Legal Blog

Pros & Cons of Indiana Mediation / Alternative Dispute Resolution

23 March 2020 | Family Law,  

Attorney Sean Hessler

Written by
Sean Hessler

23 March 2020

Family Law,  

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You have probably heard of alternative dispute resolution options if you are in the midst of a legal issue. These options strive to resolve family law matters, business disputes, and civil claims without going to court. In doing so, both parties save time, money, and stress.

Indiana mediation and ADR professionals help people navigate custody problems and other legal challenges to find real solutions.

If you think that you could benefit from mediation or other alternative dispute resolution methods, continue reading to learn whether this is a viable option. You can also contact knowledgeable Indianapolis mediation attorney with Hessler Law at (317) 886-8800 for an initial consultation. We’d be happy to discuss all your options.

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

The term “alternative dispute resolution” covers several ways that a legal issue can be handled outside of court.

One of the most widely known options is mediation. During mediation, a neutral third party listens to both sides, gathers information, and helps both parties communicate effectively. Both parties will discuss possible solutions. And, ideally, both sides agree to a compromise and the case is closed without ever needing to go to court. If mediation fails, the case still goes to court.

Arbitration is another type of alternative dispute resolution. Upon agreeing on an arbitrator, both parties make their case to the arbitrator in a hearing. During the hearing, the arbitrator listens to both sides and considers the evidence provided. Within 20 days of the hearing, the arbitrator files their decision with the court and submits copies to both parties. If the parties previously agreed to binding arbitration, the arbitrator’s decision is legally binding. This is the primary difference between arbitration and mediation.

Benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution

There are many benefits offered by alternative dispute resolution methods. Some of the main reasons individuals or companies choose to go this route include:

  • Freedom to decide whether or not you accept resolutions suggested by the other party. While this does not apply to all ADR methods, it allows you to retain decision-making control in most situations.
  • Both parties have more control over the process, especially when compared to litigation.
  • The chance of compliance is significantly higher when both parties negotiate and create agreements on their own.
  • ADR encourages effective communication, problem-solving skills, and compromise, which is particularly important in family law issues.
  • The costs of ADR are generally much lower than the costs associated with going to court.
  • ADR generally leads to an agreement much more quickly than litigation, which may take months.
  • In family law cases, mediation and other forms of ADR can encourage the establishment of a healthy co-parenting relationship.

Drawbacks of Alternative Dispute Resolution

While ADR is helpful in many situations, it does have its downsides:

  • ADR may not be a viable choice in high-conflict disputes.
  • In legally binding forms of ADR, both parties must abide by the terms set by the neutral party, even if they disagree.
  • Trying to work through an issue with ADR may cause the statute of limitations for a lawsuit to run out.
  • Fees may be too high for parties in cases that involve minimal amounts of money or non-financial decisions, such as child custody and visitation.
  • Both parties may have limited access to the other side’s evidence, preventing them from making a fully informed decision.
  • If ADR fails, the involved parties have to pay the costs of alternative dispute resolution and court costs.

Contact Hessler Law to Discuss ARD

Whether you are facing a family law issue or a civil claim, you need effective and trustworthy representation. To discuss your case and find out what your options are, contact Hessler Law, PC.

Fill out our online contact form or call (317) 886-8800 to get started.