Collaborative Divorce vs. Mediation?

The end of a marriage is never easy. However, even though divorce has many negative connotations, it can be an excellent opportunity for you and your family to rebuild your life and move towards a brighter future. Ending your marriage does not need to be full of contempt and challenges.

In fact, by choosing a collaborative divorce or mediation, you might save yourself time, money, and much of the hassles associated with more complex divorces. Learn more about these methods so you can determine whether these options are a good fit for your needs.

What is a Collaborative Divorce?

One of the top options to avoid a complex divorce process is working with your spouse throughout a collaborative divorce. Here, you will work with your attorneys and soon-to-be ex to dissolve your marriage equitably. This includes all the elements associated with a divorce settlement, including:

  • Child custody
  • Child Support
  • Alimony (temporary or permanent)
  • Division of marital property and assets

You will have the opportunity to meet with your divorce attorney first to review your specific needs, what you hope to achieve through the divorce settlement, and points you are unwilling to give way on.

It would be best to discuss what you are willing to negotiate, what you think your spouse will have issues with, and any other potential problems you might expect to encounter as you begin to work out the terms of your divorce.

The Collaborative Divorce Process

There are specific steps to start your collaborative divorce. First, you need to hire your divorce lawyer. Your spouse must also hire a divorce attorney to negotiate the terms of your divorce settlement. Each of your respective attorneys will be responsible for advocating for your best interest throughout the collaborative divorce process.

Next, you will meet with your spouse and their attorney to negotiate the details of your divorce settlement. It would be best if you were prepared to discuss your child custody arrangement, whether your spouse will pay or receive child support, how your marital property and assets will be distributed, and whether one spouse will be paid alimony on a temporary or permanent basis.

Instead of arguing about these matters in court, the purpose of a collaborative divorce is to cooperate with your spouse to avoid creating a contentious divorce negotiation. If you and your spouse are having difficulties settling your divorce, you might want to call expert witnesses to help you further negotiate these details.

However, if you cannot resolve your divorce collaboratively, you may need to hire a new attorney to advocate for you in court. If you and your spouse can work out the terms of your divorce settlement, you will reach an agreement, and your attorneys will then get your divorce dissolution finalized by the family court judge.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is another method to settle your divorce outside of court. Instead of each spouse retaining their divorce attorney, you can hire a neutral third party, the mediator, to advocate for everyone’s best interests.

The mediator will listen to everyone’s needs and desires, then offer helpful suggestions to reach a settlement. Mediation is available for all matters associated with a divorce settlement, including marital property distribution, child custody and support, and alimony.

Suppose you can reach an agreement to resolve your divorce through mediation. In that case, the mediator can then draft what is known as a “memorandum of understanding” that describes the arrangement you have come to so the judge can finalize the divorce officially in court. However, if you and your spouse cannot work out the terms of your divorce and mediation, you might need to hire a divorce attorney to advocate for you in family court.

The Mediation Process

When you agree to work out your divorce settlement in mediation, you should be prepared to meet with the mediator privately before your initial session with your spouse. Mediators can speak with each spouse individually to review their needs, wants, and areas they are unwilling to negotiate.

During your mediation sessions, the mediator will not give you a legal device or make any decisions about your divorce settlement. Instead, they will help you resolve your differences so you can agree that both parties can be comfortable.

Are there Benefits to Either Method?

Both collaborative divorce and mediation have their benefits. Some of the top reasons to choose collaborative divorce and mediation include the following:

  • The ability to avoid going to trial to settle your divorce terms
  • Reducing the overall cost of your divorce
  • Avoiding the stress and hassle associated with divorce settlement issues
  • You retain power and make decisions regarding your divorce settlement without leaving them up to the judge presiding over your case
  • Mediation and collaborative divorce typically provoke less anxiety

What are the Differences Between These Methods?

Some of the disadvantages and drawbacks of mediation versus collaborative divorce include the following:

  • Mediation does not require an attorney, when having one may be helpful
  • Mediators do not offer a legal advice
  • Mediation is slightly more cost-effective than collaborative divorce

It’s critical to remember you may need an attorney if you cannot settle your divorce with collaborative divorce or mediation. Hiring a seasoned lawyer could give you an advantage, even if you choose a divorce method that doesn’t require a trial.

Why Should I Consider a Family Law Attorney?

Hiring a family law attorney to advocate for you can help you get through your divorce more quickly. The last thing you want us to spend several months or longer trying to work out the terms of your divorce settlement, or worse, having these decisions take it out of your control when you and your spouse can agree.

Whether you are considering collaborative divorce or mediation, it may be in your best interests to have a divorce attorney who can protect your interests and goals for your future.

Call Us For Help With Your Divorce Today

When you and your spouse are having trouble working out the details of your divorce, it is easy for things to become quite contentious. Fortunately, when you have an experienced divorce lawyer at Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA working for you, you do not need to go into battle to end your marriage.

Through collaborative divorce or mediation efforts, you can resolve the details of your divorce amicably and begin to move forward with your life. Contact our team for a confidential consultation today and learn whether mediation or collaborative divorce is a good option for you and your family. You can reach us through our online contact form or phone at (419) 625-7770 to schedule yours as soon as today.