You’ve decided that a traditional Divorce with an attorney in a courtroom is not for you. What can a couple do instead? Two alternatives are Collaborative Divorce and Divorce Mediation. Here’s an overview of each process to help you make a decision.
Divorce mediation offers a peaceful alternative to the often aggressive and stressful court divorce, and avoids a long and costly divorce process. Mediation is considered the quickest, least expensive and most efficient way to divorce. A professional mediator acts as a supportive guide throughout the divorce process and helps to lead couples to a fair and supportive resolution. Both spouses must be committed to mediation for it to be successful. Advantages of mediation:
• No attorney necessary and no court appearances
• Safe and respectful environment---not conflict focused
• Calm and straightforward discussions of wants and needs
• All options carefully considered---solution oriented
• Problem solving with focus on family and children
• Couples make the important decisions together
• Helps couples create an agreement customized to their unique needs concerning such issues as: children, division of property, spousal support, investments and finance
In collaborative divorce, each spouse is required to have their own divorce attorney to represent them. Just as in traditional divorce, each attorney must work to get the most favorable outcome for their client. In collaborative divorce, both parties must sign a “participation agreement” that states they are committed to collaborative techniques. Collaborative divorce involves a series of meetings between spouses and their attorneys that take place outside of a courtroom. As needed, outside professionals who specialize in areas such as finances, children, and mental health, can be included. If an agreement cannot be reached, at the end of negotiations couples must find a new attorney and pursue a divorce in court. Advantages of collaborative divorce:
• Attorney guidance throughout the divorce process
• Specialists can be used for additional input on specific issues such as finances, mental health, and children
• Each attorney supports only one spouse which can help to overcome any power imbalances within the couple’s relationship
• Informal and flexible
• Less expensive and more efficient than litigation
If you are trying to decide what divorce is best for you, A Fair Way Mediation can help you with your decision. Contact us to receive a free 30-minute phone consultation, or visit www.afairway.com or call 619-702-9174.