Alternative Dispute Resolution in Family Law Cases: Mediation and Collaborative Law in Oklahoma

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Divorce is an emotionally trying process that often involves many difficult decisions. These decisions can be even more complicated if there are children involved. The good news is that in Oklahoma, couples can use mediation or collaborative law to resolve their disputes without going through a drawn-out court battle.

Mediation and collaborative law allow divorcing couples to work out their legal issues outside of the traditional courtroom setting. With mediation, a neutral third party facilitates communication between both parties and helps them reach a mutually beneficial agreement on matters such as child support, alimony payments, division of property, and other aspects of divorce proceedings.

Collaborative law follows similar principles but instead has both spouses working together with lawyers present to reach an agreement amicably rather than having one spouse pitted against another in court proceedings. These options for alternative dispute resolution allow couples to preserve relationships while still finding solutions that will work best for everyone involved.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that provides a safe and neutral environment for couples to discuss and negotiate their legal issues. The mediator acts as a facilitator, helping the couple identify areas of disagreement while encouraging them to consider creative solutions.

The mediator’s job is to focus on finding solutions that will work best for both parties instead of taking sides or advocating for one party over the other. Depending on the couple’s needs, mediation may also involve additional professionals, such as child psychologists, financial advisors, and social workers.

Mediation can help couples avoid lengthy court proceedings by agreeing to terms outside the courtroom. It also gives couples more control over how their divorce proceeds. Rather than having decisions made for them by a judge in a courtroom setting, mediation allows them to reach an agreement on their own terms.

Couples who choose mediation can benefit from increased privacy, lower costs (as opposed to traditional litigation), less stress (since it takes place in a relaxed atmosphere outside the courtroom), and quicker resolution times compared to typical court proceedings.

Can All Cases Be Resolved Through Mediation?

Mediation and collaborative law are two of the most common forms of alternative dispute resolution in Oklahoma. While not all cases can be resolved through mediation or collaborative law, such as hotly contested divorces involving infidelity or child custody battles, there are many benefits for those that can. Through mediation and collaborative law, parties have more control over the outcome than they would if their case were to go to court. These methods often result in faster resolution times and lower legal costs. Furthermore, since both parties must agree on any settlement reached through either method, each party will likely be satisfied with the results.

When the divorce is bound to be messy, and it’s unclear how much the parties agree, traditional court proceedings may be the best option. However, for more amicable divorces, mediation or collaborative law can give both sides a chance to agree without going through a potentially costly and lengthy trial.

Should I Have a Lawyer for Mediation Sessions?

Having a lawyer during mediation helps ensure you fully understand your rights and obligations under the law and that any potential settlement or resolution is fair and equitable for all parties involved.

Having an experienced attorney present will allow you to receive legal advice throughout your negotiations and guide you in achieving the best possible outcome for yourself or your family. A lawyer can also help evaluate offers made by the other party and provide insight into how the court will likely view any agreement you might reach.

Both mediation and collaborative law are voluntary processes where attorneys work together to help clients resolve their disputes out of court. During these proceedings, someone from our team can help you draft an agreement or settlement that best suits your wants. Call our firm, Parsons, Graham & Day, LLC, to get started with a free consultation at 918-553-5571!

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