Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) generally refers to the use of a neutral third party to facilitate settlement of a dispute outside of a formal court of law. In Texas, a common use of ADR is as a reference to settlement procedures described in and subject to the 1987 Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures Act. A copy of the Texas ADR Act is located at www.texadr.org.
The Texas Dispute Resolution Procedures Act authorizes a court to refer a pending dispute to an ADR procedure either on the motion of a party or on the Court's own motion. Although a court can compel ADR, the results of ADR are not binding upon the parties unless agreed to by the parties. Generally, the ADR proceedings are confidential.
Mediation is a form of ADR.
Mediation is one form of Alternative Dispute Resolution. It is widely used in family law cases in Texas. Mediation is a process where the parties to a dispute meet with a neutral trained facilitator, called a "mediator", to try to resolve areas of conflict. The parties, their attorneys, if applicable, and the mediator discuss the goals of each party, the reality of each party's position and explore possible solutions.