Maybe your neighbor has started to erect a fence on what is clearly your side of the property line. Perhaps your spouse has filed for divorce. You might even have a conflict with someone with whom you executed a business conflict.

When one person doesn’t uphold an agreement or you have a significant conflict with another party that has financial or legal implications, you might feel like the only way to resolve those issues is to go to court.

While it is true that a judge can make a decision that resolves your issue, you may be able to use alternative dispute resolution services to avoid the expense, loss of control and embarrassment that can come from going to court.

Resolving things out of court is more private

There are several kinds of conflict resolution. These include negotiation, often facilitated by attorneys, as well as mediation and arbitration, both systems that require a third party’s help.

Each of these systems has its benefits and drawbacks, but all of them can offer you more privacy than court will because what happens in a mediation session or during arbitration will not be part of the public record the way that a civil lawsuit will be.

Additionally, once a judge makes a decision, it can be very difficult to change the outcome of court proceedings. The resolution reached in mediation or arbitration might be a jumping-off point for future negotiations. Before you file paperwork to take someone to court, it might be worthwhile to discuss your situation with an attorney to see if alternative dispute resolution might help keep you out of court and more in control of the outcome.