Efficacies of Alternative Dispute Resolution with Special Focus on Matrimonial Disputes (Paper)

  • Mohak Mittal, Banasthali Vidyapith
  • August 30, 2021

Content :

“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbours to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough”.  By Abraham Lincoln
The term Alternative Dispute Resolution has been in trend in current time. Nowadays nobody wants to drag conflicts to the court and nor they wish to go for litigation, instead they are more for a harmonious out of court settlement. It is because the process of alternate resolution of dispute is more cost effective, speedy and private. But still not all legal issues could be solved through this, there are certain limitations regarding the nature of the dispute to be resolved through such alternate institutions instead of the court. On a rough opinion it could be the criminal offences or suit involving a tint of criminal law. 
But still there has been a debate going on around the world especially India, that whether such methods can be used for resolving the marital issues or conflicts. Marital conflicts though similar to civil cases or some low gravity criminal cases, but are not entirely the same and involve a much of privacy and confidentiality of a couple and a family. When such matters are taken up into court, the private relationship of the husband and the wife is peeled before the public which could hurt the feelings of the either spouse or result into more estranged relations and depreciation of the reputation of the families. It is so because the foundation of a family unit is through marriage only and such scared thing being dragged in court could be terrible. 
For such above reasons the parties may find the alternate mechanisms of dispute settlement more favourable to their circumstances and will be able to express them more openly due to absence of strangers. They even have various methods under this one head, so that the parties can decide to go for which method of settlement. These different type of instruments would be Arbitration, Mediation, Conciliation, Negotiation and Lok Adalats, which are prevalent in India. 
Also sometimes the court believes the “phase of reconciliation” i.e. the process where before going into Litigation, the court itself suggest for the alternate method so as to protect the family from breakdown. In family disputes more specifically in Matrimonial disputes, no court wants to break the peace of a family until unless they are in dire need of it. So the courts are of the opinion that if through proper application of the alternate method of resolution the dispute is dismissed, then it’s a win-win situation for both the parties and the court as it decreases the burden of the court and create harmony between the parties by amicably resolving their matter. For this there are even certain laws added in favour of application of such methods in the Indian legal framework, which helps ADR in its application for such issues.
Thus the aim of this paper is to give a crisp idea about the different types of alternate solutions of settling the disputes of matrimonial nature. It will give a brief idea of the effect of every type of instrument and its scope on such issues.