A Peaceful Future Is A Gift

The difference between mediation and a collaborative divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2024 | Divorce |

Divorce doesn’t need to be a dramatic situation filled with emotional outbursts and yelling. It can simply be two people realizing they have drifted apart and deciding to part ways peacefully and respectfully.

Two common phrases heard when discussing peaceful divorce are ‘mediation’ and ‘collaboration’. While you may hear them used interchangeably, they are actually referring to two separate things.

A better way to divorce

Collaboration and mediation are both types of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that aim to reduce conflict and help divorcing spouses reach a mutually agreeable solution. However, there are some key differences between the two.

With divorce mediation, a neutral third party helps the couple with negotiating the terms of their divorce. This person does not make decisions for the couple and cannot provide legal advice. Instead, they facilitate conversations and help both parties reach agreements on various issues, including child custody and property division. The mediator ensures that each person has an equal say and that discussions remain productive and respectful.

A collaborative divorce also aims to negotiate and agree on the divorce terms without court intercession. It’s different from mediation in that each spouse has their own attorney trained in collaborative law, and all parties sign a participation agreement to commit to finding a solution without litigation. If the process fails and the couple goes to court, both attorneys must withdraw from the case, and the couple will need to hire new ones.

Mediation and collaborative divorces are typically less expensive and time-consuming than traditional divorces, but because the collaborative process involves two attorneys, it can be more costly than mediation.

Other professionals, such as financial advisors, therapists and social workers, often take part in a collaborative divorce. While experts can still be consulted in mediation, it’s usually not part of the process.

Choosing between mediation and collaborative divorce depends on your specific situation and needs. Both methods have the same goal of a peaceful resolution.