If you and your spouse are considering a divorce, you may have deep concerns about how your separation will play out in court. In addition to the expense and stress of divorce litigation, you may worry that a judge will have the final say about important financial and family decisions, especially if you have children. Both are confidential and preserve your privacy.
Both divorce mediation and collaborative divorce offer alternatives to litigation that may help you to keep costs down and minimize antagonism while taking control of your own future.
During divorce mediation, you and your spouse meet with a neutral mediator. In addition to facilitating communication, this trained third-party advisor can help identify points of conflict and explore creative solutions that work for you both. During mediation, you may also consult with other professionals, including financial advisors and child therapists.
Like mediated divorce, collaborative divorce requires that you and your spouse can agree to negotiate out of court. However, during collaboration, both you and your spouse have your own attorney along with a team of professionals. You, your attorney, your spouse and his or her attorney work together to resolve issues constructively. The attorneys are solely committed to helping you reach a mutually acceptable agreement. They are disqualified from representing you in any potential litigation.
Benefits of an out-of-court settlement
Both mediated and collaborative divorce require compromise, honesty and a willingness to take a problem-solving approach. However, if you and your spouse can agree to negotiate rather than litigate, these out-of-court alternatives may help you to minimize the emotional impact of divorce on your children while freeing you and your spouse to negotiate your separation on your own terms and on your own schedule.