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Collaborative Vs. Mediated Divorce: How Do They Compare?

Posted on in Divorce

Schaumburg mediation and collaborative divorce attorneyDeciding to get a divorce is a process in itself, but once you have decided to end your marriage, the next step you must take is to determine what kind of divorce you want to get. Couples who are hostile to each other and are not willing to cooperate often must resort to a litigated divorce where arguments are made in court and a judge makes decisions about issues such as how assets are divided and how child custody arrangements are made. However, if you and your spouse are on good terms, or if you are at least willing to work together to reach a mutually agreeable resolution, you may be able to go with an alternative dispute resolution option such as a collaborative divorce or a mediated divorce.

The Collaborative Divorce Process

Collaborative divorce is a way that couples can get divorced without having a court intervening in the process. At the beginning of the collaborative divorce process, the divorcing couple and their respective attorneys will sign an agreement stating that they plan to resolve their divorce disputes without the need for litigation in court. Collaborative divorce allows spouses to have control in decisions made regarding marital property, allocation of parental responsibility, spousal maintenance, or any other issues that must be resolved before their divorce can be complete.

A collaborative divorce will take place over the course of several meetings between spouses and their attorneys, and they may also communicate with each other through phone calls, email, or other methods. Each spouse will be represented by their own collaborative divorce attorney, and they may also decide to hire other professional advisors, such as divorce coaches, child specialists, appraisers, estate planning attorneys, and psychologists. At the end of the process, spouses will attend a court hearing to finalize their divorce decree.

The Mediated Divorce Process

Divorce mediation is very different from the collaborative divorce process. In mediation, a trained mediator acts as a neutral third party to help both spouses reach an agreement on the outstanding issues in their divorce. The main difference between a mediated divorce and a collaborative divorce is that the two spouses do not hire individual attorneys to represent them in the mediation process. Rather, the mediator will work together with them to help them reach their decisions. A mediator also:

  • Helps identify and talk through the issues that need to be settled;
  • Acts as a peacemaker during negotiations between the spouses; and
  • Helps create agreements and customizes them to work for a unique family and situation.

While many mediators are attorneys who can help spouses understand the legal issues that must be addressed during their divorce, they will not be an advocate for either side, and decisions will be made by the spouses, not the mediator. As with collaborative divorce, the final decisions made will be incorporated into a couple’s divorce decree.

Discuss Your Options With a Schaumburg Divorce Attorney

If you have decided to get a divorce, making the right decision as to what kind of divorce you should get can be the key to a successful and smooth divorce process. Whether you decide that a collaborative or mediated divorce is the best option for you, you should get help from a knowledgeable and qualified Barrington divorce lawyer. Contact Anderson & Associates, P.C. to discuss your best options and move forward with your divorce. Call 847-995-9999 to schedule a consultation.




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