Alternative Dispute Resolution in Michigan

In Michigan, alternative dispute resolution is being used more and more for settling divorces. The purpose of alternative dispute resolution in Michigan is to give the parties additional privacy, and speed up the process and long-term damage that may come from a traditional divorce proceeding. In Michigan Alternate Dispute Resolution is encouraged for all domestic relations issues.

In Michigan mediation is used until the parties reach a resolution or the parties realize that a resolution is not possible, and the parties return to the traditional divorce proceeding. If an agreement is reached between the parties, this agreement will be memorialized and handled like other traditional settlement agreements between the parties. The mediator in ADR in Michigan can also draft his/her opinion in how unresolved issues should be handled, but this is not provided to the court.

Alternative Dispute Resolution in Oakland County can be used for disputed issues such as spousal support, child support, property division, parenting time , custody, and a number of other disputes. Mediation can be ordered by the Oakland County family court or mutual agreement of the parties or written motion of a single party. A party may object to mediation, which a judge will then grant a hearing and decide if the matter will go to mediation. The mediator in Michigan can be selected by the parties or appointed by the court.

What’s collaborative law, and is it right for my case?

This is a new area of Michigan family law for family cases, and it involves both parties retaining their own Michigan family attorney, whose only job is to help resolve the case. There are two attorneys, and two clients working together toward an agreement without the use of the typical court proceedings. The lawyers are hired only to resolve the case, and reach a fair agreement, and these lawyers agree not to represent the client if the case goes to court. The discovery process is less formal, and the parties agree to act in good faith and cooperate with each other.

If the parties cannot reach an agreement, or one party wishes to go to court, the attorneys are then not allowed to follow the case to court, and the parties must hire new lawyers.

What’s Michigan family law arbitration?

In Michigan , family law arbitration matters are handled by a neutral third-party who acts as a judge and will rule on issues presented to the arbitrator. The arbitration decision is binding on the parties, subject to limited review of the court. Arbitration in Michigan can be used for actions of divorce, maintenance, annulments, child support, child custody, parenting time and any post-judgment proceedings. Parties cannot submit cases that involve child abuse or neglect issues along with cases with allegations of domestic violence.

The arbitration process in Michigan can be a lot more informal and relaxed compared to the court room. The parties’ can select who the arbitrator is, and the issues to be decided. An arbitration award for child support, parenting time or the amount of child support is subject to review by the court and the standard to be used is “best interests of the child”.

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