What You Need to Know about ADR, Mediation and Arbitration in Mississippi
The decision has been made. You are navigating the rough waters of a Mississippi divorce or other conflict in your family. The thought of darkening the terrifyingly unpredictable doors of a courtroom has you a little freaked out. Maybe someone is itching for a fight, but you lack the time, money, or nerve to put yourself or your children through an intensely contested trial.
The good news is that you are unlikely to ever see the parking lot of the courthouse, let alone the inside of a courtroom. Research and experience shows approximately 95% of divorce actions settle out of Court. How, you may ask? Through Alternative Dispute Resolution, otherwise known as ADR.
There is a cool story in Buddhist teachings about Buddha having tea with Mara. On the eve of the Buddha’s enlightenment, Mara, who is lord of death and symbolizes evil in the world, attempted to challenge him while Buddha was meditating under a tree. Buddha simply sat with his legs crossed as Mara sent his beautiful daughters to seduce him, demons to attack, and as he offered worldly riches to distract him from his path. Unflinchingly, the Buddha remained in deep meditation. Every time Mara would present a challenge, it would dissolve into flower petals. By daybreak, there were mounds of jasmine blossoms by the Buddha’s feet.
Mara did not relent. The dragon-resembling demon would appear at different times in the Buddha’s life. Once when he was teaching, Mara sulked along the edges of the students, plotting to strike. Buddha’s trusted companion was panicked and attempted to alert the teacher about the demon’s presence. The Buddha very calmly addressed Mara.
I see you, Mara. Come, let’s have tea.
This is a metaphor for how we can confront our life challenges. Divorce and family law situations are no different. ADR are the mechanism for resolving a legal action outside of a courtroom, like inviting a dragon to tea.
Abraham Lincoln said we should discourage litigation and persuade our neighbors to compromise whenever we can. Point out how the nominal winner is often the real loser — in fees, and expenses, and waste of time. He went on to say “As a peace-maker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.”
For the purposes of a Mississippi divorce, or any other family law crisis, this is typically achieved in one of the following four ways: