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Consensual Dispute Resolution

31January
2011

Would it be more accurate to use the term Consensual Dispute Resolution “CDR” as a replacement for Alternative Dispute Resolution “ADR”? It was recently reported in Family mediation News, the Quarterly newsletter of the Family Section of the Association for Conflict Resolution, that many family law attorneys and dispute resolution professionals in California advocate replacing ADR with CDR to more accurately describe the process. There is a concern that use of the word “alternative” can have a negative connotation by giving the impression that it is not conventional and may be less than the original. There is also a concern that continued use of the term “alternative” perpetuates a misconception among the public that settlement of family disputes is not normal and should not be expected of the parties. It is believed that “Consensual Dispute Resolution” clarifies that the process involves mutual agreement, and will enable the parties to be better prepared to enter into the process.


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