Most divorce cases don’t go to trial. If you’re beginning the divorce process or trying to decide whether to divorce, you may be worried about revealing your most personal details on the witness stand.

For most people, that day never comes. Usually, the parties resolve the case by agreement. There are a lot of tools that you and your Las Vegas divorce attorneys have at your disposal to work towards resolving the case. One of the things that you can use to resolve the case is alternative dispute resolution.

Alternative Dispute Resolution in a Nevada Divorce Case

In a divorce case, alternative dispute resolution is a formal process to help you reach a resolution to the case. The process uses rules and guidelines that are designed to make it fair and productive. Alternative dispute resolution lets the parties explore their options for resolving the case by divorce settlement agreement. If they are able to reach an agreement, they can solidify their agreement to make it binding and enforceable by the court.

Nevada Alternative Dispute Resolution Laws

Nevada has laws that govern how alternative dispute resolution works. Chapter 38 of the Nevada Revised Statutes lists the laws for alternative dispute resolution including mediation, arbitration, and collaborative resolution proceedings. Nevada law 38.250 gives the court the authority to require mediation in divorce cases. If you have a Nevada divorce, there’s a good chance that you’ll participate in mediation.

How Does Mediation Work in a Nevada Divorce Case?

In a Nevada divorce case, the parties begin by selecting a mediator and setting a date for mediation. Each party may have the representation of their attorney at all times during the proceedings. When mediation day arrives, the parties arrive at the scheduled time and place. The mediator explains the rules for mediation.

Each side is allowed to give a brief statement of their position and what they want to see as an outcome for the case. Then, the mediator gets to work helping the parties reach an agreement. The parties may stay in the same room, or they might caucus with their attorneys in separate rooms while the mediator travels back and forth to discuss the case.

If the parties resolve the case, the mediator puts the agreement in writing. The parties sign the agreement. It becomes a formal and enforceable court order. The parties submit the agreement to the court and take other measures to finalize the divorce.

How Can I Make Mediation Effective in a Nevada Divorce?

To make your mediation effective in a Nevada divorce, it’s important to prepare before the divorce. You should think about the things that you want in your divorce court order. You should prepare a list of assets and debts. By carefully studying the law before the mediation day, you can have clear expectations for the mediation process.

To make mediation effective, you should make a list of everything you might want to be a part of the court order. You should identify some goals as absolutes and choose other areas where you may be able to be more flexible. In a divorce case, you typically start by working on issues of child custody and parenting time. Property division is a separate issue to discuss and also an important part of any divorce proceeding.

Mediation in Divorce

Why Is It Called Alternative Dispute Resolution?

It’s called alternative dispute resolution because it’s an alternative to trying your case in court. When you get divorced, you have the right to have a judge decide how to award child custody and split assets. Alternative dispute resolution gets its name from being an alternative to formal litigation proceedings.

Do I Need an Attorney for Mediation in a Nevada Divorce?

While you’re not required to have an attorney for mediation in a Nevada divorce, a divorce attorney can help you get the best possible result from your mediation. Your attorney can help you understand the things that need to be in your divorce agreement. They can help you prepare the information necessary to make your mediation effective.

If you make progress towards reaching an agreement, your attorney can help you understand the effect of the proposed language. They can help you decide if it’s in your best interests to accept the settlement or not based on Nevada law. Ultimately, your attorney represents all of your interests to ensure that you receive the best possible result.

Is Mediation the Same Thing as Collaborative Divorce?

No, mediation is not the same thing as collaborative divorce. A collaborative divorce is a form of informal mediation, but it is not the mediation that occurs during a traditional divorce proceeding. A collaborative divorce is an informal meeting with a counselor that occurs before a divorce filing. The parties work to resolve their disputes before the case formally begins. By contrast, when the case is in formal court proceedings, mediation is a part of the process to attempt to resolve the case without needing a trial.

If you aren’t successful in collaborative divorce counseling, you still have the option to participate in mediation in your divorce case. If you are ordered to mediation, you should know that it’s not the same thing as collaborative divorce, and you’re not forced to agree to anything if you don’t want to. You still have the option to take your case to trial. The Nevada Collaborative Law Uniform Act, NRS 38.400, gives the rules for collaborative proceedings.

You can have the representation of an experienced Las Vegas collaborative divorce attorney throughout the collaborative divorce proceedings. Although collaborative divorce is a helpful tool in many divorce proceedings, it’s not right for every divorce. Our attorneys can help you determine if collaborative divorce is right for you.

Contact Our Nevada Divorce Attorneys

Are you getting divorced? Do you think alternative dispute resolution may be right for you? Are you looking to make the most of your divorce mediation? We can help.

At Half Price Lawyers, we believe that outstanding legal representation shouldn’t cost a fortune. We can help you make the most of your mediation agreement and give you informed advice about your case. There’s no cost to call our attorneys for a free consultation. Contact us today for a confidential consultation with our team of friendly lawyers.

About the Author

Mark Coburn, Esq.

Mark Coburn is a dedicated and experienced defense attorney serving the Southern Nevada area. His passion for the law and commitment to his clients has made him one of the most prominent defense attorneys in Nevada. If you’re in need of a defense attorney, contact Mark Coburn for a free consultation on your case.