At a time in history when half of all American marriages end in divorce, it makes perfect sense to develop procedures for peaceful and respectful marital dissolution. Divorce mediation and collaborative divorce share the goal of creating an effective process for decision-making that is less fraught with animosity and argument than traditional courtroom litigation. If you and your spouse are divorcing and agree to attempt an amicable resolution, one of these options might be appropriate for you.
Mediation is less expensive than a traditional divorce, as it only involves paying one professional. If communication is good between partners, mediation can lead to a satisfying resolution of all the issues. These can include:
The work of mediation establishes a system of communication between parents that is more likely to extend beyond the divorce process and set a pattern for future discussions. An amicable divorce initiates an effective and reliable communications channel for conveying shared parenting responsibilities.
Collaborative divorce is a relatively new and increasingly popular technique for achieving good results in divorce cases. Each partner, represented by an attorney, engages in a four-way negotiation to reach a divorce agreement. Attorneys offer a higher level of emotional protection and legal advocacy than a mediator and have the power to make legal recommendations to the clients. If the parties get stuck on certain issues, the attorneys have the option to speak with each other in the presence of the clients. This arrangement can move negotiations along quickly and avoid the expense of a court hearing.
The less contentious options of mediation and collaborative divorce are not always successful. In some cases, the parties are unable to reach an agreement, regardless of the skills of the mediator or efforts of the collaborative attorneys. In the event the parties reach a stalemate and are unable to proceed, the case goes to court and a judge decides the remaining points. If negotiations fail, neither the mediator nor the collaborative attorneys can represent either of the parties in litigation.
If you are divorcing, you need representation regardless of the method you choose for dissolving your marriage. An experienced divorce attorney can assist you with the divorce process and advocate for your needs.
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