When discussing alternative methods to resolve your divorce, you may have heard of collaborative divorce and mediation. It is essential to understand that they are not quite the same.
Mediation requires a “mediator,” literally someone in the middle of the two parties. They aim to help you find common ground and reach an agreement with your spouse. They must be a neutral party. You do not take your attorneys into the meeting.
Collaborative divorce does not involve a neutral third party, but it is not just the two of you either. Each of you will attend the meetings with your respective attorneys. In a collaborative divorce, your lawyer can help you avoid ceding ground too easily. Bear in mind your spouse’s attorney will be doing the same for them, so reaching a satisfactory agreement may take some time. It all depends on how realistic the aims of each side and how willing they are to negotiate.
Think back to past discussions with your spouse. Who usually won? Some people are better at getting what they want than others. Perhaps your spouse always has a way of persuading you that she is right. If so, choosing a collaborative divorce rather than mediation may be wise. If you are the persuasive one, you may find mediation works for you.
Choosing the right divorce attorney is vital, as not all have experience in collaborative law or mediation. Whether you choose mediation or collaborative divorce, both should prove a more positive experience than litigation and save you time and money.