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Representing Divorcing Spouses in Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

A contested divorce can be extremely stressful. In the adversarial divorce process, there are few opportunities to negotiate honestly. The important issues are settled in a courtroom by a judge who does not know you, your children, or your unique family circumstances.

Divorce mediation and alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) can afford you the opportunity to determine child custody, child support and visitation arrangements that work for you — without the stress, public scrutiny and expense of a trial.

Divorce Mediation in Missouri

Missouri offers a statewide mediation program called Mediation Achieving Results for Children, or M.A.R.C.H. This alternative dispute resolution program is offered to families who have not been able to resolve their issues within the first 6 months of filing for divorce.

An impartial third party, or mediator, hears the concerns of both parties and helps them negotiate a settlement. It is advisable for each spouse to retain a attorney experienced in the process who can advise him or her on legal issues.

The 25th Judicial Circuit Special Masters ADR Program

The Special Masters program is another alternative dispute resolution program designed to help divorcing couples settle important issues such as property and debt division, child custody, and support.  If mediation fails, you and your spouse may be ordered to participate in the Special Masters program, which is unique to the 25th Judicial Circuit. After documents are filed by your lawyer, your case is heard by two voluntary special masters — one male and one female attorney.  Once they hear your case, they make recommendations for settlement, along with feedback concerning how they believe your case would be decided if it went to trial.

With Special Masters ADR, you stay in control of your divorce and will not have to wait for months to get a court date. Seventy-five percent of the couples who participate in the Special Masters program settle their cases.

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For seasoned representation in mediation or another alternative dispute resolution process, contact us.

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