What are Multi-Door Dispute Resolution and Alternative Dispute Resolution?

By Barkat Law Firm


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A Washington, D.C. domestic relations case that is set for trial generally follow the schedule shown in the infograph above. There may also be some additional steps to the trial process if there are any motions filed that require hearings on those motions.

Superior Court Judges will often suggest to parties that they attempt to resolve their disputes through any one of a variety of mediation programs available to litigants. Those programs include Multi-Door Dispute Resolution and Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Multi-Door Dispute Resolution is a voluntary program offered through the District of Columbia Superior Court. The program is meant to assist those individuals who may be better served by resolving their differences through mediation rather than through trial.

Family law mediation is available through the Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division of the District of Columbia Superior Court. The mediation process is initiated when the parties contact the Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division to set up an intake interview. Following the interview mediation sessions are conducted during 2 hour sessions with the Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division.

Another program available to litigants is Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Unlike Multi-Door, the parties have to pay a fee to the mediator conducting ADR, but the fee is offered at a reduced rate if ADR is court ordered. ADR also is structured different in that the parties are generally scheduled for either two two hour blocks, or one four hour block.

Both Multi-Door and ADR can significantly reduce the time and fees associated with family law cases in D.C., and it is usually worthwhile to at least attempt some form of mediation before heading to trial.

*this post is not associated with or endorsed by the District of Columbia Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division. It is meant only to convey basic information of the program. For official information please visit their website at https://www.dcappeals.gov/internet/public/aud_mediation/mediatefamily.jsf