Alternative Dispute Resolution

Missouri, Illinois and Kansas Collaborative Divorce Lawyers and Mediators in St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, Springfield and Beyond

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a term that describes different types of methods for going through a divorce that don't require going to trial. Most people would want to option to handle their divorce in a more amicable and private manner without having to take it the court and in front of a judge. These different methods are mediation and collaborative law.

What is Mediation?

In mediation, the parties sit together with a neutral mediator. The mediator then tries to facilitate communication between the parties in hopes that they are able to reach an agreement on specific issues. In many instances, multiple sessions are necessary and can eventually help parties reach an agreement privately outside of court.

If an agreement can be reached, the parties then hire separate attorneys to file settlement paperwork in court and obtain the approval of a judge.  There is also voluntary mediation and court-ordered mediation.  It is important to understand the difference.

If you are interested in mediation, contact us today. Stange Law Firm, PC has multiple mediators who can help you, including: Kirk Stange, Paola Stange, John Kershman, Jillian Wood and Kelly Davidzuk.

What is Collaborative Law?

In collaborative practice, each party hires a trained collaborative lawyer. To be a trained collaborative lawyer, the lawyer first has to attend mediation training. The lawyer then attends additional training about collaborative practice. In total, for a lawyer to complete training to be a collaborative lawyer, it requires 50-60 hours of training. There are only a certain numbers of lawyers in the area trained in collaborative practice. Stange Law Firm, PC has five lawyers who are trained in this area.

Collaborative practice should also not be confused with uncontested divorce or simply trying to settle outside of court amicably. Collaborative practice is a distinct process that requires a lawyer to be trained in this area.

After training, the lawyer joins the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. They then become part of a local practice group like the St. Louis Collaborative Family Law Association or the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois. It is important for parties to understand that to complete a collaborative divorce or family law matter, you must hire a lawyer who is trained in collaborative practice.

At Stange Law Firm, PC, Kirk and Paola Stange, John Kershman, Jillian Wood and Kelly Davidzuk are trained collaborative family lawyers. Kirk and Paola Stange, John Kershman and Kelly Davidzuk are members of the St. Louis Collaborative Family Law Association. Jillian Wood is a member of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois. If you want to pursue a collaborative divorce or family law matter, contact us today.

You can also visit our webpage on collaborative divorce titled: Collaborative Divorce Representation.

If you hire us for a collaborative divorce or family law matter, your lawyer will sit down with your spouse's lawyer, or the other party's lawyer, and talk through matters. Other professionals, such as, divorce coaches, financial neutrals and psychologists are often present in these meetings to better help parties resolve their case outside of court. Collaborative practice can be helpful where both parties want to settle, but are initially not in agreement on all the terms. If an agreement is reached, the trained collaborative lawyers file the paperwork in court and get it approved by the judge.

If issues cannot be resolved through collaboration, and the case must be taken to court, the collaborative attorneys must withdraw from the case and new attorneys must be hired before the matter can be litigated.

What Are The Benefits Of ADR?

ADR is increasingly popular for several reasons, including the following:

  • It is generally less costly than going to court
  • In most circumstances, it is a more expeditious way of resolving issues during the divorce
  • It is usually more private than handling the case in court

However, Alternative Dispute Resolutions, such as mediation and collaborative law, will only work if parties are willing to communicate and resolve their issues amicably.

For more information about Alternative Dispute Resolutions, please look at our other pages:

Contact a Collaborative Divorce Attorney or Mediator Today in St. Louis (Clayton), Kansas City (Lee's Summit & Overland Park), Columbia and Springfield

At Stange Law Firm, PC, we have multiple attorneys who are ready and willing to help you through you divorce process if you choose to handle it in a more amicable way through mediation or collaborative law. We offer a confidential consultation for those wishing to proceed with an Alternative Dispute Resolution method. You can contact us online or by calling one of our convenient locations at 855-805-0595.