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David R. Hartwig, Esq.
Family Law & Divorce
Attorney & Counselor at Law
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Alternatives To The Courtroom

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): ADR is a general term for resolving conflict, even in a lawsuit. Utah looks at ADR to supplement, not completely replace, litigation.


In mediation, both parties agree to work with a neutral party, the mediator, to come to a mutually agreeable resolution. Mediations provides:

  • A neutral space to discuss challenges and influence outcomes
  • Trained mediators who are attorneys, trained in mediation, collaborative divorce, or other methods of dispute resolution
  • Some control, as you can influence the outcome of your settlement, rather than let a judge determine the outcome
  • A better opportunity for parents to work around the best interest of a child

  • Cost-effective resolutions

Collaborative Method

Collaborative method allows each party to have a specially trained attorney, mental health professional or other specialist work on behalf of each party using cooperative strategies to reach agreement in resolving their issues. I am trained in collaborative divorce.


Arbitration is something between a trial and a mediation in which an arbitrator hears testimony, reviews evidence and makes a decision. The process is faster than a trial.

Changing Family Law Orders Prior To Court

In post-divorce disputes, including custody and parent-time orders, the orders specify that you need to attempt mediation before filing for changes.

  • Custody orders: Before petitioning to modify any child custody order, you and your ex-spouse can work to resolve the issues, if such is possible. In any event, once a petition is filed the court will require you to attempt mediation. If you have already attempted mediation, the court may accept that attempt.
  • Child support: Whether you are seeking help in enforcement or circumstances have changed enough to modify an old agreement, I can help you to negotiate a viable child support agreement based on your current financial situations. If the mediation fails, then you have the option to go to court and seek orders changing support.
  • Alimony or spousal support: As time goes on, your and your former spouse’s financial situations may change, warranting an adjustment in alimony. As in child support, your divorce order may require you to attempt mediation prior to filing any court action. If so, then we can see if a settlement can be reached; and if not, then we are ready to take the case to court.

Sometimes the changes that have occurred require an immediate filing of a petition to modify an order to preserve your rights. You need to check with an attorney experienced in modifying orders before agreeing to an ADR before filing a petition.

Is Mediation Really An Option?

Divorce mediation may be a suitable option for you. I have experience handling divorce mediations and alternative dispute resolutions so I understand how the process works and can guide you through your specific case.

Exploring your options and understanding how these options will impact your future are a vital part of the process. I provide personal and honest advice when it comes to your situation, so you can make an informed and educated decision.

Contact Me To Discuss Your Situation

I will answer your questions and discuss your options during all stages of the divorce process. Call me at 801-833-0822 or send me an email to schedule an appointment.