Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: The Facts of Divorce as They Stand Today.

Chinwe Umegbolu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although inedible, mediation is similar to dark chocolate in that it has been used as far as 2000BC2 and is the subject of consistent scholarly articles through history. However, dark chocolate and Mediation they were originally from Africa before it was developed and repackaged in the west and sent back to their countries of origin. However, in recent years Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Advocates or enthusiasts and government parastatals in different jurisdictions like Nigeria were determined and eager to understand how ADR can enhance access to justice to its citizenry, this determination resulted or prompted the birth of the ADR and the Multi-door network.3
Consequently, I embrace the same commitment as exemplified above in a bid to examine the expression 'bargaining in the shadow of the law;'4 which so many researchers have written countless articles on for so many decades. It addresses the presupposed notion about the alternative way of thinking during a divorce.5 Therefore, 'bargaining in the shadow of the law' raises a pertinent question on the interface between litigation and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms; which are now at the forefront of the judicial process in both emerging6 and developed legal systems7. Thus, this first part of the article sets out to prove that the Traditional African Method (TAM) of settling the dispute was repackaged or formalised as the present-day ADR. The later sections of this article focus on family mediation and its intricacies. It went further to explore the role of lawyers, mediators, and courts in bargaining over family wealth and custody prerogatives. This article concludes by addressing the expression relating to how couples bargain concerning family wealth and custody during divorce.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe arbitrator and mediator
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2020


  • Mediation
  • Family law
  • History of Mediation
  • Family Courts
  • Family Law
  • Divorce
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution


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