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Law

Collaborative Divorce vs. Mediation: What’s the Difference?

About 50% of marriages in the US end in divorce or separation. But, divorce doesn’t need to be the nasty, bitter argument that society has stereotypically made it out to be.

Aside from litigation, collaborative divorce and mediation are alternative options that take place outside of court. Instead, a couple can end their marriage through negotiations.

But what is the difference between collaborative divorce vs. mediation? This article will teach you everything you need to know.

Collaborative Divorce vs. Mediation

Collaborative law is a voluntary process that allows parties to have a fair settlement. The parties sign a contract called a participation agreement to complete the legal aspects of divorce without going to court.

The focus is on finding a solution. That means each person must be willing to accommodate their partner, not just themself. In a collaborative divorce, the clients do most of the talking.

This type of divorce is good for couples who can communicate clearly and need to continue communication in the future. For example, couples with children benefit from collaborative divorce.

On the other hand, divorce mediation is when a third-party mediator guides a couple to resolve their divorce issues. These include alimony, child custody, and property distribution. Here, the focus is on the outcome.

In mediation, the lawyers or mediators do most of the talking. Thus, divorce mediation is more closely aligned with litigation than collaborative divorce.

One of the most significant differences between collaborative divorce and mediation is that the law requires you to have a divorce lawyer present during a collaborative divorce. Thus, each spouse obtains a collaborative divorce attorney to represent them in the proceedings.

If the process fails, each collaborative divorce lawyer must withdraw from the case.

In mediation, a lawyer doesn’t need to be present. A family law attorney can be the mediator, but the law does not require it. If the process fails, the attorney can stay on the case and take you through litigation.

How Long Do They Take?

When discussing collaborative divorce vs. mediation, neither option is shorter than the other. They both need a set of meetings that can last weeks or months, depending on how complex the issues are. Additionally, any divorce needs a lead-in time to collect facts, documents, and a case summary.

The lead-in time and emotional readiness of the couple can prolong a divorce no matter which method they use.

Furthermore, if there are disagreements and the couple cannot settle, the divorce will take longer. Litigation will delay the process further.

Get Help with Divorce Today 

Now you understand the differences when discussing collaborative divorce vs. mediation. Avoiding litigation is beneficial for many couples seeking a divorce. Although divorce is never an easy topic to talk about, you must choose the best divorce method for you and your family.

If you found this article helpful, make sure to check out more in the Law section under General News.

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