What is the difference between collaborative divorce and mediation?
Regardless of the circumstances, divorce can be one of the most devastating situations an individual may face in their lifetime. The stressful toll of ending a marriage can leave one emotionally drained and unprepared for what might lie ahead.
Fortunately, not all divorces end up in bitter confrontation between opposing parties. Many reach an amicable solution either through collaborative divorce or mediation.
If you feel that your divorce will be amicable, than you might want to consider one of these two legal options. Both are similar in their approach; however, there are distinct differences.
Collaborative divorce or mediation can be cost-effective and non-confrontational when compared to the more traditional mediated or contested divorce. Although amicable collaborative divorce is more time-consuming, requiring witnesses within the process. Mediation requires only three individuals: you, your spouse, and an unbiased and experienced mediator navigating both of you through the entire process.
Unlike mediation, collaborative divorce can be more intrusive in that both attorneys will be required to thoroughly investigate all aspects of your marriage to ensure a fair and equitable outcome for both parties.
Before choosing either collaborative divorce or mediation, here are some additional factors to consider.
- Cost-effective when compared to litigation
- Unbiased and neutral mediator
- Less formal and more flexible
- Attorneys not required
- Quicker resolution time than litigation
- Both parties represented by attorneys
- “No-court” agreement signed by all parties
- Attorneys must withdraw if case goes to court
- 4-way meetings negotiated by attorneys between all parties
- Attorneys may seek expert witnesses
- Process is less formal and more flexible than litigation
- More cost-effective when compared to litigation
- Both attorneys usually agree to avoid hostile tactics
The key to choosing one of these two options is your relationship with your former spouse, especially if there are children involved.
A mediator will offer unbiased information, taking into consideration the welfare of both parties. An attorney advocates solely for his client, only concerned with securing the most favorable outcome.
Divorce, no matter how amicable, is a traumatic and expensive experience. However, it does not need to be. If you and your spouse can reach a mutual understanding on how to move forward amicably, you can avoid expensive legal fees and court costs.