04. Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution Solutions

Not everyone is up for a fight, and not every matter requires one. Did you know that there are a number of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) solutions that Smedley Law Group offers, that in the right circumstances, can bring your matter to an amicable conclusion, at a reduced financial and emotional cost to you? These methods are best used when both parties are on the same page and want to resolve their matter without traditional litigation. You can avoid the drama, headache, emotional upset, loss of control and significant financial impact of typical divorce litigation.


Using ADR solutions can give you much-needed control over the uncertainty that accompanies the end of a relationship and allows you to safeguard your own well being as well as that of your child. ADR solutions aren't suited for situations where there's an imbalance of power in a relationship or where domestic violence is present. There needs to be a mutual level of trust between the parties and an agreement to be open and disclose all information relevant to the resolution of your matter.

Typically, there are three types of ADR services available to parties facing family law litigation:

Collaborative Law: Collaborative Family Law is a legal process that enables couples who have decided to separate or end their marriage to work together along with their attorneys to amicably reach a settlement without turning their decision-making over to a judge or enduring the trauma and expense of litigation. When needed, the collaborative team may also include financial advisors and mental health professionals who can assist in guiding the parties to an amicable resolution to their divorce matter.

Each party retains a separate, specially-trained attorney whose purpose is to represent his or her client so as to assist in resolving issues fairly and equitably without either going to court or threatening to do so. All participants agree to work together respectfully, honestly and in good faith to try and bring about goals that meet the legitimate needs of both clients and their families.


Mediation: Divorce mediation is a process in which divorcing spouses try to negotiate an acceptable divorce agreement with the help of a neutral third party—the mediator. As an impartial third party, the mediator helps the spouses to communicate and negotiate but doesn’t make any decisions for them nor provide legal advice.

Mediation can be either privately done or be court-ordered. Court-ordered mediation is generally limited to child custody and visitation issues and the duration of the mediation is set by the court. Private mediation, on the other hand, has the ability to deal with all issues that need to be resolved, including child custody and visitation, support, equitable distribution of assets and debts and any other unresolved issue. The time and cost of mediation are directly related to the reasonableness and cooperation of the parties.

As with collaborative proceedings, mediation relies on the voluntary free exchange of information and commitment to resolutions respecting everyone’s shared goals. The involved parties can come away from the proceedings feeling more satisfied with the outcome since they orchestrated the agreement between themselves, together, face to face with a trained mediator, rather than their lives being bound by the dictates of a judge.

Arbitration: Family Law Arbitration is an ADR solution most similar to a courtroom divorce. The difference? You retain significantly more control over the process. When you traditionally litigate a matter, you're subject to the mercy of the court and the court's schedule. You don't get to choose your judge; your judge is assigned to you based on how your particular courthouse assigns cases. This could result in your matter being tried over a number of months, a process that's costly and time-consuming. Arbitration allows the parties of a case to have more control over the process; thereby reducing the time and cost involved. The arbitrator is an attorney who acts in a role similar to a judge; however, there is more flexibility in how the proceeding can be conducted, a luxury a court often does not have. By choosing arbitration, the parties retain more control over their case and reach a conclusion to their matter, often in less time and at less cost than traditionally litigating their matter.

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Our powerhouse team of attorneys have chosen to devote their entire practice to family law, ensuring you have a support system of strong litigators who’ll work on your behalf in your unique situation. We listen and talk with you to determine your goals and desired outcomes, and then work with you to achieve them through our advocacy.

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750 Cooper Street, Woodbury, NJ 08096

Tel: 856-251-0800 / Fax: 856-251-0662

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This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a attorney/client relationship.