How is Mediation Different From Collaborative Divorce?

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Going through a divorce can be expensive, and this is especially true if you have to solve all of your problems through the court. Fortunately, a Morton divorce lawyer from our firm can help you find alternative methods of dispute resolution, like mediation and collaborative divorce. Many people think that these processes are similar, but there are some key differences between the two options that you should be aware of.

What Are the Key Differences Between Mediation and Collaborative Divorce?

Mediation is when you go to a neutral third party who can help you put emotions aside and resolve disputes. The mediator is not there to provide legal advice. They also are not supposed to take sides or advocate for one person over another.

The mediator can help you identify specific issues and come to agreements on all of the important matters that need to be resolved at the end of a marriage. Then a memorandum of understanding, or MOU, is signed and that can be the basis of a marital settlement agreement.

A collaborative divorce requires you to work together, but there is no neutral party overseeing the process. Instead, you, your spouse, and your lawyers meet up and identify issues that need to be settled. Then efforts are made to come to a deal that attempts to address everyone’s needs.

Unlike mediation, collaborative divorce discussions can bring in plenty of professionals to consult on the negotiations. Either side can call in childcare experts or mental health professionals if they think that it will help them in negotiations over child custody, asset distribution, or anything else. Once an agreement is reached, the lawyers can fill out the necessary paperwork and file an uncontested divorce in court.

Is Collaborative Divorce More Expensive Than Mediation?

A collaborative divorce is often the more expensive method. This is because this dispute resolution often:

  • Requires more input from lawyers
  • Takes longer than mediation
  • Involves more professionals who could charge for their services

Still, either one of these methods is likely to be less expensive than litigation.

Do I Need a Lawyer For Either of These Methods?

We would suggest having a lawyer on your side no matter which method of dispute resolution you choose. You want someone who can answer your questions and knows how these processes work. As we mentioned, collaborative divorce often involves the lawyers of both spouses. Mediation does not usually involve a lawyer in the process, but your attorney can advise you outside of mediation sessions. An attorney can also act as a mediator in some cases.

Talk to Our Attorneys

No matter which method of dispute resolution you choose, a divorce attorney from our firm will help you fight for your best interests. Contact Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C. and schedule a consultation with our team today. We would be happy to tell you more about how we can be of assistance.

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