If you have decided to end your marriage, you and your spouse will have
a few options that will help you peacefully unlink your lives through
methods that will not cost you nearly as much as
divorce litigation would. Two of these options are mediation and collaborative
divorce. Although both are based on the power of negotiation, they are
not identical. What is the difference and how would you know which is
right for you? The best way to know if you are opting for the right approach
is to discuss your case with an attorney who is experienced in handling
Here is an overview of mediation and collaborative divorce, which can help
you better understand their differences:
Divorce mediation: The mediation process is a type of alternative dispute resolution that
is moderated by a neutral third party, referred to as a mediator. The
mediator will essentially help facilitate negotiations between both parties,
so they can ultimately achieve a settlement they can agree upon. Although
it is not required for either party to have an attorney, they can hire
one if they choose to. If you choose to have an attorney assist you throughout
the mediation process, he or she can advise you on the fairness of the
agreement. The mediator, on the other hand, will not advise either you
or your spouse since he or she cannot advocate for one party. If you and
your spouse get involved in a heated argument and negotiations get derailed,
the mediator will refocus your attention to the task at hand.
Collaborative divorce: A collaborative divorce is also a type of alternative dispute resolution.
However, unlike mediation, attorneys are not optional for this process.
Each spouse must hire their own respective collaborative divorce attorney
who is trained in handling such divorces. You will not have a neutral
third party to guide negotiations. Instead, your respective attorneys
will represent your interests and work toward achieving a favorable outcome.
Unlike litigation, which is more adversarial, attorneys trained in collaborative
divorce are dedicated to cooperating and negotiating key divorce issues.
If unsuccessful, both collaborative divorce attorney will have to excuse
themselves from representing their clients.
Both of these methods generally take far less time and cost less than divorce
litigation since you will not have to go through the discovery process
or subject yourself to the court’s packed schedule. It might not
be easy to imagine peaceful negotiations with your spouse, but it is often
in the best interests of both parties. Why leave the outcome of your divorce
up to a judge when you can work on customizing one together?
Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today!
Whether you opt for a
collaborative divorce or
mediation, the legal team at the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny is prepared to assist
you. With over three decades of experience on our side, you can be confident
in our ability to guide you through either process and ensure you obtain
a settlement that addresses your needs and goals.
Call us today at (713) 936-2300 to request a confidential case review!