Mediation And Litigation Alternatives

Many legal disputes never make it to court. Clients, lawyers and even judges often use mediation or other forms of alternate dispute resolution because it is often less expensive, quicker and less intrusive. While it is often used as a standalone format, the courts here in Hawaii will also use it to help resolve family law issues where the two sides are closer together or clear up lesser issues so the judge can focus on the major sticking points.

At Christopher D. Thomas Attorney at Law, in Honolulu, we encourage clients to embrace this approach if it is in their best interests and both sides are amendable to the idea. Attorney Christopher D. Thomas is a skilled litigator who works in state and federal court as well as before military panels, but he also is a formally trained mediator and master's degree candidate in mediation and alternative dispute resolution from Creighton University.

How Mediation Works

Mediation is a nonbinding format where the two sides work collaboratively to find common ground. A trained mediator works with the two sides (who may also have lawyers) to facilitate constructive negotiation in a comfortable setting. The information discussed is not automatically admissible in court if the dispute is later litigated.

The Advantages To Mediation

There are specific advantages to using mediation in family law matters. These include:

  • It is particularly well suited for family law where the parents will continue to work together while raising their children.
  • The couple may not want the details of their family life documented in court records, which is a public forum.
  • Rather than letting a judge decide, the couple can draft their own very specific divorce, custody and financial arrangements.
  • Since it is a collaborative approach aimed toward compromise, the sides do not win or lose.
  • This approach can also promote a sense of healing and even provide a template for resolving future disputes or modifications.
  • The setting is less formal than a courtroom.

Need Someone To Mediate Your Family Law Dispute?

Contact our Honolulu office at 808-379-3541 or inquire online through this website. All initial consultations are free and confidential.