For couples undergoing divorce for the first time, resolving issues between parties can be a messy or confusing thing. Before jumping head-on into litigation, it is useful to know that there are other ways to settle things with the other party in a divorce. Knowing what other options are available and deciding on the one that is right for you will take you a step closer to settling things amicably.
Divorce cases vary from couple to couple. What works for one might not work for the other and it will depend on your situation so before choosing which mediation process to go with, make sure you know what procedures are involved in divorce mediation and collaborative divorce.
In most cases, couples new to divorce or are planning one do not know what divorce mediation is. It is important to have a mediation lawyer, especially in reaching an agreement with the other party involved in the divorce. In divorce mediation, the mediator will act as a consultant and will draft your agreement before it is presented to the attorneys or judge. Divorce mediation is especially helpful in decision making between couples, and a good mediation lawyer will not intervene but instead facilitate in the decision making process. The mediator should help you see both sides of the issues to be resolved and help parties communicate you and your spouses perspective on the issues. Once that is clear, the mediator will help you find options that will address both parties' needs.
Collaborative divorce on the other hand is for people who want divorce mediation, but don't feel at ease negotiating for themselves. In this case, both sides hire a lawyer to advocate their interests in the negotiating process. This process is settled outside the courtroom and ideally, parties who undergo collaborative divorce don't have to. The lawyers of each party will be in the room with the clients to negotiate their needs for them and will then make constructive negotiations on the client's behalf. Mental health professionals can also be included, child specialists, and financial neutrals if the couple asks for them to be included. Including them can give you a broad look at how your decisions will affect the children and finances.
Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Divorce however, both require the parties to be willing to negotiate to resolve issues. Even if you are not sure which route to take, it is best to try these less traumatic, and less expensive divorce options first before going straight to court.