When you and your spouse decide to divorce, you may want to approach your divorce in a different way. Maybe you both want to avoid your divorce becoming a battlefield, where you each fight to get an outcome you want and spend a lot in legal fees. Maybe you are parents and want to divorce amicably, so you are in a better position to co-parent well. You might be considering alternatives to a traditional divorce but are unsure what direction to take. Should you pursue divorce mediation or a collaborative divorce? What are the differences between these anyway?
In divorce mediation, a couple works with a neutral third-party mediator to settle their divorce. The mediator will listen to the issues a couple seeks to resolve in their divorce and offer possible solutions. Both members of the couple may consult with their attorneys before accepting a mediator’s recommendations and often will come to a resolution they agree on for dividing their assets or settling their child custody arrangement.
Through divorce mediation, couples save time and money because they are settling their divorce outside of court. Plus, they can keep their divorce settlement private because divorce mediation isn’t a public process.
In collaborative divorce, couples meet together with their attorneys to work out the details of their divorce. They don’t use a mediator, but instead work through the issues of their divorce settlement between themselves and their attorneys. Often, couples agree beforehand that their attorneys will no longer represent them if they can’t come to a divorce settlement through collaborative divorce.
Collaborative divorce has many of the same advantages as divorce mediation:
- Couples can more quickly settle their divorce.
- Couples don’t have to spend as much money to settle their divorce.
- Couples can come to a divorce settlement that works best for both of them.
- Couples with children can maintain a better relationship by reducing conflict in divorce and learn to work together in making decisions for their children.
If you want to seek an uncontested divorce, where you and your spouse split amicably, divorce meditation or collaborative divorce may be the right choice for you. You can decide to take a better path in divorce, one with more dignity and respect for your spouse and your children’s well-being.