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Definition of Conciliation

Conciliation is another type of alternative dispute resolution. Similar to mediation, although it can be less formal, conciliation will allow a mediator or third party to explore a resolution to the dispute. Conciliation differs with mediation in that the mediators generally choose not to express their opinion while a conciliator will review each position and provide a case evaluation, advising the parties as to what a judge may decide after hearing the same issues presented in court.

Consider, however, unlike arbitration, which is another type of dispute resolution strategy, the conciliation does not provide the parties a binding solution, only recommendations. The conciliator is basically trying to help each party understand their options and steps which may allow them to move towards a resolution and avoid a court date.

Experts suggest mediation may work best for couples who intend to agree or who are discussing their options and need advice on how the courts may handle certain issues but who do not have a high degree of conflict. Couples in a high conflict situation may benefit best from conciliation because the conciliator can provide encouragement on how to proceed.

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