Divorce Mediation Or Collaborative Divorce: Which Way To Go?

Both divorce mediation and collaborative law have been successful in settling divorce cases. Rather than face a courtroom battle, at the end of which a judge decides the fate of the case, the parties use these processes to remain in control of the outcome of their divorces. Though these processes are very similar, they have significant differences of which parties should be aware before they utilize these practices.

During mediation, the parties meet with a third party neutral known as the mediator. The mediator does not have any decision-making power over the parties. Instead, the mediator helps the parties negotiate on each issue in the divorce matter and create a settlement agreement. In some instances, the parties may reach only a partial agreement at mediation, leaving remaining issues for a subsequent session or trial. If a full agreement is reached, no trial is necessary. If the parties cannot agree on any issue, an impasse is declared and the parties may schedule another mediation session or pursue their divorce in the litigation forum.

Collaborative law is similar to mediation. However, in collaborative law, the parties may have a number of individuals present to help them negotiate an agreement. For example, many couples choose to have an accountant or a child psychologist present during collaborative law to ensure that they are well informed throughout negotiations.

Collaborative divorce law has one major distinction from mediation: if the session does not result in a full agreement, the parties’ attorneys may not represent them in a litigation case afterward. This measure is to provide an incentive for the parties to work diligently toward settling and resolving the issues of their divorce.

Therefore, if it is important to have the same attorney throughout a case, mediation would be the better choice. However, if a couple wants the benefit of advice from additional professionals, collaborative law may be the better forum choice.

For additional information, please contact Sabra Law Group, PLLC at 646-472-7971.

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