If you and your spouse have decided to divorce, you know it is time to move on with your separate lives. Unfortunately, divorce litigation is by nature antagonistic, pitting one spouse against another in a drawn-out process that can be invasive, time-consuming and expensive.
Worse, if your divorce goes to court, a judge may have the final say on life-changing issues ranging from property division to parenting time. No matter who “wins,” neither you nor your spouse may be happy with the outcome.
If you and your spouse can agree to negotiate your separation out of court, a mediated or collaborative divorce may help you to keep costs down and minimize emotional stress while maintaining control throughout the decision-making process.
What is mediation?
Divorce mediation is a voluntary, good-faith process in which you and your spouse meet with a trained third-party mediator. During sessions, your mediator acts as an impartial advisor who can help both you and your spouse identify points of conflict and explore different options for resolving them.
How is collaborative divorce different?
Mediation and collaboration are similar in that both are non-adversarial processes that allow you and your spouse to negotiate creative solutions that are mutually acceptable. Collaborative divorce differs in that discussion sessions involve you, your partner and your respective attorneys rather than an impartial mediator.
You may not be able to avoid litigation if your spouse is uncooperative or even hostile. However, if you can both at least both agree to focus on solving present problems rather than rehashing the past, either mediation or collaboration may help you build a better post-divorce life.