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ADR: Useful in family law if conditions are right

Alternative dispute resolution – if you are a skeptic, you might be inclined to dismiss this phrase as a euphemism. In the current political environment, it might be easy to take the cynical view and relegate the phrase to a category that might also include alternative facts. But attorneys with breadth of experience in Texas family law likely agree that such views don't do justice to the potential value ADR can deliver.

The history of ADR in the legal realm is still somewhat young. It is being successfully used across a good number of practice areas, including business and landlord-tenant law. The typical forms it takes are mediation or collaborative law. Arbitration is considered an ADR model too, though it has come under something of a cloud recently because of a perception that it can favor the side with the most money.

Many agree, however, that alternative dispute resolution can be particularly useful in cases where emotions run high. Traditional litigation involves the court system, which tends to take a more business-like approach to procedures. There's not much room at trial for addressing the feelings of the parties involved.

Collaborative law and mediation allows the parties and their attorneys to approach sensitive issues with more understanding. For example, if one of the parties in a divorce feels slighted and insists on receiving a written apology or something of that nature, a provision to that effect can be included in the mediated agreement.

Alternative dispute resolution is not for everyone. Both sides need to be predisposed to openly confront their issues and committed to working collaboratively to find the solutions that everyone can live with. If those elements are present, it can be possible to put ADR to work for the most positive outcome.

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

She will take the time to understand your individual needs and develop a comprehensive solution to protect your rights and interests.

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