Alternative Dispute Resolution



Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) offers families in contested dissolution of marriages (divorce), motions to modify previous orders, or paternity actions, options to the litigation process. Mediation allows disputing parties the ability to maintain control over the time and expense required for the court to process each case by coming to an agreement by meeting with an impartial third person. If parties are able to reach a full or partial agreement with the aid of a neutral mediator prior to their scheduled court date, the agreement can be accepted by a Family Court Commissioner and the dispute is considered settled.

Prior to participating in mediation, litigants should attend the court-mandated ADR class, "Dispute Resolution and the Family Court". The two-hour class discusses the family court process and available options.


Dispute Resolution and the Family Court class


The court mandated class provides detailed information regarding the Family Court process as well as alternatives to litigation. During the first hour, disputes and resolutions, family court events, court time expectations and fees and other court related information is provided. In the second hour alternatives to court and mediation are discussed. The mediation process along with what to expect in and from mediation is discussed in depth.

The class is held 2-3 times a month at Burrell Behavioral Health from 5:30-7:30 PM. Dates vary for the two-hour class, but are typically on a Tuesday (5:30 PM to 7:30 PM). If you need to reschedule for a legitimate reason, you may do so by contacting Domestic Relations Officer Becky Cliffton at (417) 829-6557.

There is no charge for the class for the first scheduling. Additionally, children are not allowed to attend and childcare is not provided.


Directions


Burrell Behavioral Health-Children'sTheater
1300 Bradford Parkway
Springfield, MO 65804

The class meets in the Children's Theater, which is located in the Youth Services Building of the Burrell Campus. From South National Avenue, (by Cox South Hospital) turn east onto Primrose and then south into the Burrell Campus. Please follow the Youth Services signs to the lower building and enter by the bronze statues.

Do not contact Burrell regarding this class. They have no information and simply let us use their building.


ADR Local Court Rule


The Greene County Court En Banc approved Local Rule 68.9A that authorizes an Alternative Dispute Resolution Program. The rule states: "In every contested family law case, except a Family Access Motion, the parties shall attend a court-approved educational session to educate the parties on the availability and potential advantages of alternative dispute resolution". For good cause, the Court may waive the requirements of this rule upon the application of any party.

Resources



Becky Cliffton Hopkins, MS & Michael Metz, MS, LPC