What Is the Difference Between a Collaborative Divorce and Mediation?

Aurora collaborative divorce attorney

For years, there were only two ways you could end a marriage — by settling the divorce through the use of two different attorneys or by taking the case to court to hash out the issues before a judge. In recent years, the use of alternative dispute resolution has become a more popular form of divorce, rather than the traditional litigated route. There are two main forms of alternative dispute resolution: collaboration and mediation. Both ways of divorcing allow couples to settle divorce issues on their own terms, rather than leaving them to a judge to decide. Many people have a false notion that collaborative divorce and mediation are the same thing, but they are different, and each method has its own unique benefits.

Divorce Mediation

In a mediated divorce, the couple works with a neutral party, called a mediator, who helps them make decisions about their divorce. The mediator does not have to be an attorney, but it should be a person who is trained in mediation and knows divorce and family law. The mediator should be a completely neutral third party to the divorce, and they will not advocate for either spouse. Both spouses may still need to retain their own attorneys to help them understand their rights and legal options throughout the mediation process. An attorney can also go over the divorce settlement and identify any issues that should be addressed prior to finalizing the divorce.

Divorce mediation is a good fit for couples who are able to communicate clearly with each other and work together to reach their common goal: divorce. Mediation can be beneficial to the entire family, because it offers a much more peaceful and less contentious negotiation experience than other types of divorce.

Collaborative Divorce

The basis of a collaborative divorce is that both spouses agree to settle the issues in the divorce without going to court. Both spouses have their own attorneys who are trained in collaborative law and who will provide legal advice during the collaboration process, as well as advising them on how to negotiate. Throughout the proceedings, other professionals may be utilized, such as a financial planner, a divorce coach, a child specialist, or even a forensic accountant. If spouses are unable to settle their issues during the collaboration process and have to go to court, they must both retain new attorneys.

A collaborative divorce can make sense for couples who have a lot of issues to hash out and who may not be on the best of terms, but who are willing to cooperate with each other. Collaborative divorces are good alternatives to litigated divorces, because they can actually end up creating a better end result through compromising and negotiation, rather than taking every issue to court.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

When it comes to the process of getting divorced, there is more than one route you can choose. Each type of divorce comes with various advantages, and it is important to discuss your options with a skilled Batavia divorce attorney before you move ahead with the proceedings. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you determine what the best type of divorce would be for your unique situation. To schedule a consultation, call us today at 630-409-8184.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=3804&ChapterID=59

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2012/04/24/the-four-divorce-alternatives/#5818ab6820ae

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