Despite the dramatization of divorce, it doesn’t always have to be a messy, contentious process. Often, couples who are in agreement that a divorce is in the best interests of both parties can finalize the divorce agreement without a long trial. If you and your spouse both agree to negotiate a fair and equitable settlement, then learn about collaborative divorce vs mediation. One may be the best path for you. It will cost significantly less — as divorce litigation can result in a much more expensive divorce. It will also help you and your spouse avoid a long and stressful litigation process.
Who Collaborative Divorce vs Mediation Will Benefit
For some couples, the formal court litigation process is necessary. Collaborative divorce and mediation work best for the following types of spousal situations:
- Both spouses should agree that a divorce is in their best interests.
- Both spouses should agree to negotiate a fair and equitable decision that is a compromise of both spouse’s needs.
- If the spouses share children, both spouses should have a relatively similar idea of a custodial arrangement that is in the best interests of the children.
- Both spouses should agree to be transparent about financial information and property assets.
Before deciding between collaborative divorce vs mediation, it is important to understand what both options can mean for your divorce settlement.
What is Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative divorce is the process of negotiating a divorce settlement in a four-way conversation with both spouses and their collaborative mediation attorney.
Many people chose collaborative divorce because it may save them from going to court, but still requires qualified collaborative divorce lawyers to represent their interests. Oftentimes, collaborative divorce requires a third-party accountant and a child custody specialist so that they may determine an equitable division of property and a child custody arrangement that is in the children’s best interest.
Once the spouses and their attorneys reach an agreement, the details are presented to a judge in a trial setting, in which the judge quickly reviews and typically approves the divorce settlement. Since the spouses reached an agreement before the court hearing, the process is usually shorter and less stressful than typical divorce litigation.
What is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation is the division of property that is facilitated by a divorce mediation specialist.
The divorce mediation specialist does not need to be a qualified divorce attorney, however, couples with high-asset-net-worth are advised to hire a divorce mediation lawyer.
In this scenario, the mediator speaks to both spouses to obtain background information. Next, the mediator meets with both spouses and goes through the formal mediation process in which both couples share their perspectives and interests. The mediator’s goal is to allow both parties to express their interests and create an equitable compromise. The mediator also ensures that one spouse does not overpower the other spouse during the mediation process.
Although an independent divorce attorney is unnecessary in mediation, some spouses wish to have an attorney who they can speak to after the mediation meetings. Additionally, some spouses feel that they are unable to promote their interests on their own and bring their personal attorney to the mediation meetings. If your spouse brings their attorney, it is highly recommended that you do so as well.
How to Determine If Collaborative Divorce vs Mediation Is Right for You
If you are still uncertain if you and your spouse should choose the collaborative divorce or mediation process, then it is recommended to speak with a qualified divorce attorney.
LPEP is a reputable law firm in San Jose specializing in high-net-worth divorce proceedings. Contact our office today for a 30-minute free consultation so that we can advise you on how to protect your interests without a stressful trial.