Robert (Bob) Stevens has been a practicing family law attorney for more than 30 years. Bob has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) since 1993, and he is president-elect of the AAML’s South Carolina Chapter. In addition to being an attorney, he is also a Certified Family Court Mediator and a Certified AAML Matrimonial Law Arbitrator.
Admitted to practice in both South Carolina and New York State, his practice is exclusively in the area of matrimonial and family law, including:
uncontested separation and divorce matters
division and distribution of assets
complex or difficult financial issues (including interests in family or closely-held businesses or professional practices, such as medical, dental or legal practices),
custodial and visitation disputes
establishing or modifying alimony or support
Although contested litigation – with two attorneys arguing on behalf of their clients in front of a judge – is what most people think of when it comes to resolving divorce issues, litigation can be both time-consuming and expensive. Bob offers two options for alternative dispute resolution: mediation and arbitration.
In mediation, Bob acts a neutral third party; when working as a mediator, he does not advise or make any decisions for the divorcing couple, but facilitates discussions and leads them to viable settlement solutions of their divorce-related issues. The mediation process is confidential, and no part of it can be used against either party if settlement efforts are unsuccessful and the case goes to trial.
Arbitration is a voluntary process in which a divorcing couple agrees to have some or all of their legal issues resolved by an arbitrator. Like a mediator, an arbitrator is also a neutral third party; unlike a mediator, an arbitrator is empowered to make decisions for the divorcing couple – much like a judge would if the case had gone to court. When he is acting as an arbitrator, the divorcing couple agrees on which issues to submit to Bob for a decision, whether his decision will be binding or non-binding, and the manner in which the arbitration will be conducted. Arbitration is usually less formal and time-consuming than a hearing or trial.