California residents who want to resolve their divorce in a civil manner may benefit from a collaborative divorce. Collaborative divorce uses both mediation and negotiation to allow a couple to work together in an effort to create an agreement that both sides can benefit from. In some cases, a judge will order that a couple first tries mediation or negotiation before agreeing to address the matter in court.

There are many benefits to a collaborative divorce compared to litigation such as saving time and money. Negotiations take place in an informal setting, and both sides can exchange information in a free and open manner. Individuals have greater control over how the divorce is settled as well as how to resolve any disputes that may arise after a settlement is reached.

Each side is allowed to hire an attorney to represent them during this process. However, it is important that an individual’s legal counsel is supportive of and understands the procedure. During the process, both parties to the marriage and their legal counsel meet in an effort to resolve the matter outside of court. Accountants and child custody experts may also be brought in, but they are neutral parties who are there simply to help facilitate a proper settlement.

Individuals who are going through a divorce may find that mediation is preferable to litigation. It may save time, be more cost-effective and help preserve relationships between the former spouses and parents and children. Those who are interested in mediation may wish to talk with an attorney about the process. Legal counsel may be able to explain how it works or whether an individual would benefit from choosing that method in his or her particular case.