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ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution)

Fayetteville Family Law Attorneys Offer Alternatives to Litigation

Guiding clients through other dispute resolution methods for divorce and custody matters

Typically, litigation is not the best means of settling family law issues for anyone involved. For many years, however, litigation was the only option when the parties could not reach an amicable agreement. Fortunately, in recent years, attorneys in North Carolina and throughout the country have begun to embrace various methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as viable options for even the most complex and contentious family law disputes. We at Devan & Null PLLC agree that in many cases ADR is a winning choice for our clients, and we encourage it whenever appropriate.

What are the types of alternative dispute resolution?

Alternative dispute resolution refers to several different processes for settling disputes while avoiding litigation. While ADR is used in all areas of law, it is particularly appropriate in divorce and other domestic matters in these forms: 

  • Mediation — Mediation is a facilitated negotiation in which the two parties agree on an impartial mediator to oversee discussions and attempt to bring the parties to a resolution. Mediators do not make any decisions themselves and do not force the parties to do anything they don’t want to do. Instead, mediators review each side’s position and supporting evidence and attempt to guide each side to a resolution that is reasonable under the circumstances, based on their knowledge and experience.
  • Collaborative law — As one of the newer ADR processes, collaborative law is rapidly growing in use, especially in the context of divorce. It is particularly well suited for complex cases, where the parties truly want to reach a fair resolution rather than a “win” over the other party. Collaborative law allows the parties to pool their resources, consulting with experts who guide them to the most mutually beneficial resolution.
  • Arbitration — North Carolina has embraced the use of arbitration to settle family law issues through the Family Law Arbitration Act, which makes arbitration agreements enforceable in divorce proceedings. While all resolutions are still subject to final court approval, arbitration allows the parties to fight it out with a mutually selected arbitrator in a private setting, rather than in front of a randomly assigned judge in open court. While still adversarial, it is cheaper, less time-consuming, and more private than traditional litigation.

Devan & Null is a family-owned law firm, and we value family above all else. We believe these types of ADR are effective methods for preserving relationships, amicability, and well-being during what is often a difficult and frustrating time, and we can guide you through your options.

Private versus compulsory mediation

To relieve overcrowded court dockets and avoid litigation whenever possible, mediation is mandatory in most districts before a trial on equitable distribution in divorce or child custody can take place. This does not mean, however, that couples cannot engage in private mediation outside of the compulsory judicial process instead. All mediation is confidential. What happens during compulsory mediation cannot be used later should the case proceed to trial. Private mediation, however, may offer a greater degree of flexibility and control over the judicially administered compulsory mediation process. Furthermore, while court-appointed mediators are well trained and satisfactorily qualified, couples may be more comfortable selecting their own mediator rather than having one assigned by the court. In either case, we fully support the mediation process and enable our clients to get the most out of it.

Contact our experienced family law attorneys today for help considering alternative dispute resolution

Our priority at the family law firm of Devan & Null PLLC is to provide our clients the best options and the best value when going through a divorce. That’s why we make use of all methods of alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration, collaborative law, and compulsory and private mediation. Our office is located on Fountainhead Lane in Fayetteville, North Carolina, blocks from the Hay Street exit of US 401. We are available for consultations by appointment from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays. To schedule your consultation with one of our attorneys, call 910-745-6645 or contact us online. Take the first step today toward putting your divorce behind you.


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Our Office
  • North Carolina Office
    103 Fountainhead Lane
    Fayetteville, North Carolina 28301
    Phone: 910-486-6855
    Fax: 910-486-6858
Client Testimonials
  • "Changed My Life:- Laura represented me as a Father in a custody case for my son when he was a baby. My wife had serious issues, but I did not believe a father could win a custody case. Laura tried my case for 5 days and I won primary custody. She focused 100% of her time and energy into preparing and my trying my case. She helped change my life and my now teenage son’s life for the better because of her dedication to my case. "  -John D.

  • "Above And Beyond:- Ms. Devan went above and beyond helping me obtain custody of my son. She is extremely knowledgeable and well versed in child custody law. I am grateful to have had her as an advocate for me in family court. "  -Jay

  • "Truly Amazing:- What a truly amazing attorney! Thank you so much! You took what I thought would be an impossible case and totally walked in and showed them who was in control! Not only did we win big, but I was proud to call you my attorney. Your experience and confidence definitely paid off. I will be sure to refer you to others. "  -Tisha

  • "Tough Attorneys:- Jeff and I played varsity football together for 3 years in high school. I have hired him to handle my legal matters He's as tough in the courtroom as he was on the football field. Jeff had my back and he will have yours. "  -Charles D.