New York Courts dot gov
New York StateUnified Court System

Court-Connected ADR Programs


If you are involved in a conflict or dispute, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) may be right for you.  ADR refers to a variety of out-of-court processes that resolve conflict peacefully and promote creative solutions.

About Mediation
Free or Low-Cost Mediation
Divorce and ADR
Agricultural Mediation
Mediation and Cases Already in Court
Court-Based Mediation Programs in Your Area
Attorney-Client Fee Dispute Resolution Program
Questions about ADR


About Mediation

Mediation is one of the more popular forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). 

In mediation, a person called a “mediator” helps people in a dispute to communicate with one another, to understand each other, and if possible, to reach agreements that satisfy everyone’s needs.  The mediator does not take sides or decide who was right or wrong in the past.  The mediator helps people focus on the future and make their own decisions.

Mediation often improves communication, saves people time and money, and leads to longer-lasting agreements.

Mediation can be especially effective in family, neighbor, and business conflicts or where the individuals involved want to preserve their relationship.

Mediation may not be appropriate or safe in cases involving a history or fear of domestic violence.

back to top

Free or Low-Cost Mediation

Free or low-cost mediation and other ADR services are offered through not-for-profit Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs).  CDRCs handle disputes between parents, parents and children, families and schools, landlords and tenants, neighbors, roommates, consumers and merchants, business partners, and others.

CDRCs operate in 62 New York Counties and help nearly a hundred thousand New Yorkers a year.

back to top

Divorce and ADR

If you are thinking of getting divorced, you may want to consider divorce mediation or Collaborative Family Law.

These alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes often reduce the stress, trauma, and expense of divorce on children and families.  

If you live in New York City, you may be eligible for a limited number of free or reduced-fee divorce mediation or collaborative family law sessions.  Please note that these processes are not appropriate in cases involving domestic violence, child abuse, or where one spouse cannot locate the other.  For more information, send an email to collablaw@courts.state.ny.us.

If you already have a divorce case in court, and you and your spouse need help to resolve a parenting dispute (custody and visitation), you may ask to be referred to a free, court-employed, mental health professional. These staff professionals -- sometimes referred to as Family Counseling and Case Analysts or social workers -- may be able to help you and your spouse reach agreement on parenting issues. They can also connect you with other community resources as well.

You may also ask court staff for referral to a reduced-fee, Court-Connected Mediation Program, if one is available in your county.

back to top

Agricultural Mediation

For disputes or problems related to farming or agriculture, or if you are a farmer, contact the New York State Agricultural Mediation Program.

back to top

Mediation and Cases in Court

If you have a case already in court, you may want to discuss mediation and other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) options with your lawyer.  If you need help finding a lawyer, you may want to visit CourtHelp or call your local bar association.

If you don't have a lawyer and you are interested in resolving your dispute through mediation, ask court staff for a referral. Free or reduced-fee mediation services may be available in the courthouse where you have a case or through your local CDRC.

back to top

Court-Based Mediation Programs in Your Area

Learn more about
court-based mediation programs in your area
New York City
(Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island)

Outside New York City

 

back to top

Attorney-Client Fee Dispute Resolution Program

If you are having a dispute with your lawyer over fees, court rules allow clients to resolve their disputes through arbitration. To learn more, visit the Attorney-Client Fee Dispute Resolution Program.

back to top

Questions about ADR?

If you have a question about ADR, contact ADR staff.