151 South Rose Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The Gail Towne website provides topical information of a general nature. Every divorce is different.
For specific advice consult a local attorney or other professional. Our service is in no way intended to violate state
laws or local regulations regarding practice. ©
2009 Gail Towne

Not only is Gail Towne a skilled litigator, she also works with clients using alternate dispute resolution processes also available to solve legal problems. Below is a list of some of the alternative dispute resolution options also available to resolve legal issues:

1. Negotiations between disputants with and without attorneys. Gail Towne shares her experience with clients such as how to discuss and offer solutions to the other party. Because of the attorneys training and experience, they may present solutions the clients may not otherwise consider.

2. Mediation is using a non-party neutral person to help the parties negotiate resolution to problems. Gail Towne handles mediations and coaches clients. They will explain the applicable law and help define the issues for more effective results. Using a neutral third person in this ADR process helps manage feelings, provides new ideas to both parties help the parties reach a settlement.

3. Collaborative Law is an exciting new method of reaching settlements. This method requires the clients and attorneys to sign a contract that they will not enter into litigation but will continue negotiating until a settlement is reached. Not only are both parties represented by an attorney, but when appropriate, other professionals trained in collaborative law can assist in facilitating the settlement process as well, including also mental health professionals who may act as “divorce coaches” or as child advocates, third party neutral mediators and financial experts may also assist as needed too. The cost of using the collaborative law consultation process frequently is less than traditional litigation. Here, the clients have far more privacy and control over the process and the final results to resolve any legal dispute.

4. Arbitration is hiring a private judge to make decisions for the parties. By doing the choosing, the attorneys can locate someone with particular expertise and training that matches the type of dispute. Information and evidence are presented by each side before the Arbitrator can reach a decision. The process is usually more informal, shorter in time, but may be more costly than traditional litigation. The arbitrator makes the final decision. Because it is private, the parties waive their right to appeal. Arbitration is more private than tradition litigation in the public court room.

"Divorce" and "annulment" refer to the legal severing of the marriage contract. When spouses divorce, they must formally, through family court, divide up property and retirement accounts, provide for the care and support of the children and modify the right to life insurance proceeds.

"Paternity" is declaring parentage through court or equivalent procedures to be the unwed parents of a minor child. Child custody, child support, day care and medical/health insurance expenses are considered. The parents or the Court's decisions may be incorporated in a "Paternity Order."

Family Law is about the relationships of one adult to another, relationships of parent and children and sometimes the relationship of siblings. Client's problems involve marriage, divorce, paternity, contractual agreements, child custody, child support, relocation of a child, adoption, probate, elder law and estate planning. Frequently, the problem includes issues of personal property, real estate, schools, extracurricular activities, DNA testing, drug and alcohol testing, family abuse, and personal protection orders. The area is broad and frequently complicated.

Gail Towne knows clients have questions about their legal rights. Consultations are welcome. Call for a consultation appointment to work out a mutually agreeable appointment time.