Collaborative law and mediation are two alternative dispute resolution methods that offer couples an opportunity to resolve their divorce outside of a courtroom. Although both ways share some similarities, they are different in their approach, process, and outcome. If you are considering divorce and want to understand the differences between these two methods, contact an experienced divorce attorney to decide which divorce method may be suitable for you and your situation.
What is Mediation in the Context of a Divorce?
Divorce mediation is a process where a third party, neutral to both sides, assists the couple in reaching a settlement agreement. The mediator does not take sides and does not provide legal advice. Instead, the mediator facilitates communication between the couple, helps them identify issues, and guides them toward an acceptable resolution for both sides. Mediation is based on the principle of voluntary participation, confidentiality, and impartiality.
What is Collaborative Law in the Context of a Divorce?
Collaborative law, on the other hand, is a legal process where each party hires an attorney trained in collaborative law who works together with them to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. The process involves a series of meetings where both parties and their attorneys discuss their interests and concerns, identify the issues, and work towards finding a solution that meets everyone’s needs. Collaborative law is based on collaboration, transparency, honesty, and mutual respect.
Additional professionals, such as child specialists and financial advisors, may also be involved in the collaborative divorce process.
Key Differences Between the Two
One of the key differences between mediation divorce and collaborative law divorce is the level of control each party has over the control over the outcome. In mediation, the mediator tries to empower their clients to reach their own decision regarding disputed matters. In collaborative law, each spouse’s lawyer represents his or her interests.
Another critical difference between the two is the time they take to complete. Mediation can last a couple of months, whereas collaborative divorce can take closer to a year or more, depending on how easily issues are able to be resolved.
Finally, collaborative law can be significantly more expensive than mediation. This is generally because the collaborative law process can take longer to complete and may involve financial professionals, custody specialists, therapists or divorce coaches, and more.
Contact a DuPage County Collaborative Divorce Attorney
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