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3 Advantages of Alternative Dispute Resolution for Michigan Divorces

Not all divorces devolve into a war. Sometimes, you and your spouse can find common ground. And the more quickly you resolve your case, the sooner you can move on with your lives.

One way for couples to divorce amicably is to seek alternative dispute resolution (ADR). This catchall phrase includes mediation, arbitration, and collaboration. These processes help you and your spouse agree on terms for your divorce that both of you can live with.

Read on to learn about ADR and the 3 advantages of ADR for Michigan divorces.

Basics of ADR

You might not believe you and your spouse can divorce amicably. But in many situations, spouses can put their negative feelings aside and negotiate openly and fairly to resolve the factors involved in a divorce, including:

  • Parenting
  • Child support
  • Spousal support
  • Property division

You have several ADR processes available to you, such as:


In mediation, a neutral third party acts as a facilitator for the spouses. The mediator does not take sides or even decide questions of fact or law. The mediator simply helps the spouses communicate their proposals to each other and iron out their differences.


In arbitration, each spouse presents a case to the arbitrator. The arbitrator listens to the arguments and evidence and decides the case. Arbitrators are not bound by court rules, so they can take factors into account that the spouses could not introduce in court.


In a collaborative divorce, spouses use experts to propose solutions. In some situations, spouses jointly hire a team of experts to provide a single proposal to both sides. In other situations, each spouse hires a separate team of experts.

The team could include experts on:

  • Accounting
  • Business valuation
  • Investing and real estate
  • Child development or psychology

The objective analyses provided by the experts help the spouses focus on the divorce process without involving their emotions.

3 Advantages of ADR for Divorces in Michigan

ADR has substantial benefits for divorcing spouses, including:

1. Lower Cost

ADR divorces often cost less than contested divorces. A contested divorce takes longer, resulting in higher legal fees. You also might need to hire expert witnesses and investigators.

In an ADR divorce, you and your spouse usually split the cost of the mediator, arbitrator, or experts. If you and your spouse resolve your differences quickly, you can avoid the cost of litigation and trial.

2. Quicker Resolution

If you and your spouse contest every issue in your divorce, the process could drag on for years. But if you settle your differences, you can dissolve your marriage and move on with your lives.

Michigan has a mandatory waiting period of 60 days for childless couples and six months for parents of minor children. If you negotiate productively during the waiting period, you could divorce in as little as 60 days or six months.

3. Less Animosity

Divorce does not always end life with your ex-spouse. If you have minor children, share a business, or have friends in common, you might continue to spend significant amounts of time around your ex-spouse.

If you divorce amicably through ADR, you can avoid the animosity that comes with many divorces. This will give you a more productive and harmonious post-divorce relationship with your ex-spouse.

Using a Lawyer for Your ADR Divorce

A lawyer can help with your ADR divorce. Your family lawyer has seen hundreds of divorces and can craft creative solutions to your disputes. To discuss ADR in your Michigan divorce, contact Gucciardo Family Law for a free consultation

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We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.

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