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Collaborative Divorce vs Mediated Divorce

Understanding the difference between collaborative divorce vs mediated divorce.

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In a previous article, we provided a definition of collaborative divorce as an agreement between the spouses and their lawyers that they will all meet to discuss and work through the any divorce issues thus saving the costs and issues with a court. In addition, all parties might agree to find professionals, such as mental health and financial, in order to work through the emotional and financial issues that led to the divorce on the first place. A mediated divorce has a slightly different, but important, meaning.

Mediated divorce differs from a collaborative divorce because the couples meet with one individual, a mediator, whose neutral role is only to remain a neutral party and who helps to work out any differences between the parties. Neither of the divorcing parties would normally hire a separate attorney. They may however, consult with an attorney outside the process.

As you can see the cost difference between a mediated divorce and a collaborative divorce is often a major factor in choosing mediation. Attorney fees can add a lot to the cost of a divorce.

Remember that a mediator will not appear in any court cases, nor can a mediator offer legal advice. In a collaborative divorce both parties are represented by counsel with the advantage of client attorney communication privileges as well as knowing each attorney will be working for only one of the parties.

If you are considering divorce, and you feel you and your spouse have the ability to work with a mediator and come to a mutual agreement on all matters of divorce , from alimony and child payments, to custody and distribution of assets, the mediation might be right for you. If expenses are a factor for both of you, it might behoove you to attempt mediation first.

Traditional divorces, with each spouse having a lawyer, multiple court appearances, discovery letters, and more can greatly increase fees. A collaborative divorce helps eliminate much of these costs as no courts are involved, although lawyer fees are still present. Mediated divorce is really about the parties working out their differences between themselves with a professional mediator to guide the process, further lowering costs.

If you are considering divorce, and are not sure where to start, no matter what process you decide to use, it is a good idea to use a professionally trained and experienced lawyer as a guide through the process.


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