Family law court

What Are Three Alternatives to Court?

Contrary to popular belief, most family law cases are resolved outside of court. There are many advantages to doing so, including the fact that your private information is kept private, and that you have more control over the outcome of your case. If you are considering an alternative method to litigation, you are fortunate as there are many methods to pursue. Today, we will discuss the most common alternatives to going to court. 

Three Methods to Choose Over Going to Court


Arbitration is a private process where disputing parties agree that one or more arbitrators can make a decision about the dispute after receiving evidence and hearing each sides' arguments. When arbitration is binding, the decision is final, can be enforced by a court, and can only be appealed on very narrow grounds. This process tends to resolve issues more quickly than litigation. 

Neutral Evaluation

A neutral evaluation is a process where both parties obtain a non-binding, independent evaluation of their case and its issues from a neutral third party that they approve. The third party could be an expert in a certain field, such as a divorce attorney or retired judge. The evaluation could consist of a panel of experts as well. 

The opinions, advice, and suggestions of an expert is typically enough to encourage one side to adopt the other's settlement agreement. 


Mediation is the most well know out of all the alternative dispute resolution methods. It involves the help, advice, and assistance of a neutral third party or mediator. The mediator does not force suggestions on to the individuals involved, rather he/she helps facilitate negotiations, guiding them both to a mutually agreed upon resolution. A mediator might propose solutions, but the parties do not need to accept these. This method works well when both sides are wiling to work together to come to an agreement. 

What Are the Benefits of Resolving a Family Law Matter Outside of Court? 

The main benefit most parties see from deciding to resolve their issues outside of court is that they are able to have more control over the outcome of their case. If an issue is litigated, it is up to the judge to determine the case outcome. The methods discussed above encourage a more collaborative way to resolving issues that keep both parties involved. Deciding to choose one of these methods has also proven to be more time effective, less stressful overall, less expensive, and encourages communication and collaboration between both parties. Additionally, if you wish to keep your family law matters private, deciding not to litigate ensures this will happen. Going to court means all your private information associated with your divorce or child custody battle will become public record. 

Contact our firm online to learn more about how we can help you resolve your family law case.