If you are considering divorce, both you and your spouse may have deep concerns about how your legal separation may play out in court, especially if you have young children.
From steep costs and unforgiving court deadlines to intense psychological stress, a litigated divorce may impact your financial and emotional wellbeing for years to come. Worse, if your divorce goes to court, a judge may be the one making life-changing decisions ranging from property division to custody and visitation.
Mediated and collaborative divorce offer two alternatives that may help you and your spouse to navigate your separation on your own terms.
What is divorce mediation?
During divorce mediation, you and your spouse may attend a series of confidential discussion sessions with a trained family law mediator. Your mediator acts as a neutral third party who can help facilitate healthy communication, pinpoint your priorities and negotiate creative solutions that may not be possible in court.
How is collaboration different?
You and your spouse may feel more comfortable negotiating out of court with the aid of legal counsel. Collaborative divorce is similar to mediation in that both sides agree to work together to find mutually acceptable solutions rather than litigate. However, during collaboration, both you and your future ex may retain a personal attorney.
Both mediation and collaboration require the ability to compromise and move past emotional conflicts. However, if you and your spouse can agree to negotiate, either of these alternatives may help you to minimize costs and emotional trauma while maintaining control over the final outcome.