It is often said that the law makes getting married too easy and getting divorced too difficult. Without a doubt, the emotional aspects associated with both can be overwhelming. While the law provides that only a court may enter a decree dissolving a marriage, it leaves to the parties the choice of what process they want to use to obtain that decree. There are essentially two options. Judge Solomon has extensive experience with both.
One option is the court process. Courts provide valuable resources and services to help resolve cases through agreement. They are provided, for the most part, without charge to the parties, but their availability is limited by the increasing demands of tens of thousands of new filings coming into Connecticut’s family courts each year. As a result, there can be delays in gaining access to these resources and services and, once accessed, limitations on the amount of time that can be dedicated to each case. When the resources and services of the court fail to produce an agreement, the matter can only be resolved by a trial before the court. Having presided over countless family cases, Judge Solomon frequently observed that when parties take their case to trial, the process of getting divorced indeed becomes difficult – emotionally draining, fraught with delay and an uncertain outcome, and increasingly expensive.
There is an alternative process, aptly named alternative dispute resolution (commonly referred to as ADR). If the parties are looking for assistance to reach an agreement, their ADR option is mediation and Judge Solomon, having extensive experience in mediating family cases, will work with counsel and the parties, on their terms, to resolve the matter. On the other hand, if the parties do not feel that reaching an agreement is likely and are looking for someone to decide the issues, then their ADR option is arbitration. Judge Solomon, having presided over many family court trials while on the bench, will serve as the arbitrator and will decide the issues as presented by counsel and the parties in accordance with the process that they establish. Rather than having to adapt to the protocols and procedures imposed by the court process, parties opting for ADR decide what issues they want to present, when and where they are to be presented and how the matter is to be heard. The parties have greater control of the timing, civility, confidentiality, outcome and expense of the process. They come away knowing that there is a significantly greater likelihood of compliance with decisions made in a process they have created than would otherwise be the case with orders that have been entered by a court after a protracted trial. Simply stated, ADR gives the parties more control over the process and their future.