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Dispute Resolution: The Lawyer as Problem Solver

In a world with inconsistent treatment of same-sex relationships, Dispute Resolution becomes a critical part of any couple’s journey toward a successful dissolution. Dispute Resolution refers to any type of resolution reached outside of a courtroom setting. Because many of our relationships fall outside the protections of the court, we are forced to resolve issues such as property distribution, child care, custody, visitation and support (if there are children in the picture), spousal or partner support and tax matters in a private agreement between the parties.

Clients come to lawyers for help in making deals and resolving disputes. Often, lawyers who are trained only to litigate will miss opportunities to compromise or agree when it would best serve their clients.


To become effective problem solvers, contemporary lawyers need to be trained as negotiators, mediators, and arbitrators. These methods, together called Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), have become more important and more sophisticated in recent years. Lawyers can help clients identify their goals and can assist in the search for imaginative solutions that “make the pie bigger,” allowing clients to achieve their primary objectives efficiently.

Dispute resolution can be used in a wide variety of situations as a very effective method to address matters that involve strong emotions and competing interests. Using dispute resolution before the conflict has escalated can be helpful and very successful even when people get stuck in complicated and intractable conflict.

If you have a specific questions about Dispute Resolution, please email Anthony@TimeForFamilies.com.