Alternative Dispute Resolution in Family Law England

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is the course of settling disputes without litigation through methods like  arbitration, mediation, or negotiation. ADR processes are  less expensive and quick. They have come in vogue in the last few decades and are being preferred over general litigation including labour disputes and family disputes.

ADR is preferred over general litigation over several matters such as:-

1. General litigation is a costly procedure, whereas ADR is relatively a cheaper solution.  General litigation takes a long time. This makes litigation process a costly affair whereas ADR is cost efficient in nature.

2. ADR is one process which takes place behind closed doors in a hushed up manner. The decision taken is not revealed to a third party. This ensures confidentiality and the fact that one doesn’t have to wash ones dirty linen in the public.  General litigation on the other hand, is one process where everything takes place in an open court.  This means everyone comes to know about the final decision and no privacy is maintained.

3.  Under ADR, there is no favouritism or nepotism of any kind, this means, the parties involved can be sure of a fair trial. General litigation on a hand involves lot of beurocracy.

4. ADR is one process which doesn’t take much time. This is particularly beneficial where children are involved, mainly because of the fact this in a way doesn’t hamper their studies and safe guars their future.  General litigation on the other hand takes much time and leads to adverse affect on the children involved.

Let’s discuss the three variance of ADR. They are as follows:-

1. Mediation- Mediation is an arrangement of property, finance, child custody etc between disputing parties through mutual discussion. AS discussed above mediation is a cheaper process than general litigation and doesn’t take much time. This makes mediation a much easier process. This is particularly beneficial where children are concerned. This is one process that safeguards the future of the children.

2. Arbitration- Arbitration is a new approach to settlement of financial dispute, parental dispute, children custody, divorces, etc. Arbitration is different from general litigation on this point that during arbitration, the parties involved can choose their arbitrator.

3. Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) – Under this method the disputing couples can consult an evaluator, who gives an early neutral evaluation based on their knowledge on law and gives evaluation similar to what a solicitor would give in a court of law England.

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