3 reasons you want to arbitrate guardianship disputes


3 reasons why you want to arbitrate guardianship disputes

by Lee Drizin

april 2018

When the natural parents of a minor have died or become unable to care for their child, the issue of legal guardianship comes into play. Guardianship refers to a type of legal arrangement that places the minor or ward under. the care and custody of a person of good character and who has the best interests of the child in mind.

In some cases, even people who are not minors may be placed under legal guardianship, especially if they are incapacitated, mentally ill or unable to make legal decisions on their own.

While there is the option of taking a guardianship dispute to court, most legal experts will advise you to resort to mediation instead. These processes are much less adversarial and can end disputes without the need for lengthy and costly court battles.

Top reasons why you want to arbitrate guardianship disputes

  1. Reduced costs – To pay the question of legal guardianship in court, a person must hire a lawyer in order to present all their evidence and arguments correctly and effectively throughout the proceedings. Of course, individuals have the opportunity to represent their own side. However, without sufficient knowledge and legal background, it is very likely that you will misrepresent yourself. In addition, if the opposing party has a professional lawyer alongside them, your inexperience may very well be put to good use.
Aside from the cost of lawyers, there are several different fees that must be paid before you can start your lawsuit. Filing fees, service fees, witness fees and, in case you want to file an appeal, appeal fees are also necessary payments that need to be made.

Choosing to undergo mediation can be much easier on the pockets of both parties. In most cases, only the mediation fee needs to be paid, and the legal professional or lawyer hired for the case is a neutral party who simply takes on the role of a mediator to bring to light all the evidence and all arguments.

  1. Faster Dispute Resolution – Court cases can take months or even years before a decision can be made. This is because there are several different legal mechanisms that individuals can use in order to reconsider the judgment of the courts.

For example, if a party decides that they are not satisfied with the results of the first trial, they can ask a higher court to reassess their case in the form of an appeal. The courts of appeal, as expected, are very busy especially since the majority of those who lose a legal battle will often try to exercise any recourse in order to have the decision overturned in their favor.

Depending on your location, there may be up to four levels of courts that you can approach to file an appeal. Thus, in the event that the decision is overturned during the first appeal in your favor, the opposing party has the possibility of requesting another appeal to the higher court. This can be exercised until you reach the highest court authorized for your case.

For this reason, trusteeship battles can take a long time, especially when both parties continue to appeal when a decision is made for the benefit of the opposing party. Also, since there are several hundred cases waiting for a new appeal, you may have to wait several months or years before the next procedure. Additionally, you should have an experienced mediation professional to make the process as quick as possible.

Mediation, on the other hand, can take as little as two weeks to reach a decision. Indeed, they are much less adversarial, allowing parties to discuss their points of view in a more conducive environment. In addition, any information disclosed during mediation cannot be used as evidence in court, so participants feel less threatened when they voluntarily give their thoughts, opinions and arguments.

  1. Sets a positive tone – Court cases are often seen as a weapon against parties who have opinions or ideas that conflict with yours. Thus, people who choose to settle their disputes in court rarely leave on good terms.

It is assumed that when two people are arguing over the guardianship of a ward, they are relatives, friends or acquaintances. As such, taking the legal dispute to court can seriously damage these relationships and can even have consequences for the emotional and mental well-being of the service.

By mediating your guardianship dispute, you are setting the tone for your relationship with all parties going forward. Because the process can be much less adversarial, the real purpose of the dispute is brought to light – and that is the best interests of the ward or the child. This makes it easier for participants to reach a compromise, even if it sacrifices their own intentions, as the child becomes the focal point of the process.

While taking a guardianship dispute to court might be the first avenue you think of, alternatives like mediation can be much less expensive, time-consuming, and damaging. Understanding how all parties can benefit from these agreements can dramatically affect the outcome of your dispute, and can even lead to positive conclusions that benefit everyone involved.


Lee A. Drizin is the owner of the company “Drizin Law | Probate, Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts”.

For more than 30 years, lawyer Lee A. Drizin has practiced in the areas of estate planning, probate, trusts, guardianship and real estate matters. He has an exceptional track record in disputed estate management and administration and has been very successful in jury and non-jury trials. In 2003, Lee founded his law firm – “Drizin Law | Probate, Estate Planning, Wills, and Trusts”.

Lee has extensive experience in commercial and commercial real estate transactions, representing both domestic companies as well as individual buyers and sellers. He is experienced in all aspects of contracts and legal issues that may arise in the course of developing, managing, leasing or owning a property, including construction issues and contracts, commercial leases, insurance coverage and disputes with tenants. He often represents real estate licensees in mediations, arbitrations, contested hearings and trials in Clark County District Court. “

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