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Choosing the right method: Collaborative divorce vs. mediation

If you are contemplating divorce, you and your spouse may be thinking about your options, such as how to avoid litigation and whether you should pursue mediation or collaborative divorce. Both approaches have their respective advantages and disadvantages, so the method you choose should depend on your unique circumstances. Here is some information intended to help you make the right choice for you and to distinguish between the collaborative approach and mediation.

What is collaborative divorce?

In a collaborative divorce, lawyers will represent you and your spouse. The attorneys and both spouses will need to sign a "no court" agreement, which means the attorneys will need to withdraw if an agreement cannot be reached and the case ends up going to court. The collaborative process involves four-way meetings between the two spouses and the two attorneys. In some cases, the attorneys will recommend hiring collaborative professionals. A collaborative divorce is also flexible and informal. Compared to litigation, a collaborative divorce is more efficient and less expensive.

What is mediation divorce?

As you may have guessed, a mediated divorce agreement will involve a neutral third party as the mediator. While a mediator will not have the ability to make any binding decisions, he or she will help you and your spouse negotiate. The main characteristics of mediation are the informality, flexibility and efficiency. You will not be obligated to hire an attorney or another adviser to help you with the divorce process. However, many couples who go through mediation choose to hire a lawyer to help protect their interests and offer guidance. Divorce reached through mediation is usually more efficient and inexpensive than traditional litigation.

When should I pursue collaborative divorce?

You should choose collaborative divorce instead of pursing mediation if you want separate legal representation. In a collaborative divorce, you will benefit from the guidance of an attorney who will have your best interests in mind throughout the divorce process. Therefore, a collaborative divorce is a great choice for people with complicated financial or legal issues. Collaborative divorce can also be beneficial for relationships with power imbalances. If one or both spouses will be at an advantage for certain subjects, a collaborative divorce will help even out these imbalances by having a strong advocate at your side.

When should I pursue mediation?

Mediation can offer the spouses more control over the divorce process. Mediation can also be more flexible; you will only need to schedule meetings with a mediator and your spouse rather than two attorneys to represent you and your spouse. In addition, you can have as many people help you with the divorce process as you desire. Mediation is a good non-adversarial option if you and your spouse are open to working together to negotiate and have no power imbalances in your relationship.

Both collaborative divorce and mediation are great choices for couples who want to avoid litigation. For more information about the collaborative approach and mediation, speak to an attorney knowledgeable in non-adversarial methods to reaching a divorce agreement.

Solutions To Family Conflicts

Rieth Antonelli & Raj is a highly regarded boutique law firm focused on the practice of divorce and family law in
the greater Cleveland area. We successfully resolve property division, child custody, spousal support, child support and related problems.

Although we resolve many cases through collaborative negotiations and other out-of-court methods,
our skilled lawyers are fully prepared to protect clients' interests in courtroom proceedings when necessary.

Get A Free Consultation TodayOur firm’s goal is to always achieve an outcome that works for you and your entire family.

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