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Volume20
Year2012
TitleThe Advantages of ADR Over Litigation with Regard to Alimony
Author(s)Jarvis Lagman
First Page179
AbstractIn California, two countervailing policies predominate in the determination of the duration and amount of an alimony award: (1) the supported spouse is supposed to become self-supporting; (2) the purpose of support is to maintain the marital standard of living. These dueling purposes typically represent the opposing positions held by divorcing spouses. We often find the supported spouse worrying about short-term financial viability while the supporting spouse is expressing concern over having to pay support indefinitely. Spouses can elect to deal with these concerns through adversarial litigation or through mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. Litigation continues as a powerful option for resolving disputes over post-divorce support that, by their inherently vitriolic nature, cannot be resolved without the involvement of the State. However, mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution provide reasonable parties with the broadest array of options to tailor post-divorce support to the circumstances of their particular situation.