If you and your spouse have decided to move forward with the process of filing for divorce, you are most likely curious to learn about your various options. Two options that keep you out of court include collaborative divorce and mediation. Both methods are considered amicable divorce alternatives that could help you resolve your divorce issues outside of the courtroom without the need for litigation. Today, we review the main differences between mediation and collaborative divorce, including what benefits each method offers.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution where an independent, neutral third party, or mediator, assists two individuals in reaching a mutually satisfactory settlement. This process is voluntary and allows each spouse to openly share their concerns, issues, and point of view. As such, you and your spouse are in complete control over the decision-making process of this method of dispute resolution. Your mediator is there to facilitate and help guide you to a resolution.
Benefits of Mediation
- Less expensive
Mediation can be a very cost-effective alternative to a litigated divorce as you will not need to pay court fees or additional attorney fees.
- Flexible approach
Mediation allows you and your spouse to come to your own resolution. You have more flexibility to decide how you would like to resolve your divorce issues, which can be an advantage if you want more control over these types of decisions.
Mediation can be more effective than other forms of alternative dispute resolution as it allows both spouses to express their points of view. Couples that reach an agreement through mediation may also be more effective co-parents in the future as they can work together.
What Is Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative divorce is a voluntary legal process that assists couples who want to dissolve their marriage with the assistance of collaborative professionals to achieve a settlement each spouse finds satisfying. This method is an alternative to litigated divorce and can be used to open conversations up about child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division.
The Benefits of Collaborative Divorce
The benefits of collaborative divorce include but are not limited to the following:
- Less expensive
Collaborative divorce keeps you out of the courtroom, so you will avoid court fees as well as the additional fee of needing to hire an attorney to represent you in a litigated divorce. As a collaborative divorce team consists of seasoned professionals, you may also be able to resolve your divorce issues faster than you would during litigation and mediation, saving time and money.
- Obtain the help of experienced professionals
During a collaborative divorce, you will seek the services of an entire professional team. This may include a lawyer, financial advisor, life coach, and psychologist, who are all dedicated to helping you reach the most favorable divorce agreement possible. This would be a great benefit for an individual who would like additional support and advice during the transition from married to divorced.
- Avoid litigation
Going to court to resolve your divorce issues can be emotionally taxing as well as expensive. Instead of wasting time and money, you can resolve your differences with the help of your collaborative divorce team.
- Maintain the best interests of the child(ren)
The collaborative divorce process focuses on keeping the best interests of your child(ren) first.
The Main Differences Between Mediation and Collaborative Divorce
While both collaborative divorce and mediation have their advantages, they do differ in various ways. The main differences between mediation and collaborative divorce include but are not limited to the following:
- Collaborative divorce allows both sides to hire and work with an attorney
- In collaborative divorce, you receive support and advice from a team of seasoned professionals, not just a mediator
- Collaborative divorce provides you peace of mind if you are not familiar with laws as they relate to divorce, child custody, spousal support, and equitable distribution in your state
- Mediation is, generally, less expensive as attorney fees are not involved
- Mediation offers more flexibility and control
- Mediation is most cost-effective and effective
- Mediation offers more peace of mind if you would like to resolve your differences with your spouse without the assistance of an attorney
Consult with an Experienced Attorney from Our Firm Today
For couples looking to keep their divorce amicable, mediation and collaborative divorce are great options. If you are looking to pursue either method, it would be beneficial to consult with an experienced attorney to learn more about how each process would work with your unique situation. At Myers Family Law, we are passionate about helping our clients work through tough family law matters with care and compassion. When you feel ready, we are happy to help you get started on your divorce case.
Contact us online or give us a call at 916-634-0067 to learn more about our divorce services. We offer a low-cost, 30-minute consultation option for your convenience.