If you have been researching alternatives to scorched-earth litigation to end your marriage, you likely have read about mediation and collaborative divorce. And you may be confused about the differences between then. Hopefully the following information will help you understand the differences.
- A mediator, who may be an attorney or not, is a neutral party who will help you and your spouse negotiate
- Neither you nor your spouse are required to have an attorney
- You may add neutral experts to the process, such as a CPA, if needed
- The mediator will not make any decisions for you
- Mediation is flexible, allowing you and your spouse to control the timing of the mediation sessions
- Mediation can offer creative solutions to your issues
- Mediation is usually faster than litigation
- Mediation is usually less expensive than litigation
- The mediator cannot draft the legal documents required for you and your spouse to file in court to obtain your marriage termination
- You and your spouse each have collaborative attorney. The attorneys provide legal information and guidance through the process
- There is a neutral coach and financial professional who are part of your collaborative team to help with communication and financial information. The collaborative team help with any power imbalance between the parties so that both parties will be heard during the process.
- If you have children, the coach will help you and your spouse develop a parenting plan specifically for your family.
- Collaborative divorce is non-adversarial. Instead, the focus is on the interests, goals, cares and concerns of you and your spouse.
- Collaborative divorce is flexible, allowing you and your spouse to control the timing of the collaborative team meetings
- Collaborative divorce can offer creative solutions to your issues, utilizing the experience of the collaborative team to offer ideas
- Collaborative divorce is usually faster than litigation
- Collaborative divorce is usually less expensive than litigation
- Our local group, the Central Ohio Academy of Collaborative Divorce Professionals (winwindivorce.org), has protocols that the members follow to ensure similar structure to collaborative cases involving our members.
- The members of the Central Ohio Academy of Collaborative Divorce Professionals have had training in collaborative divorce
- The collaborative attorneys will share the responsibility for drafting the documents required to be filed with the court, ensure everything is filed properly, and schedule and attend the required final hearing with the judge
Both Mediation and Collaborative Divorce offer pros and cons. To discuss which process may be best for you and your family contact the lawyers at Buck & Fish Ltd. today to schedule a consultation.