seek a fair resolution through any number of legal channels.