Divorce can be a long, costly process. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your costs and stress.
Collaborative divorce and mediation are two ways divorcing couples can work together to end their marriage and divide their assets fairly. While there are many similarities, there are a few differences between these two options.
In mediation, you and your spouse
meet with a neutral party, a mediator, who can help you come to a mutual agreement on matters such as division of assets and child custody. Your lawyer may attend these sessions with you.
Even if you are in the process of a traditional divorce, you and your spouse can request mediation at any point. In some cases, the judge may order you to participate in mediation.
In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse have four-way meetings with your lawyers. Often, these meetings include other professionals, such as family therapists and financial planners.
Collaborative divorce has more stringent requirements and restrictions than mediation. When you begin the collaborative divorce process, you, your spouse and your lawyers must sign a
participation agreement in which you agree to forego litigation. If you are unable to come to an agreement through the collaborative process and need to go to court instead, your lawyers must withdraw from the case.
Mediation and collaborative divorce are two options for couples seeking to avoid a lengthy court process. There are key differences between the two, so consider your options carefully to choose the approach that is right for your divorce.