Home Alternative Dispute Resolution ABEDIN AND WEINER’S PRIVATE DIVORCE: SETTLING MATRIMONIAL MATTER OUTSIDE OF COURT

ABEDIN AND WEINER’S PRIVATE DIVORCE: SETTLING MATRIMONIAL MATTER OUTSIDE OF COURT

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Abedin and Weiner are no strangers to media exposure, but they’ve probably had enough! And so, it’s no wonder that they want to resolve things privately!

Abedin filed for divorce back in 2017, following Weiner’s guilty plea for ‘sexting’ a minor. Weiner is presently serving a 21-month prison sentence.

The parties had a divorce hearing scheduled for Wednesday this week, but instead, they submitted documents nixing their entire case.

Abedin’s lawyer has revealed to TMZ that, “in order to reduce any impact of these proceedings on their child, the parties have decided to reach a settlement swiftly and privately.”

When parties opt to settle their matrimonial matter outside of court they often opt into what is referred to as an “alternative dispute resolution” process (commonly referred to as an “ADR” process). Generally speaking, the most common forms of ADR in family law are: mediation, arbitration, and collaborative family law.

Mediation is a process in which the parties appoint a mutually agreed upon third-party neutral (‘the mediator’) to assist them in attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. Mediations are usually confidential and operate on a without prejudice basis. Mediators do not make decisions for the parties, and the parties are able to terminate the mediation process at any time.

Arbitration on the other hand more closely resembles an actual trial, whereby the impartial arbitrator applies the relevant law to resolve the parties’ issues. Similar to mediation though, the parties mutually agree upon an ‘arbitrator’; but unlike in mediation, an arbitrator has the power to make decisions, and these decisions (also referred to as ‘arbitral awards’) are binding.

Collaborative Family Law is a newer form of ADR, in which the parties and their collaborative lawyers work together to resolve the issues. In order to use this type of ADR, the parties are required to retain lawyers that are qualified to act for clients in the Collaborative Family Law process. Prior to engaging in the Collaborative Family Law process, the parties are required to sign an agreement – that which specifically provides that if the parties’ collaborative negotiations prove to be unsuccessful and if they then choose to go to court, neither of their collaborative lawyers will be able to continue to act on their behalf. A “bonus” to opting for this process is that parties can involve the services of other collaborative professionals (such as parenting coordinators, financial advisors, and mental health professionals) into their process.

Generally, ADR processes are preferred over court because they provide parties with more control and choice over how their matter is dealt with and negotiated, and the processes can be cheaper and faster. That being said, the above-mentioned ADR processes are not for everyone, and may not be suitable for certain parties and/or certain matters.

It’ll be interesting to see how Abedin and Weiner deal with their matrimonial issues outside of court; and whether they opt for one of the ADR processes mentioned above!

Andrew Feldstein The Feldstein Family Law Group (FFLG) is one the largest family law firms that practices Family Law exclusively in Greater Toronto, with 10 lawyers and counting. The boutique law firm has won the Top Choice Award for Family Law™ in Toronto for the past eleven years (2007 to 2017 inclusive). Managing Partner Andrew Feldstein has been practicing family law for more than 20 years and frequently comments on Family Law issues through the media. The Feldstein Family Law Group offers vast written, video, and media resources on its website to those who find that they need to end their relationship.

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