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Learn About Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Options

When people think about working through a divorce, custody battle or another family law issue, they often picture a contentious courtroom battle. Thankfully, there are alternative dispute resolution options that are more amicable, less expensive and less time-intensive, which can provide parties with more satisfaction and control.

If you are interested in learning more about your ADR options in Minnesota family law cases, it’s important to work with an ADR attorney who has experience handling these types of resolutions. Our Edina ADR lawyers at Hill Crabb, LLC, have extensive experience in civil mediation and family mediation. We help parties reach peaceful and workable resolutions that serve their separate but common interests. Our firm works with individuals in Edina, the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota in mediation, child-focused mediation, early neutral evaluations and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.


Mediation is a voluntary process where a couple that is seeking a divorce or working through another family law issue works with an impartial party — the mediator — to generate their own solutions in settling their issue. The mediator cannot give legal advice, take sides or make decisions for the parties.

Instead, mediators can help parties reach agreements when they are struggling or reach an impasse. Mediators facilitate conversation and help people address issues in order to reach agreements.

Early Neutral Evaluation

In early neutral evaluation, parties work with a two-member team that may include both lawyers and mental health professionals. Both parties explain their stories and desired outcomes to the professionals.

Based on that information, the lawyers and mental health professionals suggest the resolutions they think are in line with what the court would do. The suggested resolution is not legally binding, but it gives the parties a neutral perspective that often acts to encourage the parties to reevaluate their position and seek compromise in order to reach an agreement. Early neutral evaluation provides a safe place for both parties to be genuine, open and honest.

Child-Focused Mediation

Child-focused mediation is a newer mediation option that involves a mediator and mental health professional. The mental health professional meets with the children and parents separately and then later comes together at mediation. At mediation, the mental health professional makes recommendations on custody, parenting time, and other child-related issues that are intended to promote the emotional, physical and developmental needs of the children. The mediator then facilitates conversation between the parties and mental health professionals to reach agreements that are focused on the best interests of the children.

Arbitration For Property Disputes

One of the biggest aspects of a divorce that couples fight about is the division of their personal property. However, there are ways to avoid costly litigation and come to an agreement with your spouse. Arbitration is another form of alternative dispute resolution that utilizes a neutral third-party arbitrator. Both sides will present their case and the arbitrator will issue a binding decision that both parties must abide by.

Schedule A Consultation

Regardless of your legal goals, an experienced Edina ADR lawyer can help you move through the process more quickly and efficiently without going to court. Learn more about your options by scheduling a consultation. Our lawyers at Hill Crabb, LLC, can be reached through an online contact form or by calling 612-568-5967.