5 Ways to Resolve A Problem Before Going to Court

A legal problem can hit anybody. If you’ve found yourself facing court, it’s not too late. There are things you can do to resolve the problem before it comes to going to court.


1. Mediation

Mediation is a kind of Assisted Dispute Resolution where an impartial mediator like Judge Diane Ritchie, can help parties to reach an agreement. During the mediation process, a mediator will speak with each person about their needs and then can help the different parties to negotiate to solve any issues.  


Mediation services are often offered through Family Court sites or private services. Ask your local court if they have mediation services available. In most cases, you will need to have an active court application to be able to be referred to mediation through the court. You can also hire private mediation services.


The idea behind mediation is to give litigants the option of resolving the problem themselves under the guidance of a Judge. 


2. Negotiation

Negotiation is a direct discussion of the differences between the parties involved in a legal dispute. This can take place anywhere, whether over the kitchen table or through lawyers. If children are involved, such as in custody agreements, this negotiation will be ongoing. 

You can negotiate with the other party involved on your own, with help from someone else, or via a dispute resolution service. Regardless of the situation, it is wise for both parties to speak with a lawyer for advice, so you can be sure of your rights and obligations. Get legal advice even if you aren’t going to go to court. 

Depending on where you live and which court you are dealing with, there may be court-offered services that you can access to help you and the other party to reach an agreement without going to court. 


3. Court-Assisted ADR

ADR stands for Assisted Dispute Resolution. Court-assisted ADR is also called conciliation, where both parties meet with a court officer, either separately or together. The court officer will help you to focus on the situation and consider the best options available to you. 


4. Settlement Conferences

A settlement conference is an option for parties who want to find a resolution and make their own choices about the case. A settlement conference is used to determine if the parties can reach agreements themselves with the help of a judge. Settlement like this is voluntary, which means that each party must agree to participate. 


5. Collaborative Family Law

Collaborative Family Law is a way of practicing law where the lawyers of both parties assist their clients in resolving conflict using cooperative strategizes. This helps to settle family law matters without the need for litigation or adversarial practices. The main idea of this practice is to achieve a settlement that satisfies both parties in a cooperative, efficient manner. 


If the parties involved can’t reach a settlement using this approach, then the collaborative lawyers withdraw from the case and the parties are able to retain trial lawyers in case of the need to pursue their matter in court. 

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