Not all Minnesota divorce and family law cases need to be resolved in court. In fact, Minnesota alternative dispute resolution methods are often the best vehicle to resolve some of the most challenging family law issues presented. During the alternative dispute resolution process, both parties work collaboratively with a lawyer(s) to reach productive agreements on various issues. These methods can greatly reduce legal fees, resolution time, and anxiety for all parties involved.
Through the use of Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) clients often reach superior solutions in everything from child custody to property division in a more cost efficient and timely manner. An understanding of the various alternative dispute resolution methods available is the first step in choosing which option is right for you. The attorneys at Arnold, Rodman & O’Keefe PA have experience resolving cases through a variety of alternative dispute resolution methods and can help find the right fit for your specific situation.
Mediation & Early Neutral Evaluation
In Minnesota mediation is a voluntary, non-binding process aimed at resolving family law disputes. The process is relatively simple: the parties (and possibly their attorneys) meet with a neutral mediator who attempts to facilitate a positive resolution of the outstanding issues by discussing potential ideas for settlement. In Minnesota, mediation is confidential, meaning that the mediator cannot be called to testify about what was said or admitted to at mediation. As a result, parties can generally feel comfortable taking positions on issues they would otherwise not take if the issue were litigated before the Court. The process is also non-binding, meaning there is no pressure to reach settlement and no consequences for not settling other than having to litigate the issue in court. While the mediator cannot offer legal advice to either party, they will direct both parties to consult with an attorney before making a final decision on a proposed settlement.