Alternative Dispute Resolution: Mediation, Arbitration, Collaboration

Although contested litigation is the traditional method of resolving legal disputes, this process can be time consuming and expensive. Mediation and arbitration are two alternatives or companions to this process. At Clark & Stevens, our attorneys have extensive experience in assisting clients with alternative dispute resolution.


Mediation is a formal effort to assist the parties in reaching a settlement of their dispute. A neutral third party, called a Mediator, does not make any decision for the parties but leads them to viable settlement solutions of the issues involved. The mediation process is confidential, and no part of it can be used against either party if settlement efforts are unsuccessful and the case goes to trial. Our family law attorneys are


Arbitration is a voluntary process wherein the parties agree to submit their dispute to be resolved by a neutral third party known as an Arbitrator. The parties and Arbitrator agree in advance which issues will be submitted, the manner in which the arbitration will be conducted, and whether the decision will be binding or non-binding. Normally the arbitration process is less formal and time consuming than a hearing or trial.


A third option is collaborative resolution which allows divorcing couples to resolve their differences through a four-way negotiation between both parties and their respective attorneys, plus various specialists. Examples of the specialists who could be involved are a child psychologist, financial planner or divorce coach. Family law attorneys estimate that collaborative resolution costs, on average, one-third the amount tallied in a litigated divorce case.

Whether you need someone to serve as a Mediator or Arbitrator, or someone to represent you individually as you attempt any conflict resolution, our office can provide competent and knowledgeable legal advice. Contact us today at 843-842-3500 or email us to schedule your initial consultation.

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