A decision that arises for couples on good terms planning to get a divorce is choosing between collaborative divorce vs. mediation. Either of these approaches, if a realistic possibility, has obvious financial benefits over a lengthy grueling contested divorce that is ultimately settled at trial in court.
What are the Benefits of Mediation?
The term mediator may imply that this is for when there is a lack of agreement, which can be misleading. When you work with a mediator, you are reaching an agreement between yourselves with the assistance of a neutral third party trained in the process. This means that this course of action works best when you are already in good general agreement of your divorce, don’t have too many complex issues, and simply need an experienced third party to guide you to a proper agreement that will be acceptable to the court. You may still want an attorney acting on your behalf to review any final agreement reached to avoid any surprises, but this is generally the cheapest alternative.
What are the Benefits of Collaborative Divorce?
In a collaborative divorce, you are each represented by your attorneys, who help you negotiate an agreement with each person’s attorney representing their client’s interests. It is still a collaborative process as you are working together to produce an acceptable agreement to present to the court. This approach will generally cost more than mediation as there are more people involved throughout the process. However, collaborative divorce benefits include each party having a divorce attorney to speak on their behalf during the negotiation and assist in resolving the more complicated legal points.
How Do You Choose Between a Collaborative Divorce vs. Mediation?
Despite the term, divorce mediation means you are working it out between yourselves. The mediator is more there to guide you in your own process, acting like a coach and not an advocate for either side. Relying on a mediator may not be the best choice if you have difficulty speaking up for yourself or are worried about getting steamrolled. In that case, a collaborative divorce in which you have your own attorney at your side may be best. Even though the process is still basically collaborative, you have peace of mind knowing that someone is advocating for you at all times.
No matter what form your divorce process takes, you want to end up with a satisfactory agreement that will be acceptable to the court. To learn more about the divorce process contact the Law Offices of SchindelSegal, PLLC today to speak with a divorce attorney.
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