Understanding the differences between the various divorce process options before beginning will assist foster the best atmosphere for the process to develop. Mediation and collaborative divorce both provide a procedure that places less emphasis on conflict and more emphasis on achieving the best outcome for all parties, in contrast to the conventional adversarial court process. Although collaborative and mediation divorces are both non-adversarial, it is important to take into account their distinct advantages and disadvantages when deciding which procedure is best for your divorce.
A neutral third party (the mediator) is chosen by the parties as part of the voluntary mediation process to assist the parties communicate and come to an amicable agreement. An attorney or another expert with specialized training may serve as the mediator. Even though the mediator could be a lawyer, neither party will get legal counsel from him or her. He or she will effectively tackle the many levels of the problems by using their analytical and problem-solving abilities.
The mediator’s job is to support the parties in having constructive conversations and assisting them in coming up with a suitable solution. It is the mediator’s responsibility to make sure that both parties have all the information necessary to make educated judgments before settlement discussions begin.
A formal settlement agreement is established as soon as a resolution is agreed upon. The parties’ legally enforceable contract is set out in this written agreement. Even though parties are not obligated to hire attorneys for the mediation process, it is nevertheless a good idea to do so before signing any legally binding agreements.
Attorneys with specialized training in the collaborative legal process represent the parties in a collaborative divorce. Outside of the court system, direct talks between the parties and their respective lawyers take place, sometimes with the assistance of additional specialists. Depending on the specifics, additional experts may include independent financial advisors, child, and family specialists, etc. Finding the best solution for each party and reducing the divorce’s emotional toll are the two main objectives of collaborative divorce.
This procedure is founded on well-informed, interest-based decision-making, much as mediation. The parties and their counsel agree to resolve their differences out of court. The legal representatives utilized in the collaborative process will not be allowed to represent the parties going forward in court if a solution cannot be achieved via it. This obligation encourages the parties and the lawyers to start working on a settlement from the outset of the case. In my view, the requirement that counsel must withdraw encourages settlement negotiations to begin as soon as the action is filed rather than later.
In comparison to a typical judicial environment, collaborative divorce and mediation both provide a less combative method of resolution. In both procedures, it is advantageous for the parties to make their own choices rather than relying on a third party to do so. The option as to whether to have lawyers actively engage in the process from the outset depends on personal desire. The variations between each approach may be slight. More details about the collaborative and mediation divorce procedures are available on my website.